Author Topic: Dating in college and your 20s  (Read 19673 times)

Cwadda

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Dating in college and your 20s
« on: February 21, 2015, 12:25:17 PM »
Hi MMMers,

I was inspired to make this topic from the one "What would you have done differently in your 20s". Part of the reason I love MMM forums is because of such a variation in the community. I really value the advice and words of the people who are older and have been through all this already.

A little background: I'm a 20 year old guy at a state university. I've been in two relationships throughout college; the latter ended about a month ago. Both relationships didn't last very long but I experienced a lot of personal growth and understanding because of them.

First, I'm really not making this topic to toot my own horn. I just want some people to share their experiences and offer advice.

I'm social, have plenty of exposure to women, decently attractive, attend parties, am apart of clubs, events, everything. The bottom line is though I'm not interested in hooking up. Some might call me a "relationship guy". I've been at parties and rejected women because I'm just not into hooking up for the heck of it. I don't think this would make me happy whatsoever. I have an amazing life right now filled with awesome people, experiences, and opportunities - I could not be luckier. I'm perfectly content with waiting for a great long-term relationship.

The question is: am I approaching the college dating scene with the wrong attitude? A lot of people have said in the other topic that they would've talked to more women, hadn't gotten married so early, and had spent more time being single before settling down.

Hope I've gotten my question across alright. Thanks!

Update!
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.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 02:52:35 PM by Cwadda »

Logic_Lady

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2015, 01:19:31 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.

mozar

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2015, 02:58:06 PM »
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"

willow

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2015, 03:30:22 PM »
Hi MMMers,

I was inspired to make this topic from the one "What would you have done differently in your 20s". Part of the reason I love MMM forums is because of such a variation in the community. I really value the advice and words of the people who are older and have been through all this already.

A little background: I'm a 20 year old guy at a state university. I've been in two relationships throughout college; the latter ended about a month ago. Both relationships didn't last very long but I experienced a lot of personal growth and understanding because of them.

First, I'm really not making this topic to toot my own horn. I just want some people to share their experiences and offer advice.

I'm social, have plenty of exposure to women, decently attractive, attend parties, am apart of clubs, events, everything. The bottom line is though I'm not interested in hooking up. Some might call me a "relationship guy". I've been at parties and rejected women because I'm just not into hooking up for the heck of it. I don't think this would make me happy whatsoever. I have an amazing life right now filled with awesome people, experiences, and opportunities - I could not be luckier. I'm perfectly content with waiting for a great long-term relationship.

The question is: am I approaching the college dating scene with the wrong attitude? A lot of people have said in the other topic that they would've talked to more women, hadn't gotten married so early, and had spent more time being single before settling down.

Hope I've gotten my question across. Thanks!

How about we put it this way. If you aren't into that stuff now you won't regret not doing it later.

The people who said they wished they had talked to more women, did blah blah blah, probably wanted to do those things when they were young and were too shy, scared, etc. But you don't seem to want any of that. Like the poster above said, don't do anything you don't want to do.

For the record, I've known plenty of relationship oriented people(myself included) and they all turn out just fine. You're just not part of the majority, and that always makes a person question themselves, which is healthy. You sound like you know what you want, so I wouldn't worry about it.

nanu

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2015, 05:41:11 PM »
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 agree with some of your points, but specifically 4 bothers me.
I know that it's the norm for men to pay on dates, and as a man, I'm ok with that, to an extent.
For the first 2-3 dates with a girl, sure, I will offer to pay and I will pay if she doesn't stop me. I will happily split the check if she wants to.
After the first 2-3 dates, I would be annoyed at a girl that would think it's always my job to pay, as if it's still the 1950's and her job is to cook and clean all day.
That's not the kind of girl I want, and if that's what she's looking for, she's not for me (you may disagree, but OP needs to decide this for himself).

As for 8, I don't agree as well. Have sex with a girl whenever you feel comfortable with doing it (and she as well, of course). If that's after you agree on being "exclusive" then ok, if not, that's also ok. There's a difference between one night stands

MissPeach

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2015, 05:43:38 PM »
It sounds like you should just keep doing as you have and keep having a full life.

For specific dating advice to form a strong relationship, there are some things I wish I had known in my 20s. I read a book recently at the library called Boundaries In Relationships. It's very Christian-centric, and even though the religious part isn't for me, the advice in what to look for in a romantic relationship was he type of stuff I wish I had known before a marriage and a divorce.

willow

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2015, 06:21:59 PM »
It sounds like you should just keep doing as you have and keep having a full life.

