Author Topic: Dating in college and your 20s  (Read 12345 times)

Cwadda

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #50 on: March 30, 2015, 09:02:16 AM »
Update:

I've been making more efforts to "get in the game" lol. I went on a few dates (I asked and got asked) with a few people who passed the initial "gut check" (being mature enough, serious, etc). I'm generally very good at differentiating friendships from romantic interests. As a position holder in my organization I've found that I can connect with other people who are passionate about the same things. I.e. I'm in charge of community service and philanthropy things - I've been connecting well with women who are also involved in those things.

I'm also on the best terms possible with girls from past relationships. That should help in the long run. Looking back at past relationships from an objective standpoint will help define what I'm looking for. Getting on good terms aids this process.

All in all, I'm a good deal more comfortable with being an "outlier" than I was 4-5 weeks ago. Thanks!

Torgo

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #51 on: March 30, 2015, 09:25:56 AM »
* reads thread *

College dating scene eh?  I've never really even understood 'dating' in general.  Once each in high school and college I fell into what became a romantic relationship with close female friends.  Since then in grad school I've tried the whole 'dating' thing and don't really understand it/make it work.  I did wind up in a 6-month on-again-off-again thing with a guy I met via okcupid during this period (I'm bi but with a large tendency towards women) which is probably the closest thing to a dating situation I've ever been in. 

Just another datapoint.  These things just seem to happen to me from within my circle of friends and activity-partners most of the time, explicitly seeking it out with dating attempts has generally not done much.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 09:54:27 AM by Torgo »

MayDay

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #52 on: March 30, 2015, 09:39:53 AM »
I had a guy friend in college who was an engineering major.  He realized his senior year that as a quiet introvert going into a male dominated field he was going to have major trouble meeting women once he left college. 

He was shy and never had been much for asking girls out, but he decided he would ask a girl out in a date every week his senior year, either a new girl if the last date had gone badly, or he'd been turned down, or a second/third whether date if the last date had gone well.  He ended up asking his wife out, they are now 10 years married with 3 kids. 

I met my now husband in college, started dating when I was 20.  It definitely does happen.  But you aren't likely to find it at a bar or frat party. 
Journal:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/mayday's-journal/350/  featuring children, chickens (new!) and other ch words.

Cwadda

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #53 on: March 30, 2015, 10:22:30 AM »
Quote
I met my now husband in college, started dating when I was 20.  It definitely does happen.  But you aren't likely to find it at a bar or frat party.
Yeah, I'm totally not into frat parties despite being in a frat lol. I keep the bar scene separate from dating stuff. If I go to the bar it's to go out with friends and have a great time after a stressful week.

HazelStone

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #54 on: March 30, 2015, 11:03:29 AM »
There's always going to be an element of woulda-shoulda-coulda.

My parents married right after college. Theirs is a successful marriage. Mom said, though, that she wished she hadn't married so early, wished she had more adventures, etc.

Actually, I had hoped to find a husband in college, marry soon after, and at least be in a position to have kids within a couple years after that. However, my parents were incredibly strict and I barely got to do any dating at all in high school. So when I hit college I had no experience in gauging interest, gauging people, ending a relationship if it didn't work, etc. I stayed in a couple of relationships far longer than I should have.

I graduated and a long term relationship ended. I had a couple more in my twenties that should've been shorter. You'd think I'd learn, but no. In the meantime, a year after I graduated I ended up talking with a college freshman on another internet forum. He was an engineering student (I *always* end up among engineers, lol). I coached him on asking girls out, it's not the end of the earth if they say no, put yourself out there, etc. etc. - Basically the stuff I should have learned in college but did so too late.

It progressed from "How do I find a girl?" to "How do I find a geeky girl?" to "How do I find a girl like you?" to "Why don't you come over for dinner sometime?" just before his last year of school. We met up, and chemistry ensued- on the order of thermite. We've been married five years.

And yet, Sweetie mentioned a certain Catch-22: once you get married it seems that members of the opposite sex take more notice of you. He thinks it has to do with confidence. After finding a nice girl and getting married, it boosted his confidence, and so women noticed him more, etc. He's expressed regret here and there that he didn't play the field more,* but realizes it still wasn't easy for him to garner interest from others.

If you marry earlyish, you'll wonder about playing the field. If you marry later, you wonder if you might have found a keeper in college if you'd looked a little harder. I will second the observation that once you leave college, the hunt becomes harder. You take your chances in life. Would I have liked to get married at an earlier age? Sure. It didn't happen, though, but I have a marriage that many envy.

