3 Reasons Why Dating Doesn't Get Any Easier After High School (Sorry)

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3 Reasons Why Dating In College Is Harder Than Dating In High School
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If anything, dating gets harder in college.

For four years you sat on the sidelines and watched as all your friends got into (and then out of) relationships. You kept thinking that dating in high school was pointless and that everyone was wasting their time. I mean, finding your future husband or wife that early is a one-in-a-million chance right?

And now you’re off to college, with hopes and dreams of finding that special someone.

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You’ve heard plenty of stories about people that even got married while still in college and you think now that everyone is an (at least legally, maybe not mentally), it’ll be so much easier!

The relationships will be more mature, more heartfelt and more understanding. You won’t have to deal with all the petty drama you saw in high school! Right? If you’re one of the people that have thought this or are currently thinking this, I’m here to tell you: WRONG.

Honestly, I feel like it gets harder. And the drama? Yeah, that doesn’t go away, either. You’ll be amazed at how much high school traits still factor into the college dating scene.

For example, that person you knew that seemed to have a new squeeze every month in high school? Yeah, they’ll still be around, though it’ll probably be every semester instead. Oh, and that couple that always seemed to be a little too close? Pray one of them isn’t your roommate. And for the love of everything, don’t date the person one of your friends just broke up with. That’s not just for high school or college, that’s for forever. Don’t do it.

The drama never dies, so if that was your reason for not dating in high school, sorry. But, if it was something like you just wanting to wait, that’s not a bad choice. Unfortunately though, the only thing that really changes with time on the dating scene is a person’s age.

So with all of that being said, here’s why dating in college really isn’t any easier than dating in high school.

1. If you're an introvert, it's WAY harder to act on a crush after high school's over.

In high school, even if you weren’t social, you still sat in a building and in classes for seven straight hours with a bunch of people. There was always a chance that maybe you’d strike up a conversation with that hot guy or cute girl that sat caddy-corner from you. I mean, you see them Monday through Friday for the bulk of the year. Plenty of opportunities. Plus, if you go to or went to a smaller school like me, you always knew who was taken and who wasn’t.

Also, in high school, unless you were a transfer student, these are the people you’ve grown up with. There’s already a level of familiarity with them, so it’s easier to talk to them, which increases your odds of finding that next date.

In college, you know no one. You have a couple classes a day for only a semester at a time and everyone is a stranger to you. If you’re an introvert like me, you’ll sit quietly in class, maybe make conversation now and then, but overall you’ll just attend class and then leave.

What’s also difficult is even if you develop a crush on someone in your class, you have no idea if they’re taken or not. Of course you can always do a bit of social media stalking to find out, but even then that doesn’t always tell you if anything’s going on.

Now it’s not like classes are the only way to find love at college. There’s always the cold approach, otherwise known as walking up to your person of interest and asking them out when you’ve never spoken to each other before. And really, that might be your only other option if you’re not a party person. But, if you’re an introvert, that probably won’t work either.

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2. Tinder and Bumble aren’t magical solutions, either.

First of all, if you’re reading this and in high school and you have one of these, stop. You’re just going to get people in trouble. Use high school to your advantage. For the rest of you (who I assume aren’t in high school), I’m going to offer you a shocking truth. Are you ready?

Believe or not, signing up for Tinder or Bumble doesn’t automatically make you a more attractive person. And, you’re going to find two thing while using them in college. One, you’ll find that 75 percent of the profiles on these services are the same type of person. Two, the kinds of people that get constant matches make no sense.

And honestly, Tinder and Bumble aren’t really any more effective than other dating sites. Sometimes it seems like you’d have better luck just standing on the corner of the street holding a sign that says “DATE ME.”

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3. Everyone has a past, and the longer you wait, the bigger the past.

You may have waited until college to start dating, but that doesn’t mean everyone else did. And because of that, some people have gotten a few scars from past relationships. They might be hesitant to get into a new relationship. I watched this happen firsthand, so allow me to offer some advice. If the person says he/she just got out of a relationship but it seems like they’re not over it, don’t try to date them.

I know that people may have had bad love experiences before high school, but maybe not. In college though, it’s a lot more likely that by the time people get there they’ve hit a sour love note or two. Once a person’s been hurt, it’s always a little harder to start over.

As selfish as it sounds, for you that means there are less viable options. When someone has a past, matters of the heart are always more complicated.

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Jesse Oakley is a writer who writes about love, relationships and self-care.

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