Dating in school can seem like a fairytale with the lack of responsibility that comes with dating in your teens. Your love life at university though can be riddled with complications, such as timetables, jobs and core values. This is your ultimate guide, we are going to go through hook-up culture, the differences to anticipate and the beauty of dating in uni.
1. Be strict with your schedule
Remember that midnight curfew? When in school, usually your parents take control. At university you are given a lot more freedom and ultimately every decision comes down to you. Now you are able to see your SO without any time restrictions and you don’t have to wait for a “go-ahead” to make moves. Try and maintain some mystery, having a boy/girlfriend doesn’t mean you have to stay at theirs every night, and even though now you can do what you like and when, that doesn’t mean you can’t wait either. Keep up with your grades and friends too, remember why you are ultimately at university.
2. This might be your ride or die FOR LIFE
Shock horror. Now you’re a little older, it is entirely possible for your partner at university to become your life partner. Of course this is true in high school but we don’t tend to take dating as seriously then. Dating during your uni years is a lot more serious and usually people are more honest and open about what they are looking for. Secondary school may have meant low stakes but upping the game as you mature is both natural, and worthwhile.
3. It is a time to explore other interests
School can be similar to a bubble- you’re working so hard on your grades that dating just doesn’t seem that important. It can also work as a pot full of the same kind of people. University though is anything but predictable- you are going to be surrounded by all different backgrounds- which is a great thing by the way. Use this time to explore other interests and hobbies. Try fencing, join the surf club, or the French society. You will meet a ton of new people and can be a time to reinvent yourself. If you are single, have fun with it and see if you meet a special someone. If you are in a relationship ask your partner what they enjoy and tag along for a session, they’ll love your commitment to your relationship.
4. You have to work on your finances
Maybe you had a job throughout school, maybe you didn’t. When you get to university your financial decisions will only come down to you, you have to be smart. There aren’t bank managers at university and parents will be less willing to help out as you grow up. Be open about your situation. Maybe you have a scholarship and can afford fancy meals every Friday, this doesn’t mean your partner can. Know more or less where and when you both wish to spend your money and you will have a more bountiful and fun-filled relationship.
5. The Hook-up culture is more prevalent
As much as some are looking for serious relationships, others are seeking casual hook-ups. Having your own space and without your family around, you may be tempted to have a one-night stand… or several. This isn’t for everyone though so it’s brilliant if you’re not that way inclined either. Just make sure every interaction is both consensual and safe. When you start dating someone, be vocal about what you are after. You need to set personal boundaries early on. Being sexually active is often assumed in college, but it is also perfectly okay to not be interested in sex at all. Don’t follow the crowd if you would rather have something monogamous or long-term. People worthy of your time will respect whatever decisions you make.
Dating in university will help you grow and mature, rather than being scary it can be a fun way to get to know new people and yourself better. Happy dating.
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Author: Scarlett Victoria Clark
Scarlett Victoria Clark is Founder and Editor of SMART GIRL TRIBE and a multi-lingual journalist. She has also written for Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Women’s Health. When not writing she enjoys travelling and shopping for (more) heels.