Throughout the semester, I interviewed my friends and my friends’ boyfriends about their perspectives on dating in college. I’m someone who has had really strong opinions about dating, and I’ll admit that a lot of those opinions aren’t really fair. So, I thought it’d be helpful for me and whomever else is frustrated by dating in college to gather some more opinions.
Here’s what I’ve learned: I have most of the same opinions as my girlfriends and a lot of my assumptions about how guys view dating are well founded. The guys I interviewed from Mizzou mentioned that they did not really feel the need to date long-term because college was a time to have fun. They also said that you can find any kind of relationship you want in college. On the other hand, my girlfriends complained that none of the guys they were interested in were interested in dating.
My conclusion? There’s a really obvious division between male and female students’ mentalities about dating, and that can frequently be a barrier. I think if something is meant to be, then it will happen, though. It just takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
Just for fun, here’s an interview with me.
- Are you currently dating someone?
What does dating really mean? Because I’ve been going on dates with one guy this past week, but I’m definitely not in a relationship and before last Tuesday I would’ve said hell no to this question. So, I guess I’m not sure?
- When was your last relationship? (Or the last time you went on a date)
The last time I went on a date was this past Wednesday, but my last relationship was fall semester sophomore year (2014).
- Why did it end?
He had just transferred to Mizzou from a smaller school and, even though he had said he wanted to date me, he decided he didn’t want to be tied down right away.
- How long was your longest relationship? When was that?
My longest relationship was my senior year in high school (2012-2013) and we dated for nine months officially. After that, we were pretty off and on for until this past summer (2015), when we decided to end things for good.
- What do you think are some of the differences between dating in high school versus dating in college?
In high school, I feel like everyone actually wanted to date, but in college it’s almost frowned upon the first couple years. You’re expected to “date around” and “find out what you like.” Because I had just gotten out of a serious relationship when I came to college, I was really eager to do both of these things, but after freshman year, I felt unfulfilled and sad most of the time. A few of my friends were still in long-term relationships and I was extremely jaded and sometimes even rude toward them.
When I went on dates, I was sick of the constant assumption that I would sleep with whomever I went out with. Honestly, I was just really disillusioned with the whole thing. The guys seemed shallow and like they only wanted hookups. As a junior, I’m able to take a little bit more of an objective look at things and see that dating in college is really an empowering thing because you have the option to tell your parents or not, unlike in high school when you would have to ask permission to go on dates. You also have to decide for yourself how much time you want to devote to someone and how far you’re willing to go with them. It’s something that helps you to grow almost more than anything else.
- How would you describe the dating scene here at Mizzou?
I think it changes from year to year. Freshmen almost exclusively hook up. Sophomores are pretty much the same, but some people start do date more seriously sophomore year. Juniors are in the “Oh sh*t.” stage when half of their friends are in relationships and they’re starting to think about the future, and seniors are either dating or really mad they aren’t dating or they gave themselves the excuse that they’re going to be moving away and can’t get tied down. I also think that I just told everything from a girl’s perspective. It’s my opinion that most guys don’t want to date seriously in college at all because they think the whole time is a time to hook up with anyone and everyone. That’s also probably just a biased statement, though.
- How would you describe the dating scene for people age 18-22?
I think it varies in different communities, especially at different universities. I see noticeable differences between my experiences and those of my friends at private Catholic institutions. I think that because Mizzou is an enormous state school, it tends to have more of a “party” atmosphere than most. I think it’s natural for most students in college to go through a “hook up” phase and then hopefully start to casually date.
- How do you normally meet people?
I’ve tried it all. I’ve met guys in bars in class and been set up. I think the best option is either to be set up or meet someone in an organization where you share a common interest or goal. That way, it’s a sober environment and you already know you have something in common. It’s impossible to date someone you don’t share anything in common with.
- Would you say that most of your friends have found long-term relationships at school? Why do you think that is?
Definitely not. Again, I think that’s because college-aged men are not willing to settle down and date exclusively. They’re still in the mindset that they have all the time in the world to have fun.
- If you could tell your freshman self something about dating in college what would it be?
I would say that it’s not what you expect it to be. I expected it to be meeting tons of guys and dating around a lot. I’ve spent a lot of time wishing I were in a relationship and feeling very single. It’s not all bad, though. Some of my friends are in really great, happy relationships and that makes me hopeful for the future.