Can anyone give me tips on college dating?

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Answered by: Cassandra, An Expert in the The Dating Game Category
Feeling stuck in The Dating Game can be a daunting, tiresome, and even scarring experience for anyone, but this seems to be especially true for college dating. You have so many things to juggle and wrap your mind around that dating just seems like too much of a hassle. So why not just forget about it until you graduate?

Well, if you're anything like me - and chances are that you're very much in the same boat - that simply isn't going to work for you. I don't know many people (on and off-campus) in my group of acquaintances through school who have had much success with dating, and sadly, I am included in this bunch. Honestly, I've never looked up tips on college dating, but I have begged my married friends to share their secrets with me. The awful truth is: there are no secrets! You just have to find what works for you, as an individual.

Late-night study sessions, procrastination with that English paper, staying out too late the night before your early class, having to work on top of your full-time class schedule, or even choosing to play that new video game can all result in the same thing: a bad case of 'zombie eyes'; the fact is, we have so many things going on in our lives, between the social and academic, and unless you're ridiculously organized - in which case, you're probably looking to combat shyness or some other issue, you're probably too overwhelmed to know where to even start with dating. That's why I have decided to research and use my own experiences to come up with some helpful tips on college dating.

Aside from issues like shyness, self-esteem, or overall cynicism, time-management is absolutely crucial. If you find yourself making excuses like "I just don't have enough time to date!", you're probably just not making the best use of your time. Get yourself organized. Look at this as an excuse to do some spur-of-the-moment shopping! Buy a whiteboard, preferably one with a built-in calendar; spiral-bound planners are fine, but I've found that it's too easy to slip the small notebook into your desk drawer and forget about it. If you have a white board hung up on your wall where you see it every day, you're more likely to actually use it. Get a few bins to get rid of the clutter, because it's common knowledge that if you live in a cluttered environment, you're more likely to become disorganized and overwhelmed.

After you've cleared out the physical clutter, grab a notebook and make a tentative schedule. Write down everything you can possibly think of, including sleeping, eating, and time spent with friends or family; the most important activities to include are, of course, study time, any work schedules, and your class schedules - don't forget to figure in commute times, if you live off-campus! The purpose of this is not to be obsessive or to schedule each moment of your life; rather, it functions to show you just how much time you really have left over for dating. It also makes you feel like you've accomplished something, which can give you a healthy glow - and who doesn't love a healthy glow?

Make sure you're eating enough, and on a schedule! People with busy lives tend to forget to eat, which can cause all kinds of problems, including weight loss or weight gain, moodiness and irritability (I am the worst about this!), and can even create problems with studying. I know most of us (college kids) love our soda, and I have no intention of telling you not to drink it, but make sure you're also drinking enough water!

The main point here is that although personality should be far more important than physical appearance, an initial attraction is pretty necessary for that spark of romance to flourish; if you're not taking care of yourself, it will show - and no one wants to start a relationship with someone who doesn't take pride in themselves.

Joining groups is another excellent way to meet people. I fell into the trap of online dating, since I have always been a bit shy and reserved around strangers, and although it works for plenty of people, it just didn't work for me. I asked myself what my interests were, researched clubs at my campus, and joined a Japanese Pop Culture club; I haven't sparked any romance yet, but the term just started and I've got my eye on a few people!

I could go on forever about dating, and I could give a million tips on college dating, but the most important points are time management, making sure you're taking care of yourself, and getting out there! I know it's difficult when you're shy or self-conscious, but you have to remember that nine times out of ten, the person you're interested in has those same issues. If you're joining groups or clubs that center around your personal interests, it's more likely that you'll be more at ease, allowing you to open up more; once you're comfortable and feel like you've got a few potential friends, ask if they want to go out after the club meeting. Suggest they bring their single friends, and chances are that you'll meet someone great for you!

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