This week we are diving into the depths of dating in college.
When Jake and I started dating my freshman year, I had no idea how dating in college actually worked. Luckily, by trial and error, here we are, still together my senior year! I think dating in college can get two pretty bad reps:
It's pointless. College is supposed to be four years of nothing but going out and having fun and not to settle down.
Dating in college is just like normal dating. If you find someone you like being around, you should just jump right into dating them. You wanted to be married by 25, right? You better hurry up and find someone!
From personal experience, I can tell you both of those aren't true.
Whether you and your partner both go to the same school or you're doing long-distance, here are some things I've found to be true about dating in college:
1. Make sure you actually want to be in a relationship.
This might seem like silly advice, but you should take some time to think about if you actually want a relationship in college before you find yourself in a situation you don't want. Everyone has different college experiences and expectations. Some want to find their forever person, and some people just want to have some fun and get a degree. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either as long as you know what you want.
2. You have to be very honest and open about the future
College only lasts 4 years. While this seems like a long time while you're on campus, it absolutely flies by. I am someone who believes in being very upfront at the beginning of a relationship so people don't waste time or end up getting hurt. Don't be afraid to ask someone what they want in life. Where do they want to live? Do they ever want to have children? Would they be ready to settle down after college, or do they want a few years to still date around? Call me old-fashioned, but I think you should date people with the intention of still being together after you get that degree, and you want to make sure you and your partner's lives are potentially going to align in the long-run.
3. You will have to make some sacrifices.
I think it's obvious that your wild nights might be reduced just a little when you start dating someone. It's so important to spend some time with just the two of you (and without alcohol). If going out every single night in college is your top priority, a relationship might not be the best thing for you right now. Don't worry about these sacrifices too much though... you will get so much more in return.
4. It's not always rainbows and butterflies.
I know every relationship has its flaws, but college throws a lot of stuff at you and your significant other. You need to make sure you two are very good at communicating and expressing your expectations and feelings. Be honest about how much time you want to spend together, what bothers you, how you're really feeling, and everything else in between. If you think dating in college is just too hard with all of the outside influences, just remember that it only lasts 4 years.
5. It's worth it.
You and your partner are going to go through some crappy times together in college. It's probably going to get really tricky at times, but trust me, it's worth it. The hard work is worth being able to experience this special time together. It's worth having someone to help cheer you up when you fail an exam. It's worth having someone to always take to fun events and nights out. It's worth having someone to go grab breakfast and have a lazy Sunday with. Trust me, it's all worth it. Don't let the college stereotype, hookup culture, frat boys, or anyone tell you otherwise.
I am so thankful that Jake and I got to experience college together. We made SO many memories during our time at the University of Illinois, and I know we will never forget them (my personal favorite would have to be me getting a better grade when we took a class together 😉)
If you guys want some more tips about dating in college, handling long-distance, or any other relationship-related advice, please let me know! I would definitely be willing to write more on it if interested :)