Meet people. Make friends. Date if you find someone suitable. Learn how relationships *work.*

*this is meant in no way as an insult to me, nor have I ever taken it as such. Being older, I've kissed more frogs than he has, but can also see where he's coming from on this.

Cwadda

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #55 on: March 30, 2015, 12:21:50 PM »
There's always going to be an element of woulda-shoulda-coulda.

My parents married right after college. Theirs is a successful marriage. Mom said, though, that she wished she hadn't married so early, wished she had more adventures, etc.

Actually, I had hoped to find a husband in college, marry soon after, and at least be in a position to have kids within a couple years after that. However, my parents were incredibly strict and I barely got to do any dating at all in high school. So when I hit college I had no experience in gauging interest, gauging people, ending a relationship if it didn't work, etc. I stayed in a couple of relationships far longer than I should have.

I graduated and a long term relationship ended. I had a couple more in my twenties that should've been shorter. You'd think I'd learn, but no. In the meantime, a year after I graduated I ended up talking with a college freshman on another internet forum. He was an engineering student (I *always* end up among engineers, lol). I coached him on asking girls out, it's not the end of the earth if they say no, put yourself out there, etc. etc. - Basically the stuff I should have learned in college but did so too late.

It progressed from "How do I find a girl?" to "How do I find a geeky girl?" to "How do I find a girl like you?" to "Why don't you come over for dinner sometime?" just before his last year of school. We met up, and chemistry ensued- on the order of thermite. We've been married five years.

And yet, Sweetie mentioned a certain Catch-22: once you get married it seems that members of the opposite sex take more notice of you. He thinks it has to do with confidence. After finding a nice girl and getting married, it boosted his confidence, and so women noticed him more, etc. He's expressed regret here and there that he didn't play the field more,* but realizes it still wasn't easy for him to garner interest from others.

If you marry earlyish, you'll wonder about playing the field. If you marry later, you wonder if you might have found a keeper in college if you'd looked a little harder. I will second the observation that once you leave college, the hunt becomes harder. You take your chances in life. Would I have liked to get married at an earlier age? Sure. It didn't happen, though, but I have a marriage that many envy.

Meet people. Make friends. Date if you find someone suitable. Learn how relationships *work.*

*this is meant in no way as an insult to me, nor have I ever taken it as such. Being older, I've kissed more frogs than he has, but can also see where he's coming from on this.

Thank you for the vignette and advice; I appreciate it :)

tlars699

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #56 on: March 30, 2015, 12:44:00 PM »
I think you shouldn't expect that you're going to necessarily meet your spouse in college. It happens for some people and they end up in very satisfying marriages. I have at least four couples in my circle of friends that met in college. But, in balance, there's probably an equal number of people that have stories of unhealthy, drama filled relationships with people they thought were "the one" or that love is just supposed to be that way. For what it's worth, the people I know that met in college and got married all met through activities that were not partying - band, college democrats, mock trial, things of this nature.

I think a lot of people take the approach of it will happen when it happens, and to some extent this is true. You can't force meeting your spouse. But you can definitely set yourself up to be more or less likely to meet someone special by the activites you do and your mindset when meeting new people.

I met my spouse in college, but we didn't date during that timeframe. Reconnected a few years later, and just got married. Whee! Helps he had a crush on me way back when, but we're together now, and that's all that matters.

pagoconcheques

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #57 on: March 30, 2015, 07:28:29 PM »
Sometimes the way one frames a question limits the range of options. 

Consider replacing the  notion of "dating" with the old-fashioned idea of "courting".  I never went out with girls that I didn't think I could possibly end up marrying because I believed that to be the whole purpose for guys and girls to go on romantic outings.  I had a number of very good, long-term relationships through high school, college, and beyond by following that guideline.  If after a couple of "dates" you aren't ready to go into courtship mode, it's probably time to move on to the next candidate. 

I think many good marriages happen when a couple meets with no intention of dating and get to know each other a bit first. 

One good observation I've heard is instead of trying to find the perfect mate, work on becoming the perfect mate--they will come to you. 

stlbrah

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #58 on: March 30, 2015, 10:00:20 PM »
I have dated a lot of people and also have met a lot of sluts at parties and bars. It will come off as negative as a lot of my posts do, but I am 27 and here is my advice. I have had some great relationships, and just got into a new one that I am happy with so far... so it is not as negative as it sounds, unless you don't have any common sense.