For specific dating advice to form a strong relationship, there are some things I wish I had known in my 20s. I read a book recently at the library called Boundaries In Relationships. It's very Christian-centric, and even though the religious part isn't for me, the advice in what to look for in a romantic relationship was he type of stuff I wish I had known before a marriage and a divorce.

I read that book as well, I thought it was great. I needed it most for dealing with family members. Especially the financially irresponsible members.

mm1970

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2015, 06:35:29 PM »
Hi MMMers,

I was inspired to make this topic from the one "What would you have done differently in your 20s". Part of the reason I love MMM forums is because of such a variation in the community. I really value the advice and words of the people who are older and have been through all this already.

A little background: I'm a 20 year old guy at a state university. I've been in two relationships throughout college; the latter ended about a month ago. Both relationships didn't last very long but I experienced a lot of personal growth and understanding because of them.

First, I'm really not making this topic to toot my own horn. I just want some people to share their experiences and offer advice.

I'm social, have plenty of exposure to women, decently attractive, attend parties, am apart of clubs, events, everything. The bottom line is though I'm not interested in hooking up. Some might call me a "relationship guy". I've been at parties and rejected women because I'm just not into hooking up for the heck of it. I don't think this would make me happy whatsoever. I have an amazing life right now filled with awesome people, experiences, and opportunities - I could not be luckier. I'm perfectly content with waiting for a great long-term relationship.

The question is: am I approaching the college dating scene with the wrong attitude? A lot of people have said in the other topic that they would've talked to more women, hadn't gotten married so early, and had spent more time being single before settling down.

Hope I've gotten my question across. Thanks!
Well, my husband was a "relationship guy", didn't date much in college or after because of it, and he got ME!

We met at 24 (him) and 22 (me), dated for 2.5 years before getting engaged, and 3.5 before getting married, and will be celebrating 19  years this summer.

I don't regret NOT "playing the field" more (I played more field than he did though, still not much).  I knew what I wanted.  I got the awesomest guy, and according my doctor, i'm one of the few 40-something women out there without HPV.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2015, 10:46:34 AM by mm1970 »

firewalker

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2015, 06:58:13 PM »
You are approaching it with the right attitude. Hooking up does nothing to tell you about life in a long term relationship. If it did, the world would be free of broken families.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2015, 07:02:08 PM by firewalker »

YoungInvestor

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2015, 07:04:59 PM »
I really don't think this is a "one-size-fits-all" kind of issue.

Some people want hookups until their 30s, which is fine, and some people want to get settled in their early 20s, which is also fine.

Based on my discussions, both groups (And I include myself) feel a bit smug about the other group.

caliq

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2015, 07:37:30 PM »
You are approaching it with the right attitude. Hooking up does nothing to tell you about life in a long term relationship. If it did, the world would be free of broken families.

+1

I'm female, but I've always been a relationship-oriented person.  Like, since puberty hit basically.  I broke up with my second long term (3+ years each), serious boyfriend at 20 and moved back into the dorms at school.  I was determined to have a "normal college experience" and started forcing myself to do things like partying almost every night, pledging a sorority, hanging out with frat guys and lots of other not-respectable guys...I tried to force myself into that scene and everything else it entails (yes, the hookups); it took only a semester and a half or so (but a terribly shameful number of hookups) before I realized I hated it and was actually miserable and lonely.  I had lots of "friends" who weren't really friends at all.  Also, my now-husband (close friend at the time) pulled me aside at some point and basically staged an intervention.  It took me a month or two after that before I came to the realization "on my own" (aka waited long enough so he couldn't take credit xD) and got my shit together.  This is not to say that people who enjoy that scene don't have their shit together or whatever, just that I was forcing myself to do it and it was unhealthy for me and detrimental to my mental state and academic/career goals.

TL;DR - don't try to force yourself into something that doesn't sit right with you just because you feel like it's what you "should" be doing at your age.  That's kind of a basic tenet of MMM -- after all, he "should" be working, since he's in his 30s, right? ;)

JetsettingWelfareMom

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2015, 07:47:30 PM »
I went to college and graduate school and I never did the "college dating scene." Even when I lived on campus I had a long time long distance high school sweetheart boyfriend, even when we broke up I stayed single for a time then found another long term boyfriend that had nothing to do with my college or grad school. The frat parties/bars/hookup culture always turned me off, which meant I was rarely, if ever, at those places. So my guess is the type of woman you are looking for (one who wants a long term committed relationship) is also rarely, if ever, at the college hookup culture places. If she's to be found on campus she's in one of you classes with you. She probably shares similar ideals to you, so think of clubs that interest you. She might even be older and not at college at all, because 20 is young for a girl to really settle down!
I'm an old 35 year old lady now...just giving my two cents...

chasesfish

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2015, 07:56:25 PM »
Do what makes you happy.

