When it comes to dating, we are smarter and wiser in our mid-20s than we were when we were in college. We are more mature, have a firmer grasp on who we are as individuals and we have goals for our futures.
We are better partners and are able to pick people to share our lives with who are actually good fits for us.
Being the “smarter” people we are, we choose to overlook some of our college dating follies and focus on the future.
We are always asking ourselves what's next. However, is it just us? Or, was dating and bar banter a whole lot more fun in our college days?
Though we're now smarter and wiser, there are a few things we can learn about dating from our college selves:
1. We cared less.
Overthinking everything is an unfortunate side effect of our newfound intelligence. No longer is a date just a date; we don't go on any date unless we can see some kind of future.
Being too in our heads about even a casual date ruins our ability to enjoy dating, and may even lead us to write off some good options prematurely.
2. We entertained a few options at once.
In college, we all kept a few options on the back burners when we weren’t tied down in monogamous relationships.
What is it about being older that makes us think we are limited to “dating” one person at a time?
When we are not in exclusive relationships but really like someone, we still think every other option is off the table.
This can be respectful of your budding relationship, but it can also put some additional pressure on it working out.
3. We didn't put pressure on the date being upscale or fancy.
Now that we have money to (maybe occasionally) afford the most expensive steakhouse in town, we judge away if dates don't have a certain amount of “status,” especially in the early stages.
But, wouldn’t you rather be on a great date at a casual spot than a boring one at a 5-star restaurant?
In the more casual settings of our youth (aka, what we could afford) we don't worry as much about superficial things like this.
We couldn't use a cool atmosphere to mask a bad date, which helped us decide based on fit if we wanted to go out with someone again.
4. We set lower expectations.
Thinking back to college, we didn't get as upset as we do now when things didn't work out. Rejection just didn't sting as much. Why?
Because even though we were younger and less intelligent, we also took our college crushes for what they were: horn balls who followed their peckers to the next girl at the bar.
We now set higher expectations because we respected ourselves more and looked for more than casual things.
Therefore, rejection hurt more. But, take a note out of your college notebooks and remember that there are always more fish in the sea.
5. We dated people outside our “type.”
Now that we’ve all dated for at least a good five to 10 years, we believe we have finally figured out our type.
If dark hair and eyes are a must for you, you'll basically never even talk to those cute blondes at the bar.
In doing this, we severely limit our already-limited dating pool. Remember, you are choosing to have a type and keep your blinders on.
Someone who may not fit into the lineup of every other guy you dated may actually be better for you than the others ever were.
Take note of your youthful self and be more open-minded!
The next time you're down in the dumps about your dating life, think back to your glorious college days.
They might have been filled with Natty Light, cheap pizza, infidelity and dates that included just walking to class, but they sure as sh*t were fun!