Colleges were created to be institutions of higher learning. With young men and women patronizing these institutions, social relations emerge now and then. Social activities, such as dating, are now prevalent in colleges. Opinion may be split on whether it is a good thing or not. There are merits and demerits to dating in college. Many couples who are married today met in college. The challenges that college life presents prepare you for what is ahead in life. Some of the experiences while dating in college can be crucial in future relationships and marriage life. On the other hand, dating in college can be distracting and can lead to unwanted pregnancies, domestic violence, among other social ills.
In this article, we look at pertinent questions that regard dating in college.
Is dating in college a good idea?
College is an exciting period in the life of any young person. Meeting and interacting with new friends can create friendships that can last a lifetime. Colleges attract students from various places and regions. Individuals of varying backgrounds converge in college, and this diversity can build exciting and mutually beneficial relationships. These relationships can help students cope with the emotional roller coaster that is college life. Students go through various challenges, such as the transition to adulthood, independence from parents, and financial management, among others. Relationships can help a student understand that the challenges they face are not unique to themselves. These challenges are faced by most students, and as the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem half solved.
Dating in college helps kill the naivety of teenage years. For instance, once students start dating, they realize the priorities of men and women are different. The needs of a man in a relationship are more often than not dissimilar to those of a woman. However, if you are tolerant and accommodative, you will be in a position to make it work and have each partner satisfied within the relationship.
Dating in college has its advantages and disadvantages. This makes it both a good idea and a bad one. The determining factor for the success of a college relationship is the people involved. When a college relationship is based on true friendship and companionship, then it is a good idea—having friends who boost each other’s academics, social life, and psychological growth. However, college dating can be a bad idea if those getting into it are doing it for selfish gain, e.g., social status, and sexual benefits. This then becomes a disadvantage for either one party in the relationship or both. However, despite these challenges, I encourage dating in college. Life is not a bed of roses, and the road to a successful life is not straight forward or easy. The challenges and realities of life can hit you hard later in life. Social problems such as mental illness and suicide have been on the rise. Dating in college can prepare you for the roller coaster that is life.
Why do most college relationships fail?
Read more : 45 Questions to Ask Your Girlfriend
The number one reason for failed college relationships is cheating. With many students on campus, temptation larks everywhere. Students interact in many ways from academic lectures, sports, and entertainment. Most schools have a student center that offers leisure activities for students. The energy of youth in students can see them through parties, one after the other. Alcohol and parties lead to one night stands and casual hookups that can put a relationship on the rocks. Students lack experience concerning relationships, and most of them conduct social experiments among themselves. With no lessons or mentors to guide them through relationships, students are left shooting in the dark. Lack of experience and knowhow leads to them succumbing to peer pressure and sexual urges that lead to cheating.
Inexperience is also a significant cause of failure in college relationships. Student couples can fight over small matters. A couple in college can have wrong priorities due to a lack of information and experience on what is essential in the relationship. Students may try to compare their relationship to what they have seen in movies or among celebrities. The standard is therefore set so high that at times the expectations may not be realistic. This causes tension and fighting within the relationship and may even lead to a total collapse of it.
When should you start dating in college?
There is no defined age or point at which one should get into a relationship in college. The most important thing is to understand yourself and what you stand for. Once this understanding is clear, one can proceed to know why and when they can get into a relationship. If a person is focused more on their education and grades than their social status or sexual life, then it is safe for them to remain single if they feel that getting into a relationship will ruin or alter their academics. However, some people are strongly focused on their education and can be attracted to someone with similar objectives, and a great relationship grows out of their friendship.
You should, therefore, start dating when you find a partner whose interest is in tandem with yours. It is important to date in college to at least gain experience on how to handle emotions in a relationship. Being in a relationship can help a student understand that life is not all about academics and school work. There are other life events and investments that help an individual live a complete and sustainable life
Advice for students
Students need to understand that socializing in college is very important, and lessons learned are beneficial. Even the heartbreaks can teach lessons that no one else could. It is crucial for students first to understand themselves before they seek to understand someone else. They also need to understand that colleges have students from every walk of life, students of different characters, and many trying to fit in. This leads to a lot of fake friendships, a lot of trust issues, and many misunderstood cases. My advice would be, focus on what you want and work towards it. The rest should fall into place naturally. If a relationship is meant to be, it will be.
It is crucial to understand various personalities. Having friends and relationships with people from different backgrounds can help you approach issues from a different point of view. The relationship can help expand your thinking and help you understand contrary opinions on various matters such as political issues. For instance, having a girlfriend can help you understand the campaign for social equality for women. A girlfriend can give you her perspective on sexism and why it is vital to empower women in society.
It is essential to take things slow. Don’t rush into it. For many college students, it is challenging to differentiate infatuation from love. Infatuations fade away after some time, whereas love can stay with you forever. If a relationship was founded on crushes between two people, then the two are likely to get bored very quickly. The two can have their interests drift apart and ruin the relationship. However, if it is genuine love, then the interest in your partner can go on for a long time, maybe even a lifetime. It is, therefore, crucial to be friends first with the person you are interested in. Once you understand their character, you may now make an informed decision once you are sure that your feelings for this person are not just infatuation but a genuine love for the person.