You only have one life to live and its your choice.  Only you can decide what you do and don't want to do.

I met my wife at 18, we stayed together all through college.  We're probably the exception there.

Kaydedid

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2015, 08:07:57 PM »
From the perspective of someone who was in the college scene not too long ago, the biggest piece of advice I can offer is to not be fixated on outward appearance.  A lot of what society preaches as 'pretty' is really high maintenance and often expensive-makeup, hairstyling, trendy clothes etc.  I had many engineering friends be so excited about going on a date with a 'hottie', then being disappointed in how little they had to talk about.  There are certainly exceptions to the rule, but as a mustachian who values simplicity, keep your eye out for some of the overlooked hidden treasures. 

1967mama

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2015, 08:26:28 PM »
Do what makes you happy.

You only have one life to live and its your choice.  Only you can decide what you do and don't want to do.

I met my wife at 18, we stayed together all through college.  We're probably the exception there.

Similar story .. I met my husband at university when I was 17 and he was 19; I was in 1st year, he was in 2nd year. Married 5 years later, and have now been married 25 years.

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.


and +1 to this!

mozar

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2015, 09:12:42 PM »
On men paying, it's not a conservative thing at all. It's a a sign of generosity, which is what women who value themselves highly are looking for. And men make more money anyway. He should always at least offer to pay.

On when to have sex, it's fine to have sex whenever but for men it's better to wait if they are looking for a long term relationship. There is a lot of research to back this up. I'm not an expert on the science but it has to do with dopamine and ejaculation, with "love" feelings in men only coming about after they feel ready to be exclusive. What's sexist is that women have had to figure this all out and be the person holding off sex so men fall in love with them. As well as the patriarchy creating shame around women's sexuality so that women withhold sex, so that men can fall in love.
The feminist thing to do is for the OP to regulate himself.

thedayisbrave

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2015, 09:32:28 PM »
Ok, so you are a breath of fresh air.  It's good -- and a sign of maturity, IMO -- when someone refuses to do the whole superficial hook up thing just for the sake of appearances and actually sticks to their guns and keeps it in their pants until they actually do find someone who they hit it off with spiritually + emotinally rather than just for one night.  Having also recently been in the college scene, I can tell you we (I'm definitely a relationship person too) are outliers, but after college it gets a little bit easier because everyone goes their own way and get busy with work and the "pressure" lets up a tad.  The hook up culture won't ever go away, but it does get a little better once post grad/young professional life kicks in.. or at least it did for me.  After college I found I was hanging with people because I *wanted* to and I found that the people I wanted to hang with usually were similar to me in those respects.

Don't sweat it, really.  Quality > quantity :)

Cwadda

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2015, 01:13:41 AM »
Quote
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).
This is what happened in my two relationships. The first I couldn't see it going long term and ended it. The second I had my sights set on an exclusive relationship too much. I ended up hurt but I learned a lot. I learned a lot from both and I think and hope I've had a positive influence on both my ex's.

Quote
How about we put it this way. If you aren't into that stuff now you won't regret not doing it later.
Never thought of this but I love it!

Quote
You're just not part of the majority, and that always makes a person question themselves, which is healthy. You sound like you know what you want, so I wouldn't worry about it.
Also I'm in a fraternity and Greek life probably makes the majority even more significant. I know what I want but am I too picky? I see so many friends in these great 1+ year relationships and just can't make sense of it.

Quote
The frat parties/bars/hookup culture always turned me off, which meant I was rarely, if ever, at those places. So my guess is the type of woman you are looking for (one who wants a long term committed relationship) is also rarely, if ever, at the college hookup culture places.
Exactly! I use the term from How I Met Your Mother: "woo-girls". Haha.

Quote
She might even be older and not at college at all, because 20 is young for a girl to really settle down!
True. I am attracted to the more mature type or older women. Kind of a weird age to be because the older girls are either seniors and leaving in one semester or they're not at college at all.

Quote
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.
I'm 100% serious about it; it just seems like I'm at a bit of a roadblock of second-guessing.

Ynari

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2015, 02:47:21 AM »
One problem I had in college [I say that like it was so long ago] was SPACE. It's kinda hard to get enough space when you, your SO, and all your friends live right next to each other and have tremendous hours of constant interaction. I had a handful of relationships - two longer than a year, one of which is super great and still going strong. But the one that ended? It was wayyyyy too codependent. I'm still friends with my ex BF, but we operated very differently emotionally.

