4 So-Called "Rules" About Dating In College That Just Aren't Legit Anymore

There was a time in which there were certain general dating "rules" in place. These "rules" had a certain heteronormative and sexist tone while cloaked in the "chivalry" of it all to make women think they were romantic. You, a woman, would wait for a man to ask you out. Yes, a man. You'd refrain from communicating with him a certain amount of days after meeting. You could only sleep together after a very specific amount of dates. These "rules" certainly didn't make sense for all women then and they don't now either. And the alleged college dating rules are restrictive in the same way.

These college dating rules aren't a thing, just like those older ones weren't either. When you get to college, you can date however you want, and there are no definitive set of do's and don'ts about it all. There may be things you hear other people say they do, but you're allowed (and I encourage you!) to embrace and approach dating at college however it feels most natural and comfortable for you.

There are plenty of strategies that work for some people in finding hookups or relationships, but just because someone had one bad experience with something doesn't make it universally wrong. And just because one thing worked for them, doesn't mean that's how you need to do it either. These "rules" don't matter, so don't let them weigh you down.

You have to be totally experienced by the time you set foot on campus.

People may have some misconceptions about the level of experience you "need" to begin your college dating journey. And it's been played out in pop culture, too: Movies like Superbad, American Pie, and The To Do List have glorified having sex before college as a necessary to-do list checkmark. Well, I'm here to tell you, that's totally not the case. There's no right or wrong time to have your first kiss, sexual experience, or relationship, and you don't want to share those experiences with someone who would judge you for your past, anyway.

The truth is, people care a lot less than you think they do about your other experiences. Someone you're going to kiss, have sex with, or enter a relationship with is going to be stoked to do just that, and not care about how many times you've done it before.

No one wants a relationship.

This is something that's all too common to think when beginning college. The thing is, college dating culture is mostly portrayed as a lot of hooking up — and while that definitely is happening, it doesn't mean there aren't relationships blooming simultaneously as well. Just like in any other place with a wide variety of people and personalities, there will be a vast range of what people are looking for when they're in college. And just because many people are indulging in the many freedoms college allows them, it doesn't mean people aren't also willing to try dating in a more formal way, too.

You have to bring a romantic date to sorority formal.

Many sorority members may choose to use a formal as an opportunity to ask out someone they're into, but it by no means you have to. Invite a friend if that's more your speed, or if there's no one that you're interested in at the moment. You're the one in the sorority, it's your formal, and you can invite whoever you want to bring along for a fun night.

Dating apps are for desperate people.

When you have such "easy" access to plenty of potential people to date, it can definitely be stigmatized on campus to turn to dating apps as an option. But the thing is, dating apps can actually be so useful for people who are shyer about approaching people in person. You may find people on campus through dating apps much easier than you would by meeting them through a class or club.

And anyways, even if these were the "rules?" Well, rules are sort of meant to be broken.

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