If there ever were a comprehensive how-to guide for dating women, not only would it have to be 1000 pages long, it would be formatted similarly to a law student’s textbook. There would be a footnote every 5 words citing an exception for each rule it provides. The how to guide would also have to be split up by life-phase beginning with middle school girl and ending with widowed or divorced retiree.
Since I am 23 years old, I am qualified to give you 4 phases of advice. These are: middle school girl seeking first boyfriend; high school girl seeking first “serious” boyfriend and/or a prom date; college girl seeking potential husband; and newly graduated girl pondering the idea of calling herself a woman.
Unlike my article series on Tinder where I berated my fellow females for letting their brain cells jump off of a cliff while deserting their still-present and Tindering bodies- this article series will be geared towards informing the boys. Navigating 18-24 year old females can be incredibly confusing, so I will help where I can.
We will start where girls and boys can relate- the entry into college. College is a time to learn the skills that will equip you to become a contributing (and financially independent) member of society. Therefore, college is a time in everyone’s lives where they are encouraged to find what they excel at, what they care about, and who they care about. When I say who, I don’t mean only a significant other- I mean a group of supportive and like-minded friends who care enough to stick it out through the highs and lows of your self-discovery. It is such an awkward and inconsistent time in people’s lives that many seek out stability through their social lives.
College girls like guys who have a social niche. What I mean by this is, whether he is in frat, in a band, or on a team, if your boyfriend “belongs” to something, the privileges of belonging are suddenly extended to you and your friends. The feeling of having a set group of friends with a set group of activities is an absolute dream during this uncertain time. It also feels great to be the one whose boyfriend is the entrée to all of these great activities. On top of this, having a boyfriend whose friends are attractive can make it easier to be able to balance time with your girl friends as well, because they will all want to be around while you are with your boyfriend and his posse.
Another must-do when it comes to dating a college girl is to make your intentions clear. I would never assume a girl is abstaining from hooking up with other people even if she has been texting, snapchatting, and hanging out with the same guy consistently. This is unless she and the guy had explicitly talked about exclusively being with one another.
Hooking up has become so casual in college culture that a formal conversation typically must be had in order to cement the fact that you are serious about being with this girl. Guys are so non-committal in college that girls oftentimes feel forced to keep their options open. This is even if her preference is to only be with the one guy she has been seeing and texting.
The best advice I have when it comes to dating a college girl is to be cognizant of timing. I can only speak as a girl from North Carolina who went to North Carolina, but here are the trends I witnessed when it came to dating:
Freshman year: Many people had significant others. It is a very unsure time in everyone’s lives as they transition from living at home to living with friends. This is also the first time kids live in an environment where making friends is not inherent- it takes work. As a result, many people begin dating someone because the stability of having a significant other shields most of the discomfort when it is Friday night and you have no plans. People also retain their significant others from high school because the emotional support aids in the transition.
Sophomore year: Signifies the time many shed their freshman-year/high school boyfriend. Do not expect your entrée-into-college relationship to last. This is the year of pretending you have it all together because you are no longer a freshman, but still having no idea what is going on or what you should do with your life.
Junior year: It’s that time- the girls start to really look. Our parent’s are from a generation where many met his/her significant others in college, so the marital clock starts ticking in a girls’ head. No one is explicitly looking for a husband, but girls are certainly open to getting ‘swept off their feet.’ Additionally, this is the year many girls and guys alike are seeking relationships. The stability of a relationship makes it easier for many to concentrate on the important things like school, internships, and finding his/her passion.
Senior year: What’s the verdict? Senior year is about cementing your academic trajectory and figuring out where in the world you want to go after school. Many great relationships end due to impending relocations, but many people stay together as they head into their next major transition. Those who decide to stay together typically acknowledge the fact that they are doing so because they view their significant other as a potential spouse. Is this incredibly intense for a 22 year old? Absolutely. But it is also hard to rationalize staying together with someone if marriage isn’t in the forecast.
While dating a college girl is not an overly complicated feat, the guidelines above can certainly steer suitors in the right direction. Timing is everything, so be aware of the external circumstances when evaluating whether or not it’s the right time to be in a relationship.
Stay tuned for part two of this series, which will help you navigate what to expect when you are out of college and looking for your next girlfriend.