Meanwhile, my SO is very independent and encourages me to be independent, and yet we still enjoy all the time spent together. One of the things I didn't even realize I needed was that boundary to be defined and enforced. SO can socialize with his friends (who I enjoy, just not in such large doses) and I get alone time - he doesn't judge me and I don't judge him for having different needs. (We also try to communicate straightforwardly) I can socialize with my friends and I get no questions about it besides "How was lunch?"

Also, this may seem like odd advice, but I learned tons about healthy relationships from my polyamorous/kink/lgbtq friends and online forums regarding those (particularly polyamory - most of the concepts apply just as much in an exclusive relationship). Who knows, you might also discover something about yourself in the process. ;)

chasesfish

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2015, 06:26:34 AM »
The other other thing I would add is the part you said about rejecting women, you should be careful to judge someone for this in college.  I think both genders have a lot of pressure on them to "do what the other gender expects", especially in college.  That includes women thinking that 20 year old guys are "only interested in hooking up". 

I was never in a fraternity, but here what surprises me:  I "thought" one thing about fraternities and sororities while I was in college (everything you mention, not serious about school, hookup culture, sketchy parties), then I got to my professional working life and meet plenty of great people who participated in that during college.  They're very good employees, managers, and parents. 

I had to throw that in for you to consider:  Be careful who you reject, there may be a lot more beneath the surface that'll surprise you. 

Cwadda

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2015, 10:57:37 AM »
The other other thing I would add is the part you said about rejecting women, you should be careful to judge someone for this in college.  I think both genders have a lot of pressure on them to "do what the other gender expects", especially in college.  That includes women thinking that 20 year old guys are "only interested in hooking up". 

I was never in a fraternity, but here what surprises me:  I "thought" one thing about fraternities and sororities while I was in college (everything you mention, not serious about school, hookup culture, sketchy parties), then I got to my professional working life and meet plenty of great people who participated in that during college.  They're very good employees, managers, and parents. 

I had to throw that in for you to consider:  Be careful who you reject, there may be a lot more beneath the surface that'll surprise you.

What I mean by rejecting is basically going to parties filled with drunk people looking to hook up. I wouldn't just discount a sober woman having just met her.

I really try not to label groups of people in Greek life. I really try...each person is different and has something to offer. There are lots of great people everywhere, including Greek organizations.

JetsettingWelfareMom

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2015, 12:05:56 PM »
The other other thing I would add is the part you said about rejecting women, you should be careful to judge someone for this in college.  I think both genders have a lot of pressure on them to "do what the other gender expects", especially in college.  That includes women thinking that 20 year old guys are "only interested in hooking up". 

I was never in a fraternity, but here what surprises me:  I "thought" one thing about fraternities and sororities while I was in college (everything you mention, not serious about school, hookup culture, sketchy parties), then I got to my professional working life and meet plenty of great people who participated in that during college.  They're very good employees, managers, and parents. 

I had to throw that in for you to consider:  Be careful who you reject, there may be a lot more beneath the surface that'll surprise you.

What I mean by rejecting is basically going to parties filled with drunk people looking to hook up. I wouldn't just discount a sober woman having just met her.

I really try not to label groups of people in Greek life. I really try...each person is different and has something to offer. There are lots of great people everywhere, including Greek organizations.

A lot of people get the partying out of their system and then grow up and settle down...sure. That doesn't help if you're looking for a relationship right now in the party environment though. Every person is different--she'll have a personal story I'm sure. Good luck!

MoneyCat

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2015, 12:09:23 PM »
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.

JetsettingWelfareMom

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2015, 12:20:13 PM »
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.

Ditto. I'd be careful of any woman who is doing something because it's the socially accepted age to do it, whether it's partying and hooking up in early college or settling down/getting married six years down the road...swimming against the current can save some heartache down the road...

Psychstache

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2015, 02:01:17 PM »
Are there any grad programs at your school? Maybe you could check out their events for more mature, future minded women.

daymare

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2015, 08:32:04 PM »
Quote
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.

I dunno - I met my husband in college when we were 19 - 6 years later and we've been married for 6 months.  And I definitely did not come to college to find a husband (and in fact was pretty surprised to be leaving college with a serious relationship).  I'm an independent person and definitely didn't give serious thought to marriage until after graduating.  I think it was appropriate that we started our relationship as focused on enjoying each other, and gradually progressed to being more serious and holding a long-term view of our relationship.  Someone I would want to date needs to show good judgement by prioritizing their education, and not rushing to make a lifelong commitment.  But I am also an atheist who would most certainly not be compatible with those frequenting church/temple.