There are many students in college. Many are from divergent backgrounds and regions. Therefore I would warn students against getting into relationships too quickly. Take your time and first identify the character of an individual before getting into a relationship with them. There have been numerous cases of physical abuse and rape. All that glitters is not gold, therefore ensure you understand the personality of the person you are interested in. Sexually transmitted diseases can spread quickly within a campus due to the ignorance and arrogance of youth. With cheating being a significant cause of collapsed relationships in college, sexually transmitted infections can quickly spread within a university. Parties and alcohol lead to reckless sexual relations between students. Pregnancies are also rampant in college. Remember, the primary reason for being in college is to further your education to a degree or diploma level. Dating in college can distract you from this primary objective. Pregnancy can derail you from this path, and in most cases, students drop out or defer a semester or two. Therefore ensure to investigate and study the character of an individual before investing in a relationship with them.
Consequently, I would warn students to be on the lookout for any suspicious personalities. These may include sexual predators, drug peddlers, among others. They should also be aware of students who use others for selfish gains, for instance, cheating on tests, paying for good grades, bullying, among many others. Some are socially weak, and they get easily preyed on by such characters. Their friendship is abused without them being aware of the abuse, and it is often too late by the time they discover what went wrong and how their kindness and trust were taking advantage of.
How to avoid dating in college?
One can avoid dating in college by simply rejecting any advances towards them. One can refuse advances cleverly and not be rude about it. Body language can communicate a lot. If one is not interested in a relationship, then they have to be clear about it. They can alternatively open up to simple friendships with other people. It is important to note that not all relationships have to be of romantic involvement, but each party has to be aware of the other person’s intentions. When intentions are misunderstood or misinterpreted, then one party will get disappointed by their expectation of the relationship. It is crucial that one first understands what they want out of a relationship before getting into one and being sure that the other person has similar intentions. It is vital to make it clear to potential suitors that you are not interested in a relationship.
Dating in college statistics
It is essential to look at some of the statistics that concern dating in college. Contrary to popular opinion, some of the statistics will shock you. In the recent past, there has been gender balance in the number of male and female students. A few decades ago, there was a massive disparity, with male students being nearly 75% of all students in college. Below we look at some of the statistics from college dating.
25% of college students are virgins- Colleges are not hookup havens as many would want you to believe. Many students choose abstinence over contraceptives. They prioritize their academic objectives and pay little attention to sex and relationships. The numbers include both male and female students. This is a consequence of sex education in high schools which means most students in colleges are informed on sexual matters. This has removed the stigma that was associated with abstinence and virginity among college students.
63% of female college students hope to meet their souse in college- This statistic shows the different priorities between men and women. Only about 25% of male students think they will get a lifetime spouse in college. This indicates that most women have a long term view of relationships compared to men who are short-sighted on relationship matters. Information on these statistics will help a woman understand that her boyfriend may not be as invested in the long term future of the relationship as much as she is. This may not be an individual problem but rather a male perspective on relationships.
One in four college students has an STD.- The reckless nature of college parties, combined with the ignorance of the youth, has made the fight against STDs among college students a battle in futility. College students practice unsafe sex, and because of this, the statistics on STDs are very high. The government and civil society have invested heavily on safe sex practice among college students as STDs continue to wipe out an energetic workforce that is vital to the economic growth of a country.
30% of college seniors have been on fewer than two dates- This shows the lack of deep relationships between sexual partners. College students are quick to have sex, and sometimes sex and dating mean the same thing. Nothing can be further from the truth. Dating involves a lot more investment in the other person and getting to know them intimately. Sex, on the other hand, is an action of a few minutes that tell you almost nothing about your partner. Therefore, it is essential to go out on a date, be it dinner or to watch a college football game. Get to understand your partner in an intimate way and from a general perspective.
Dating in college long distance
Long-distance relationships can be tricky, not only for college students but even adults and married people. This requires excellent communication between the partners and the utmost trust in each other. Many long-distance relationships do not fail due to long-distance, but a loss of touch with one another. Once partners lose contact with each other, they communicate less and become less involved in each other’s lives. This ultimately leads to losing trust in each other and questioning each other’s actions and whereabouts. College students trying a long-distance relationship may face challenges, but it is entirely up to them to make it work. Each relationship is unique in its form since no two people are alike. What works for one relationship may not necessarily work for another.
Out of sight, out of mind, or so the saying goes. A couple in a long-distance relationship can see their relationship strained. Temptations will loom in every corner, and it takes a solid character to remain faithful to your partner.
Technology has, however, extended an olive branch to long-distance relationships. With social media easing communication and social interactions, long-distance relationships have a better chance of survival today than in the 20th century. With access to the internet, couples can now keep up with each other regularly and keep the fire burning.
Dating in college should be a rite of passage for everyone. There are more merits and fewer demerits to dating in college. Despite the disadvantages, it is crucial to go through the experience and make you a better person. You get to understand other people’s priorities, political opinions, among others. An important lesson you can learn is tolerance. Accommodating divergent views or culture is an important virtue that can help you in future relationships. The relationship you have in college may not be the best, it may even be a bad experience, but what doesn’t kill only makes you stronger. That experience can be vital in identifying a bad relationship or potentially dangerous partner.