-There is no shame in avoiding hookups, this is preferred. It is not uncommon for some college girls to have unprotected sex with over 20 partners per year. I know this from personal experience. So many girls out there to pick from that there is no point to be around that trash. However, I would still talk to the sluts because it is good practice. Unintelligent people don't understand logic or problem solving, so they focus on more basic urges like food, water, sex.
-You're not special to these girls (no offence). If it was easy for you to get it in, it was for lots of others previously.
-A good job upon graduation is better than herpies. Find someone with a brain, and don't waste time drinking with douchebag party bros either because they will just hold you back. Look for someone that you could stay with after college.

-On the contrary, don't listen to ridiculous advice given such as "pay for everything." I have never met a decent girl that expected me to pay for everything. If she was poor, then I would understand. That is usually not the case; it is usually just a false sense of entitlement. The girls I have dated that expected me to pay for everything were all entitled and thought they were princesses, but were actually more like prostitutes. I only speak the truth. This is a huge red flag for me now. I went out with a girl a while back and she ordered a $65 swordfish plate and didn't offer to pay. I paid for it like a gentlemen, and decided to never see her again after that.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 10:02:11 PM by stlbrah »

The_path_less_taken

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #59 on: March 30, 2015, 10:04:15 PM »
It's completely possible to be single, meet women etc without hooking up. If you aren't into casual hookups, don't do them! I cannot emphasize this enough; you shouldn't hook up with people if you don't really want to. Different people are into different types of relationships; don't feel that just because some people enjoy casual sex, that you have to as well.

I recommend continuing to participate in activities in college to meet people and make friends (men and women). It's possible that you will meet a woman this way that you want to date, but don't go in with the goal of hooking up or forming a long-term relationship: have the goal of meeting people and getting to know them, and if you do develop a romantic relationship that's a bonus.

In addition, I wouldn't recommend jumping into a serious relationship right away. Don't start dating someone if you don't see any potential for a long-term relationship, but also start low-key, i.e., dating (don't start talking about moving in together at the third date).

Take the approach that you are getting to know someone to see if you two are compatible and if you both want to be in a long-term relationship. The best way to avoid settling down "too soon" is not to see each relationship as "the one" right away (it sounds like you understand this since you've been in relationships before). Accept that the relationship might progress to a long-term one, or it might fizzle out; this will take some of the pressure off and help you avoid marrying someone you won't be happy with.





What she says above.

And...you so have to follow your heart! If casual isn't cutting it for you: DON'T.

But you might find that thru college, some sort of semi-serious serial kind of thing is nice...you have a relationship with x and you travel and go places and at some point move in together and then at some point somebody moves away to grad school...all good.

But if you're not naturally the hound dog type, please don't mount everything in sight just to be one of the guys.

At some point, just friendly friction really isn't 'sufficient'. You'll meet the right person, eventually.

ash7962

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #60 on: March 31, 2015, 07:34:57 AM »
Ah the college years.  I haven't seen this perspective in this thread yet, and I'm not sure if it'll be helpful but here it is anyway.

I was one of the girls in college not looking for a serious relationship, but I also wasn't looking for hookups every week or ever really at all.  If the guy or the mood struck me I might hookup, but it wasn't something I felt I should seek out.  I was just looking to have fun and experience life.  I did go out on dates even though I wasn't seriously looking, and turned down a bunch of offers for the serious relationship type things.  In college I just wanted to have fun living on my own for the first time, pass my classes, and meet new and interesting people.  Possibly because I was generally single throughout college I felt a ton of pressure to date.  I think some of those guys I knew thought that college held their only chance to find their true love (not saying this was anyone here).  With some of them I felt like they thought I was their last chance, and other times I thought I was just being sized up to see if I was marriage material.  I guess sizing someone up for marriage is what you do in a relationship, but sometimes I felt like part of a "potential mate catalog" or something.  Part of the reason I think was because I was a female in CS which is a very male dominated field, and a rare girl who was interested in CS was something the more geeky guys pursued.  Oftentimes guys would become friends with me in the hopes of a relationship happening, and when I made it clear that it wouldn't happen I was instantly dropped as a friend.  So that sucked and made me pretty wary of the relationship seeking man. 

After college I started to want more of a close relationship with a guy so I became more open to it.  I met my current SO at work and after hanging out and getting to know each other a bit he asked me to be in a real relationship.  I half way freaked out and said no right off the bat and he was totally fine with that and gave me some space.  Over the next few months we slowly started hanging out again after getting over the initial awkwardness of me rejecting the relationship proposal.  Not once did I feel pressured by him.  He never even brought up relationships again, we just hung out and enjoyed time together on shared interests. Eventually I realized this guy is awesome, so I asked him on a date.  We've been dating almost 3 years now.

