The Art Of Dating In College

By Michelle Laurey

Posted 1 year agoDATING


You may have had an amazing love life in high school, or this aspect of your life may have been rather dull. Regardless of your dating experiences in high school, dating in college can be significantly different. College dating has its unique set of unspoken rules as well as some exciting perks and risky pitfalls.

After you give yourself time to adjust to college life and get settled into your classes, you may be ready to jump right into the dating scene. However, remember that dating in college adds more complexities to your life. This means that you need to find a way to juggle all of your academic responsibilities and perhaps work responsibilities while also actively dating.

As amazing as dating in college can be, keep in mind that it can add drama to your life. This holds true regardless of whether you want to hookup from time to time or you are interested in developing a serious relationship with someone. Very few college students will make it through to graduation day without dating casually or seriously, so keep these universal truths about college dating in mind.


You may think that all girls who you meet want a serious relationship, but this is not the case. Just as some guys want a casual hookup with no strings attached, some girls also want this same experience. With these girls, you may have a one-night stand or a string of encounters. With the latter type of relationship, you could date the girl without ever being her boyfriend.

Hookups have a generally negative connotation, but casual relationships can be great in many ways. For example, casual dating and fun sexual encounters allow you to blow off steam and relax. College can be stressful, and this may be just what you need to unwind. However, casual dating can be risky, so you need to protect yourself against STDs.


  • Casual dating and occasional hookups are great for guys with busy schedules. When you have a casual thing going on, you do not have to find regular time in your busy schedule to spend time with a girlfriend. However, you do need to make it clear that you only want a casual relationship. If you fail to clarify this, you could be in store for major drama.
  • When you do not have a serious romantic relationship, you can potentially have a much simpler college experience. Without your attention divided between studies and a girlfriend, you can focus your attention mostly on your studies with minimal distractions.
  • College can be expensive, and your finances may be strapped until you graduate and land a great job. Serious dating can be expensive because of the need to actually go on dates. Casual relationships typically do not involve any type of expensive dates.
  • Casual dating is not necessarily a solo activity. You may hit bars and parties with a few friends to pick up girls. In this way, this gives you and your many wingmen a chance to hang out and have fun until you meet someone who you want to hookup with.


  • One of the most important unspoken rules about hooking up in college is to stay away from hookups with girls in your dorm. This type of hookup is called “floorcest,” and it should be avoided because it can make your life awkward and stressful.
  • Be aware of the possibility that one of the girls who you hookup with may actually be someone who you fall for. Even when you do not intend to have serious feelings for someone, there may be incredible chemistry or a huge spark that hits you unexpectedly.
  • Privacy can be a huge problem when you are dating in college, and this is particularly true if you live in a dorm. Just as you have a very realistic likelihood of walking in on other people in the middle of a heated session, there is also a good chance that you will be caught in the act on more than one occasion. You and your roommate may both have a few awkward moments that you should be prepared for.
  • You may have more than one casual thing going on at a time. When you have a “complicated” relationship status, you need to fill your roommate in on the details. This will help you avoid having unnecessarily awkward moments.

Going Steady

While some college students prefer to hookup with no strings attached, others actively look for a girlfriend who they can have a long-term relationship with. In some cases, you may not have gone out looking for love, but a one-night stand turned into something more. Regardless of how you stumble into a serious relationship, you should be aware of what this could mean for you.

Before you jump into a serious relationship, give yourself time get used to college life and living on your own. Your college experience may be something entirely new to you in almost every way, so you understandably have some adjustments to make. It is wise to avoid getting into any relationship after at least the first month or two of your freshman year have passed. This is the time to get used to college, meet enough people and form great friendships with other students.

Steady relationships in college can be emotionally and sexually rewarding, however, they can drain your time and be more stressful than beneficial. If you decide to get seriously involved, be prepared to juggle your relationship’s demands with all your other responsibilities.


  • You may meet your girlfriend in class, or you can plan to take a class together each semester. This means that class time and studying can count for at least some of your couple time together. Plus, it’s beneficial for a relationship when both sides have similar goals.
  • Couples in serious college relationships often spend at least some of their week studying together. You both can help each other stay on track as you work toward your goals. Study dates can help you on a personal level, as you get to know each other well, and it could strengthen your romantic relationship.
  • College is tough, and in some cases, it can be a lonely experience. A girlfriend could be someone who you have a legitimate, strong connection with. This may be a girl who you trust completely and who you can depend on. Also, having a date for formals is one less thing to worry about.
  • Because you and your girlfriend may be running around campus throughout the week, there is a good chance that you may bump into her unexpectedly. Seeing her out of the blue can make your day.
  • School breaks may send you both back home to different locations. While this could be a setback, you could use it as a time to travel to a new area while also spending more time with your SO.


  • Many college students struggle with time management with the basic responsibilities associated with their classes and perhaps a part-time job or an internship. Adding the time commitment of a romantic relationship to the mix can be too much for some guys to handle. Be honest with yourself about how much you can take on while still being as successful as possible with your classes.
  • In many cases, you and your girlfriend will have dramatically different schedules. After all, everyone’s classes are at different times, and you both may also have different work schedules. Trying to find time to see each other while also getting all of your studying done can be challenging and can add unnecessary stress to your life.
  • You could fall in love with a girl, but it may simply not work out because of your scheduling conflicts. This can be heartbreaking and stressful.
  • Some girls demand constant attention. You may have to go through several girlfriends until you find one who is supportive of your goals and understands your responsibilities. When you finally find a girl like this who makes you happy, you will know that she is a keeper.
  • Some girls may seem great at first, but once you are involved in the relationship, you discover that they are pure drama. These may be girls who do not let you study when you need to or who are overly controlling of your schedule. Bad relationships can be detrimental to many aspects of your life because of the stress and anxiety they cause. These types of relationships are toxic and could interfere with your collegiate success if you do not recognize them immediately and cut off ties with a dramatic girl.
  • Going to parties with your friends is not the same if you are committed to someone.

Dating in college is what you make of it. Your college years are a time to grow as an individual and to meet a lot of amazing people. You may learn substantially from being in multiple relationships. Remember that each relationship can teach you something new about yourself.

College is a time to enjoy yourself, but it also is a time to focus on your future. It’s a time when making valuable contacts, passing exams and essay writtingneed to be your priority. While a great steady relationship can benefit you tremendously in many ways, you should not feel pressured to go out and find a girlfriend. It may be a better idea to go with the flow.

Keep your options open without getting committed to the wrong girl. Take things slow and determine if you want the casual relationship to turn into something more. Avoid dramatic relationships and surround yourself with positive and supportive people. This holds true for your friends as well as your romantic partners.

About the author Michelle Laurey

Michelle is a freelance writer who enjoys rollerblading, mixing-up smoothies, researching healthy life choices and trying to implement them. She loves skyscrapers and long urban strolls to unknown places. When not writing, she is playing cards with the family or watching movies with her boyfriend Dave and a big bowl of popcorn.