I'm not sure that being purposeful about looking for a partner will get you results - I can't count the number of people who say that they met their partner when they weren't looking for anyone, me among them.  And conversely, people who spent lots of time looking for a partner, then coupled up after they gave up on meeting someone.

Sounds like you are living a great life. And yeah, it's awesome to meet your future husband/wife in college and the concentration of people similar to you is greater than any later point in your life (for most people).  But I don't think you have anything to sweat.  Keep doing all the fun things, learning, meeting interesting people.  If you know yourself, don't do anything you don't want to.  But also keep an open mind - sometimes the people we are compatible with and hugely attracted to, don't look or act the way we pictured them.

Cwadda

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2015, 09:04:16 PM »
Thanks MMMers, I feel much more assured now :)

Murse

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2015, 07:43:16 AM »
Hi MMMers,

I was inspired to make this topic from the one "What would you have done differently in your 20s". Part of the reason I love MMM forums is because of such a variation in the community. I really value the advice and words of the people who are older and have been through all this already.

A little background: I'm a 20 year old guy at a state university. I've been in two relationships throughout college; the latter ended about a month ago. Both relationships didn't last very long but I experienced a lot of personal growth and understanding because of them.

First, I'm really not making this topic to toot my own horn. I just want some people to share their experiences and offer advice.

I'm social, have plenty of exposure to women, decently attractive, attend parties, am apart of clubs, events, everything. The bottom line is though I'm not interested in hooking up. Some might call me a "relationship guy". I've been at parties and rejected women because I'm just not into hooking up for the heck of it. I don't think this would make me happy whatsoever. I have an amazing life right now filled with awesome people, experiences, and opportunities - I could not be luckier. I'm perfectly content with waiting for a great long-term relationship.

The question is: am I approaching the college dating scene with the wrong attitude? A lot of people have said in the other topic that they would've talked to more women, hadn't gotten married so early, and had spent more time being single before settling down.

Hope I've gotten my question across. Thanks!
I have been following this since the op just because I have similarities, now I'm thinking I should give my 2 cents. So I personally have always been a "relationship" guy. I was the guy that couldn't stay single, probably some identity issues but also because I have always thought that the more time I take to find "her" the less time we get to spend together. Hopeless romantic if you will. Anyhow in high school I looked, got heart broken a couple of times, eventually moved from my hometown to go to college. I found an old friend from my hometown who was going to the same school, we started out as friends for over a year, then dated for over a year until she cheated. I was heartbroken for months. I had 2 more relationships that aren't worth mentioning then I met this girl through a friend. Her and I started talking and I found out that she was a hopeless romantic too. She was dating, and holding onto a loser (ie 8 years older, lives with mom and brother, no job so takes money from family to pay for dates.) a couple points I want to make with her, we both started out being friends, venting about the woes of relationships. She is a church go-er, I am not. She had what we call her "party phase" after she had been cheated on and rebelliously slept around for around a year. And the last point is I had not yet found this community/mindset. I grew up with my dad loving dave Ramsey so I was of the mindset of save 15% and enjoy the rest. I think it would be fairly easy to tell a potential spouse you want to save 15%. Once I found this community and read for a few months I spoke with her and told her I have a new non-negotiable. I would not be happy with anything less then a 50% savings rate. I told her since we are both college goers, we should be able to live the life our non-college goer friends live, without debt, and while still saving at least 50%. Anyways, we have now been together 18 months, she talks about marriage fairly often and likes to casual send me pictures of rings she likes. I personally am not ready to get on that knee yet so I will continue to get to know her. I'll sum up my points below because I wrote a novel here.

1) the freedom of college is too much for many and they go crazy. Girls now grow up with idols like Kim kardashian who make porn tapes, it is not surprising to me that many girls sleep around thinking it is what guys want, it makes them an "independent women" and that if a relationship comes from it great, if not, why can't they have fun just like the guys? Don't write them off because they are currently sleeping around, they could be amazing intelligent individuals looking for a relationship in the wrong places.

2) my advice on the money front is first take some time (3-6 months) to see how they handle money on their own without any input from you. If you find yourself a saver, lucky you, I was not so lucky. Regardless of saver or not, my advice is once you have a little more skin in the game (3-6 months) then to bring up money, ask her about her ideas on money, (hint most people don't have ideas on money) then share your own ideas. If your opening line on date 1 is I want to retire by 32 by using the power of frugality, you won't get very far. Give it time.

