Dating dos and don’tsBy Catherine Holdsworth
University is a great place to try something new; a new sport, a new hobby, or going on a date with a complete stranger!
Within student life, there are those who have a ‘significant other’ for the duration of their time at uni, and there are those who prefer to ‘play the field’ and enjoy the freedom that comes with being young, wild and free. While this is fine to do, here are some helpful tips which will ensure that when the time is right for you to take a change, you don’t end up planning your future alone with 20 cats!
DON’T date too much
While it’s fine to play the field and date different people to see how they fit into your life, don’t go crazy. Dating too many people will inevitably end up with you getting hurt. Whether you’re open about dating other people or not, there’s always a risk that you’ll get tangled in the web of having too much on your plate and suffer from the pressure of trying to please everyone at once. Furthermore, university is a very select community and it’s almost inevitable that your dates will know of each other. Imagine how uncomfortable that conversation would be!
DON’T put too much pressure on yourself
You’re still young so don’t expect to meet The One on your dates. Yes, it happens and it’s not impossible but if you’re looking for The One then that puts an immense amount of pressure on you and your date to be perfect. Accept that it’s just casual and if it’s meant to be, everything will work out.
DON’T be too nervous
It’s just a date. So what if you can’t believe he’s asked you out over that hot cheerleader or if you’ve fancied her for ages and finally found the courage to ask her out after a lecture. They’re probably just as nervous as you so embrace those nerves, they’re a good sign!
DON’T expect the world
Whether you split the bill or let him pay, don’t expect to be wined and dined; most students are on a budget. This doesn’t mean romance is dead though; get creative and think of a romantic date that doesn’t cost too much money. You could go on a picnic (fun both indoors and out), stay in for a cosy movie night (you’ll find that between you and your friends, you’ll own a copy of every DVD ever made) or take a romantic walk around your university city.
DO have fun
Dating can be incredibly fun — you’ll get to know a range of different people and perhaps see them (and yourself) in many lights. Having to juggle work with a social life is a hard lesson to learn and dating can help to relieve that pressure and open your eyes to new experiences. And even if it turns out to be the worst date ever, you can usually get a free drink out of it!
DO dress appropriately
Remember that this is not a night out so maybe leave those hot pants in the drawer — same goes for that wife-beater, boys! The venue of the date will generally dictate what you wear but don’t panic about having nothing in your wardrobe. Go smart/casual as it’s a great combination and is always classy. Girls: skirts and dresses are feminine and pretty but remember to wear flats — you don’t want to be carried home! Boys: a shirt is always sexy (whether it’s smart, checked or flannel) and if you don’t have one then it’s a valuable investment worth making!
DO be yourself
While there can be a lot of pressure to live up to expectations, it can be exhausting trying to keep up a facade. Be yourself and it will pay dividends. There’s a lot more at stake nowadays with the opportunity to check out your date on Facebook or Twitter before you even order your starter but try to avoid casting too much judgement. If they don’t like who you are then move on, clearly it wasn’t meant to be.
DO trust your instincts
If you feel that something is not right or you don’t want to go on a second date, there’s nothing and nobody forcing you to do so. So what if they’re gorgeous and popular — if they’re not right for you then don’t force it. Chemistry between two people is a natural thing which can’t be invented so if you don’t feel it then move on and be glad that you gave them the chance. If you walk away, nothing is lost, you played your hand and it didn’t work out so don’t berate yourself and carry on to the next date with the positive attitude that it could turn out completely different.