Ok now after that long, possibly boring, story of my romantic life over the past 7 years, what's the point?  Point is, not every girl is looking for a relationship in college (and that's ok), there's hope for finding a relationship post college so don't feel like you have to find one right this second, and become friends with people for the sake of being friends, not as a foothold for starting a relationship.  If a relationship happens that's great, if not then you still have a hopefully kick ass friend.

MillenialMustache

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #61 on: March 31, 2015, 10:17:00 AM »
Colleges aren't really useful anymore for meeting someone to have a serious relationship with.  The age of adolescence is currently considered to extend until 26 these days, according to some studies, so most college students think they should spend their younger years "finding themselves" (whatever that means).  You are more likely to meet someone who is relationship material at church/temple or as part of a community organization.

Really disagree with this. I am 28, so my friends and I have been out of college for 4-5 years. The ones who found someone in college are happily married, while the ones who did not are still looking, with much more difficult prospects. College is the best way to find someone, it only gets harder from there. I did not meet anyone in college, but I graduated at 20. When I went back for my master's degree, I focused on meeting a lot of seniors, since we were the same age. I joined several clubs that I was interested in and married the president of one.

pagoconcheques

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Cwadda

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #63 on: March 31, 2015, 11:16:00 AM »
Ah the college years.  I haven't seen this perspective in this thread yet, and I'm not sure if it'll be helpful but here it is anyway.

I was one of the girls in college not looking for a serious relationship, but I also wasn't looking for hookups every week or ever really at all.  If the guy or the mood struck me I might hookup, but it wasn't something I felt I should seek out.  I was just looking to have fun and experience life.  I did go out on dates even though I wasn't seriously looking, and turned down a bunch of offers for the serious relationship type things.  In college I just wanted to have fun living on my own for the first time, pass my classes, and meet new and interesting people.  Possibly because I was generally single throughout college I felt a ton of pressure to date.  I think some of those guys I knew thought that college held their only chance to find their true love (not saying this was anyone here).  With some of them I felt like they thought I was their last chance, and other times I thought I was just being sized up to see if I was marriage material.  I guess sizing someone up for marriage is what you do in a relationship, but sometimes I felt like part of a "potential mate catalog" or something.  Part of the reason I think was because I was a female in CS which is a very male dominated field, and a rare girl who was interested in CS was something the more geeky guys pursued.  Oftentimes guys would become friends with me in the hopes of a relationship happening, and when I made it clear that it wouldn't happen I was instantly dropped as a friend.  So that sucked and made me pretty wary of the relationship seeking man. 

After college I started to want more of a close relationship with a guy so I became more open to it.  I met my current SO at work and after hanging out and getting to know each other a bit he asked me to be in a real relationship.  I half way freaked out and said no right off the bat and he was totally fine with that and gave me some space.  Over the next few months we slowly started hanging out again after getting over the initial awkwardness of me rejecting the relationship proposal.  Not once did I feel pressured by him.  He never even brought up relationships again, we just hung out and enjoyed time together on shared interests. Eventually I realized this guy is awesome, so I asked him on a date.  We've been dating almost 3 years now.

Ok now after that long, possibly boring, story of my romantic life over the past 7 years, what's the point?  Point is, not every girl is looking for a relationship in college (and that's ok), there's hope for finding a relationship post college so don't feel like you have to find one right this second, and become friends with people for the sake of being friends, not as a foothold for starting a relationship.  If a relationship happens that's great, if not then you still have a hopefully kick ass friend.

Interesting angle. Yeah not everyone in college is either looking for a hookup or looking for a relationship. Some enjoy being single. I used to feel pressure (there was definitely pressure to get into a relationship in my most recent one), but I find solace knowing I know what I'm looking for and being okay with not settling for less.

I think a lot of people in my age group struggle with the whole friendzone thing. Luckily I can pretty much tell immediately if someone will be a friend, more than that, or needs more "investigation" - and act accordingly.

Gyosho

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #64 on: April 01, 2015, 09:23:34 AM »
There is a lot of societal pressure on men to not take dating "too seriously." Those people could be saying those things for a variety reasons, whether it be societal pressure to be single and mingle, married someone they are unhappy with, thinking the grass is greener etc.
But here's the thing. Once you leave college you will never again be surrounded by so many single and like minded women. My advice is to get serious about finding a wife.
Do the following:
1. Make a list of non negotiable things you want in a relationship, and things you are flexible about.
2. Be OK with women asking you out.
3. Ask women out on dates as well.
4. Always pay. If you can't afford dinner go out for coffee and pay for their tea or something
5. Try not to be shallow about looks.
6. Pursue women who share the same goals and are interested in you (but don't be a stalker!)
7. If you have been on a bunch of dates and you feel like you could forsake all others forever, ask her to be exclusive
8. If she says yes to being exclusive this is the point where you can have sex. Do NOT have sex before exclusivity!
9. Ask her to marry you.