3) don't get too wrapped up with the idea of finding someone to marry. I had this mindset until age 21 and all it ever caused my was heartbreak. Try to look of it more as stepping stones. If a relationship doesn't work out, no worries, you are one step closer to "her." Try to make it work, but try not to set yourself up for heartbreak.
4) tip I learned the hard way- if they cheat on someone with you, or leave someone for you, they are likely to do the same to you. It is not because they love you and you are meant to be, it is likely because the last relationship lost excitement and they want the excitement back.

That is all the wisdom I have got buddy. I am a 22 year old male set to graduate in June (if I can pass!) if you have any questions or want more detail on my experiences feel free to ask. I have gone through what you are talking about and currently in the middle of another trial.
Tangent, it is funny how up until 21 I was in such a hurry to find someone and get married. Now that I have someone who constantly hints about marriage I really don't feel ready for it. Good luck

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2015, 07:59:42 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.

Wrong. My wife had the dorm room across the hall from me freshman year. Of course, I thought I was required to party and try to hook up with girls (which I managed a 0% success rate at) before she finally set me straight junior year. So, we've been together since 2009.

There are a lot of girls who aren't out partying. Try seeing what else is happening on Friday night.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2015, 08:13:24 AM »
Ditto. I'd be careful of any woman who is doing something because it's the socially accepted age to do it, whether it's partying and hooking up in early college or settling down/getting married six years down the road...swimming against the current can save some heartache down the road...

I really, really agree with this. One of my friends from high school went to a different college from me, and her group of friends (much more so than my college friends) all ended up in these serious relationships and then getting married to their college sweethearts within a year or two of graduation. So far (almost 6 years after graduation) there are already 2 divorces/separations that I know of! Obviously just an anecdote, and many people do meet their future spouse in college and have long, happy marriages, but I would always caution people against making a life decision like that just because everyone around you is doing it. I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't feel like you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO meet your wife in college.

People are just different and want different things at different times. I was a partier in college (but also a little bit of a prude I guess, because my overall "number" is pretty low, LOL) but I went directly to grad school afterwards and gradually started the settling down process. I had horrible taste in guys in that they all were extremely non-committal and just not ready for a serious relationship, whereas by this time I really was (previously I had only been in three "relationships" ever, and all less than 5 months). Then I met my BF when I was 22 and he was 30. At first I was a little put off by the age difference, but I think that was exactly what I needed... from the beginning it was just EASIER and more fun than any previous fling and I didn't feel like he was stringing me along, he was so much more thoughtful and considerate than previous guys. We have been together for ~4.5 years and supposedly he is ring shopping.

TL;DR... I wouldn't stress about it too much :)

Cwadda

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2015, 08:21:33 AM »
Quote
Don't write them off because they are currently sleeping around, they could be amazing intelligent individuals looking for a relationship in the wrong places.

Honestly this puts up red flags for me. It suggests to me that these women do not have the same outlook on life. It shows a lot of insecurity.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2015, 08:25:03 AM »
Quote
Don't write them off because they are currently sleeping around, they could be amazing intelligent individuals looking for a relationship in the wrong places.

Honestly this puts up red flags for me. It suggests to me that these women do not have the same outlook on life. It shows a lot of insecurity.

I agree. A hypothetical amazing intelligent woman looking for a relationship in the wrong places needs to come to her own realization that she's looking in the wrong places  - one of the above posters seems to have had this experience, and I realized it from the male end too. But you can't go proselytizing committed relationships to the unconvinced, that makes no sense at all.

Now, I wouldn't necessarily hold such a past against anybody. But past and present are different.

Murse

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2015, 08:32:17 AM »
Quote
Don't write them off because they are currently sleeping around, they could be amazing intelligent individuals looking for a relationship in the wrong places.

Honestly this puts up red flags for me. It suggests to me that these women do not have the same outlook on life. It shows a lot of insecurity.

I will specify, I don't mean a different dude every week or month, I mean if a girl starts sleeping with a dude for 2 months then moves on. My personal perception is that a lot of girls believe that the easiest way to start a relationship/find a guy is to sleep with someone. They think "well guys won't ask me out on dates, maybe if I sleep with them, then I can try to turn it into a relationship." I could be completely wrong. I view it as who could blame them, there are many "romantic comedies" where the girl has a 1 night stand and they end up falling in love. There are also many movies where the guy is a douche bag, or a loser and she ends up changing him for the better.... Awww how cute right!?... Lol, I just think our culture sets women up for failure and tells them to sleep around.

