Dating is the worst, right? Let's acknowledge, here and now, that dating is not as romantic as everyone wants it to be.
It's awkward, time-consuming and worst of all, it takes away from binge-eating Lucky Charms in my bed with my most trustworthy companion, Netflix.
But, if you're anything like me, at the end of the day, you are still a "hopeless romantic" (even against your better judgment).
Luckily for you all, I've dated my fair share of men and been on some pretty awful dates during my three and a half years of college.
Whether it's the kid who sits across from you in your political science class or the man you spoke with all night at the bar, here are eight things you should know moving forward:
1. Avoid the boys who brag about constantly drinking/smoking/partying.
Cue the eye-rolls because we all know these guys. They're the ones who show up 20 minutes late to class every day because they were binge-drinking until 4 am.
They're also the guys who drop "trill" and "swag" and "dope" in every other sentence.
Alright, so I may be generalizing, but you get the point, right? Chances are, these are the boys who are only looking for a hookup or are way too busy figuring out when the next EDM concert is.
2. Listen to what he says.
Is he saying things like, "That girl is ratchet," or calling you a "slut" or "bitch"? This matters! If he is saying this about others, imagine what he could say about you. It's all about respect, ladies.
3. Watch out for the guy who says all the right things.
This is the guy who knows exactly what to say, when to say it and how to say it. He's a smooth talker and chances are, he's said this to many girls before you (and will to many after you, too).
Watch out for lines like, "I just had to come over and say 'hi' to you," or "You're the most beautiful woman in the room."
Now, listen up, ladies, don't automatically dismiss a man if he drops one of these lines — they may be genuine after all. Just be smart and don't be fooled easily.
4. The nice guy isn't always so nice.
He may just be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Trust me, I've learned this lesson the hard way (one too many times).
5. If it's past 10 pm, then it's not a date.
If you actually like this man, don't respond to his late-night text asking, "Wyd?" because chances are, he doesn't just want to hear about your day.
I hate to break it to you, but he's not just inviting you over to watch Netflix, like he claims.
So, unless you're ready for that next level, I'd suggest meeting up with him at a different time. Preferably lunch. Or dinner. Or anything not last minute.
6. Repeat after me: "I will not stalk him on Instagram."
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Don't go crazy and look up every tiny detail about your man.
So, he still has some pictures up with his ex and has one too many pictures of him with his mom. Just stop. For your sake, don't do it.
7. What does he want from you?
Does he just want sex? Are you only a rebound? Ladies, what are his intentions?! Don't let him string you along on a series of "hangouts" and "meet-ups."
If you're unsure of where you stand with him, just ask. If it's not what you want, then move on.
8. At the end of the day, just go for it.
You can't know who someone is based on first impressions alone, so take the time to get to know him if you're interested.
You never know; he might turn out to be the worst date you've ever had (which makes for a good story), or he may turn out to be a genuinely good guy.