You might want to date to get to know new people, start a relationship or casually hang out. It’s also okay if you’re not looking to date or hookup. Sometimes, it’s nice to focus on friendships instead. If this sounds like you, check out these tips for making friends on campus.
If you are interested in dating during your time here at CU, here are some tips for making dating fun and meaningful.
1) Communicate your intent
To get the most out of dating, consider what you want from the experience. For some people, this may look like casual dating, while others may desire a committed relationship.
Ask yourself these questions to get started:
If you're using dating apps, these questions can help you tailor your profile and create meaningful filters. For instance, if you’re looking for something casual, you may want to consider filtering out people who are looking for a relationship or vice versa. Using these features and being honest about what you want allows you to set clear expectations and match with people who want similar things.
Dating and communication also require vulnerability. A prospective date might reject you for having wants that don’t align with your own, which can be a difficult experience. However, keep in mind that having someone clearly communicate their intent, even if it turns out to be rejection, can still be a better outcome than being led on or having a date end poorly.
2) Embrace authenticity and connection
We are all hardwired to seek clarity, safety and stability in our relationships. However, modern dating culture often emphasizes more casual interactions and low accountability. We may feel pressured to play it cool, be chill, minimize what we want/need or avoid committing too early. Ultimately, these dating norms and expectations can cause increased anxiety and uncertainty in our relationships.
One way to combat this is to embrace authenticity and connection intentionally. Allow your true self to shine through, whether you’re dating online or in person. If you prefer apps, build a profile that reflects who you really are. Don’t be afraid to showcase your personality through photos, questionnaires or your bio. Staying true to your authentic self can also help you be more open to making meaningful connections. Seek out people who allow you to be yourself.
Remember that you can take your time when dating. Spend as much time as you need to get to know yourself as a dating partner and to learn about others.
3) Determine and communicate your boundaries
Boundaries represent the limits, rules or expectations we set for our behavior. Setting healthy boundaries can help us navigate relationships in a more positive way and avoid feelings of anger, resentment or burnout.
Here are a few examples to consider:
Communicating our boundaries helps establish a healthy relationship with ourselves and with potential dating partners.
Potential conversation starters:
Be honest about your expectations and trust your gut. If someone dismisses your boundaries or pushes you to do something you’re uncomfortable with, they’re probably not a good fit.