It definitely should put up red flags, I am not saying to run with it, I am saying don't completely take someone off your list because of it. Get to know them. Talk to them. You don't have to commit to a life with someone just because you had a conversation with them.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2015, 08:35:23 AM »
Quote
Don't write them off because they are currently sleeping around, they could be amazing intelligent individuals looking for a relationship in the wrong places.

Honestly this puts up red flags for me. It suggests to me that these women do not have the same outlook on life. It shows a lot of insecurity.

I will specify, I don't mean a different dude every week or month, I mean if a girl starts sleeping with a dude for 2 months then moves on.

Oh, that's not sleeping around in my book, that's something not working out. I get what you mean now.

Murse

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2015, 08:37:40 AM »
Quote
Don't write them off because they are currently sleeping around, they could be amazing intelligent individuals looking for a relationship in the wrong places.

Honestly this puts up red flags for me. It suggests to me that these women do not have the same outlook on life. It shows a lot of insecurity.

I will specify, I don't mean a different dude every week or month, I mean if a girl starts sleeping with a dude for 2 months then moves on.

Oh, that's not sleeping around in my book, that's something not working out. I get what you mean now.
If it was a different dude every week or less, I wouldn't give them the time of day until that changed.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2015, 08:42:14 AM »
Quote
Don't write them off because they are currently sleeping around, they could be amazing intelligent individuals looking for a relationship in the wrong places.

Honestly this puts up red flags for me. It suggests to me that these women do not have the same outlook on life. It shows a lot of insecurity.

I will specify, I don't mean a different dude every week or month, I mean if a girl starts sleeping with a dude for 2 months then moves on.

Oh, that's not sleeping around in my book, that's something not working out. I get what you mean now.
If it was a different dude every week or less, I wouldn't give them the time of day until that changed.

Yep, and that goes too for dudes porking a different woman every week. Just gross, and that person isn't in a good place in their life from where I'm sitting.

JGB

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2015, 10:10:39 AM »
The question is: am I approaching the college dating scene with the wrong attitude? A lot of people have said in the other topic that they would've talked to more women, hadn't gotten married so early, and had spent more time being single before settling down.

Hope I've gotten my question across. Thanks!

I'm similar to how you describe yourself. Attractive enough, with an easy time talking to women, but always more interested in a real connection than in hooking up. Sex without the emotional component pretty much seems pointless to me.

In college, I dated three women. One very briefly, and two seriously. One of those two became my wife. We had dated off and on since Junior year of high school, and the on resumed (with no off component) near the end of my Freshman year of college. We've now been together for 14 years, married for 4 and a half, and there is nothing about any of my time with her that I would change.

Just before college, I was casually dating another girl during the year I took off between early graduation from HS and starting college. My hookup with her IS the only part of any relationship I've had in my life which I regret. If you're not into casual hookups, then I absolutely would not advise you to give them a try just for the sake of having done so.

Cwadda

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2015, 05:55:01 PM »
Quote
Don't write them off because they are currently sleeping around, they could be amazing intelligent individuals looking for a relationship in the wrong places.

Honestly this puts up red flags for me. It suggests to me that these women do not have the same outlook on life. It shows a lot of insecurity.

I will specify, I don't mean a different dude every week or month, I mean if a girl starts sleeping with a dude for 2 months then moves on.

Oh, that's not sleeping around in my book, that's something not working out. I get what you mean now.

Ditto, on the same page.

boognish

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2015, 06:25:48 PM »
Rofl at the "kids these days, college ain't what it used to be" comments. It's the same as it ever was. There's all kind of people in college and things are what you make of them.

MoneyCat

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2015, 06:32:05 PM »
Rofl at the "kids these days, college ain't what it used to be" comments. It's the same as it ever was. There's all kind of people in college and things are what you make of them.

In a world where things like "Tinder" exist, things are very different.  You have no idea.

chasesfish

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2015, 07:45:06 PM »
Rofl at the "kids these days, college ain't what it used to be" comments. It's the same as it ever was. There's all kind of people in college and things are what you make of them.

In a world where things like "Tinder" exist, things are very different.  You have no idea.

Isn't that basically a hook-up app for your phone?  It probably extends the college experience for years.