I'm not a prude or conservative, I'm telling you how to get the results you want. For further reading check out "Love Factually"

I want to thank you for this advice! My 20-year relationship ended abruptly last year; am now ready to start dating again but of course I feel a little rusty. I bought the Kindle version of "Love Factually" and read it twice yesterday after your recommendation!

It's the book I wish I'd had in my 20s; it certainly would have saved a lot of wasted time and heartache. I now feel better equipped to re-enter the dating world  knowing what I'm looking for, how and where to find it, and probably the most important point in the book - I now know not to waste time on relationships that don't match what I want.

Coonz

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #65 on: April 01, 2015, 09:46:01 PM »
I have dated a lot of people and also have met a lot of sluts at parties and bars. It will come off as negative as a lot of my posts do, but I am 27 and here is my advice. I have had some great relationships, and just got into a new one that I am happy with so far... so it is not as negative as it sounds, unless you don't have any common sense.

-There is no shame in avoiding hookups, this is preferred. It is not uncommon for some college girls to have unprotected sex with over 20 partners per year. I know this from personal experience. So many girls out there to pick from that there is no point to be around that trash. However, I would still talk to the sluts because it is good practice. Unintelligent people don't understand logic or problem solving, so they focus on more basic urges like food, water, sex.
-You're not special to these girls (no offence). If it was easy for you to get it in, it was for lots of others previously.
-A good job upon graduation is better than herpies. Find someone with a brain, and don't waste time drinking with douchebag party bros either because they will just hold you back. Look for someone that you could stay with after college.

Woaaaaaaah, I think it is a bit harsh to call people "trash"- they are human beings! Sure, people have different priorities and lifestyles and habits, but I would be very careful about devaluing people in such an extreme manner. I do not believe that mindset will set you up for success.

As for OP, do what feels right for you. Don't feel pressured to hookup because your friends do. Don't feel pressured to put on a ring on it because your friends do. Learn more about yourself, learn more about other people, and spend time with people you genuinely enjoy. I don't think there is a bad outcome to that strategy. Do you find it easier to make decisions when you have more information? That may translate in to meeting/dating more people in order to make an informed decision about the type of person you want to tie your life to. Don't let the "FOMO" get to you. People find great love at 20 or 50 or the 3rd time around or the 1st time around.

shotgunwilly

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #66 on: April 02, 2015, 07:47:07 AM »
I have dated a lot of people and also have met a lot of sluts at parties and bars. It will come off as negative as a lot of my posts do, but I am 27 and here is my advice. I have had some great relationships, and just got into a new one that I am happy with so far... so it is not as negative as it sounds, unless you don't have any common sense.

-There is no shame in avoiding hookups, this is preferred. It is not uncommon for some college girls to have unprotected sex with over 20 partners per year. I know this from personal experience. So many girls out there to pick from that there is no point to be around that trash. However, I would still talk to the sluts because it is good practice. Unintelligent people don't understand logic or problem solving, so they focus on more basic urges like food, water, sex.
-You're not special to these girls (no offence). If it was easy for you to get it in, it was for lots of others previously.
-A good job upon graduation is better than herpies. Find someone with a brain, and don't waste time drinking with douchebag party bros either because they will just hold you back. Look for someone that you could stay with after college.

Woaaaaaaah, I think it is a bit harsh to call people "trash"- they are human beings! Sure, people have different priorities and lifestyles and habits, but I would be very careful about devaluing people in such an extreme manner. I do not believe that mindset will set you up for success.


Nope. Trash.

Cwadda

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #67 on: May 13, 2015, 02:53:10 PM »
Update! (Included in the OP)
This past semester I went on 4 dates with another one to happen soon. By this I mean people who I met and had "passed the initial assessment". On these dates we went out for food or coffee and talked for 1-2 hours. I haven't felt any of them could go further, but that's okay! Always good to learn more about people and helps to narrow down exactly what I'm looking for.

mozar

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #68 on: May 13, 2015, 04:19:32 PM »
Yay!
Embracing the absurd condition of human existence while also defiantly continuing to explore and search for meaning