This question coming from the old married guy really believing the world changed

midweststache

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2015, 07:58:19 PM »
I dated a guy for a month in college. It didn't work out for various reasons, but I remember vividly we were at a party, we'd been talking in a group, and he looked me straight in the eye, smiled, and said, "Midweststache, I need your number because I'm going to call you tomorrow and ask you on a lunch date." It was super awesome because 1) Lunch date was super cheap and quick, so not much "weight" around it 2) If I wanted to let him down, I didn't have to do it right then in front of people (I didn't, obviously) and 3) Man, was it nice to be asked out on a formal date to get to know someone. No kissing, handholding, pressure--just two people eating Jimmy Johns and swapping stories. Years later I still remember that because it's one of the few real dates I ever went on, and it was awesome.

Despite the new Amy Schumer movie coming out, lots of women will appreciate the low-stakes "get to know you" stage. And they'll also appreciate you making it clear what you're doing--dating--rather than keeping it in that awkward "we're talking" stage (although don't stay "dating" too long--either up it to relationship or break it off as soon as you have a sense of where you are).

As for apps, I've had friends have lots of success with Coffee and Bagel (i.e. quick, informal meet ups in public spaces to gauge creepiness/compatibility). It seems marketed a bit toward older crowds though, so I'm not sure how much luck you'd have unless you're in a major metro area.

Ynari

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2015, 08:26:00 PM »
As for apps, I've had friends have lots of success with Coffee and Bagel (i.e. quick, informal meet ups in public spaces to gauge creepiness/compatibility). It seems marketed a bit toward older crowds though, so I'm not sure how much luck you'd have unless you're in a major metro area.

You know, apps and other forms of internet dating can get a bad rap, and frankly I just don't even think about them. But one of my best friends met his GF over OK Cupid, and she is THE BOMB. Seriously, she's like my favorite person. They get along excellently, but they probably wouldn't have met otherwise because she attends a different school an hour away.

Cwadda

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2015, 09:17:34 PM »
Quote
Isn't that basically a hook-up app for your phone?  It probably extends the college experience for years.

This question coming from the old married guy really believing the world changed
That's exactly what it is.

Quote
You know, apps and other forms of internet dating can get a bad rap, and frankly I just don't even think about them. But one of my best friends met his GF over OK Cupid, and she is THE BOMB. Seriously, she's like my favorite person. They get along excellently, but they probably wouldn't have met otherwise because she attends a different school an hour away.
I've met a few cool people on dating sites, but it's quite time consuming.

Grid

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2015, 11:12:27 PM »
I like all the different perspectives here!  I'll just add my own experiences and maybe advice.  I'm 26 and male for those curious.  I didn't have any kind of relationship in high school, and really wasn't looking for one or even understood what one was.

At college, I had a similar mindset to mozar, thinking that "now" was a great time to find someone compatible and special.  After all, I had a few older friends who had found stable relationships the same way.  I broke a heart (10-month relationship, older woman), had my heart broken (1.5 month relationship turned long-distance due to leaving for home after abroad, older woman) and only ever "hooked up" with long-time friends.

After college, I remember opining to my mother that I was a kind of failure for not finding someone in college.  I was different and socially inept or something like that (kind of true, being atheist at a religious school), but I realized eventually and am thankful that my college only held a "like-minded" group of people.  I've found every one of my friendships outside of college to be more fulfilling and grounded in reality than those at college as well.  (There's something tangible about someone spending time with you because they made time to enjoy your company and not simply because you live down the hall.) 

I didn't meet my 3rd partner until a couple of years ago (also an older woman).  It lasted for about a year, and the breakup was difficult for both sides.  I pursued her online, we met in person and hit it off instantly.  I am thankful for that relationship, specifically for the fact that the type of loving, caring relationship I had in my head was and is possible. 

To the OP, if you have an idea of what you want, stick to your guns and go for it.  Everyone's sexuality is different: embrace your own.  Find someone who you can love despite who they are.  If you find them now, that's great, but it doesn't have to happen in college.  Depending on the type of person you are, college can be a great place to find someone, but it's not for everyone.


chemgeek

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #45 on: February 24, 2015, 07:30:51 AM »
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.

finitelement

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2015, 08:26:49 AM »

I was inspired to make this topic from the one "What would you have done differently in your 20s".


Where is this topic? I can't seem to find it.

Cwadda

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2015, 10:25:21 AM »

I was inspired to make this topic from the one "What would you have done differently in your 20s".


Where is this topic? I can't seem to find it.

It's a ways away and I can't find it either. Wish I had posted to track it down. Basically it was about what you would've done different if you were 20 again. It was broad and didn't apply to just relationships, but a lot of people talked about that.

finitelement

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Re: Dating in college and your 20s
« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2015, 01:08:06 PM »
If someone can track the post down, that'd be great.  I am curious as to what the entire MMM community has for input regarding what they would have done differently.

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