21 Dating Lessons College Girls Learn At 21

21 Dating Lessons College Girls Learn At 21

Settling is like ordering a plain coffee instead of that iced caramel mocha you’ve always wanted.
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21 years on this earth and I still don't know a damn thing about men.

“But Emina, that's impossible! You have literally written dozens of articles about being a strong, independent women and dealing with fuckboys, there is literally no way in hell you don't know anything."

I know this may seem hard to believe but I have never been in a serious relationship. However, I will say that I have witnessed the Tinder fails, the you're-too-good-for-him pep talks and the hook-ups that you wished would've turned into relationships. Let's just say I'm basically Taylor Swift when it comes to Odyssey articles.

I hope that at least gives me enough credibility for you to trust me because trust me, I have got some very important things to say.

1. College dating culture is fucked up.

Boy meets girl in class. Girl talks to boy because she is bored out of her mind. Girl and boy decide they like each and start spending time together. Boy decides he “isn't ready for a relationship" and completely backs out.

It happens way too often than we would like, but this whole “casual dating" thing just doesn't cut it for me. Yeah, it is great to figure out what the hell you like in college, but it does not give anyone an excuse to take advantage of your emotions.

2. We aren't all doomed (I promise).

If you're going into your senior year of college and haven't met your soulmate, for the love of god please calm down. Guess what? You probably had time to work on your GPA and most importantly, work on yourself. He will show up, we are still so young (I know, I sound like your mom).

3. If you lose your positive outlook, then you're just ruining it for yourself.

There's this thing that I believe in called “the Law of Attraction." In short, the type of energy and thoughts you bring into this world will help you manifest what you want. If you're saying things like, “I'm going to be single forever," then the Universe interprets that as what you want when in reality, that is the last thing you want.

4. You don't have to hook-up with anyone.

Just because everyone's doing it doesn't mean you have to do it, too. Yes, hook-ups are fulfilling in the moment, but you're left feeling kinda empty afterwards. As much as you want to believe it means something, it probably doesn't mean a thing to the other person. I know that sounds harsh, but I am just trying to help a girl out, OK?

5. Guys will Snapchat you after 1 AM, but you don't have to reply.

“What a piece of shit," you solemnly swear to yourself as you notice the notification looming on your phone screen. He didn't have the decency to reply to your text, but now he's sending you drunk Snapchats? Ugh. Don't fuck with my emotions late at night when I'm the most vulnerable. The good news is I'm such a grandma I never actually see these notifications until the morning and it gives me a good laugh.

6. Guys will also send you mixed signals.

And the worst part is, these are usually the guys you're really invested in. Probably even more than he is. You think he cares because he likes your Instagram photos and watches your story, but takes over a day to reply to your messages? You are basically living for that one small chance that things are going to magically unfold into this beautiful fantasy, but if you even have to think about this chance, then you should not waste your time.

7. Never force relationships.

No matter how much you like someone, never, ever make getting him to be “your boyfriend" your primary goal. Where's the fun in that? Getting to know someone, you shouldn't be super concerned about “where things will go." At least, not in the beginning. Of course, if a guy is showing you the right signs, then just go for it. The worst thing is running toward someone during the last lap of the 5K and having them not even take one step in your direction. Don't run anyone over.

8. It's OK to call guys out for their unacceptable behavior.

Just don't be too harsh (unless it's absolutely necessary!). Every guy is going to fuck up at least once with you, but it's up to you to decide what fuck-ups are worth a second chance. Let him know that you definitely don't deserve to be treated that way.

9. Guys usually know when they've fucked up.

Oh, believe me, they know. And if he's really worth it, he'll make it up to you.

10. Sometimes you will give the right parts of yourself to the wrong kinds of people.

You know that story you tell someone when they're going through a hard time? Everyone has one, and it just takes the right person to understand where you're coming from. Just when you think you're opening up to this person and everything is going great, reality smacks you right in the face. Reality that this person will never be able to relate to you on a deep, emotional level.

11. Always end things on a high-note.

When things are going great, and the moment feels right, it's OK to leave. I have this bad habit of wanting to hold onto things that feel amazing for just a little bit longer than I probably should. It's totally not a bad thing! But if you leave the date on a high note, then chances are that person will be left with a positive impression of you.

12. Settling is like ordering a plain coffee instead of that iced caramel mocha you've always wanted.

Sorry for the coffee analogy, it's just kind of my thing. But seriously, never, ever settle. Even when you “think" it's the right thing to do, you'll know when it's right.

13. Say “yes" every once in awhile when your friends ask you to go out.

I'm not saying go out every single night and get hammered, but it does not hurt to get out there and let loose. And I'm not just referring to hitting up all the bars (especially if that's not your thing), maybe try going to an art show or music festival. Just something that's different enough for you to be around new people. You really never know who you will meet!

14. Don't be afraid to make the first move.

It is 2017, we shouldn't be waiting for that guy we're into to ask us out. I know some of you may not agree and say that if the guy is interested, then he will surely ask you out. I'd say that yes, maybe this is true, but why should that stop us? Asking him out takes the pressure off of him and it shows that you're confident and know what you want.

15. Don't be afraid of rejection.

With that being said, not everyone is going to like you. Not every guy is going to realize how special you are. And honestly, that's OK. In the moment, it sucks, but looking at it from the big picture, you should be proud you put yourself out there.

16. Social media should never be the backbone when determining if someone is still into you.

Actually, you should never really consider social media when it comes to answering the lingering question, “Does he really like me?" The answer lies in his actions and what he does in person, not how many of your Instagram photos he's liked. Sure, it can be a way to confirm his true feelings, especially if he's sending you personalized snaps and messages, but it should not be the sole determinant.

17. Guys don't give a shit about texting.

I'm telling you, they really don't. Texting is simply a means of setting up another date with the girl he likes, not a place to write a book. I will say some guys have texted me novels, but that's not the point. Yes, some guys will use it to flirt, and other guys will send you one-word replies. The point is that you shouldn't read into it too much or else your self-esteem will basically crumble.

18. If you give a guy space, it can do wonders.

I will admit it, I have done it. Actually, I didn't even realize I was doing it. I ended up being super busy and we went from talking every day to not talking at all one weekend. On Monday, he was pretty much determined to see me (even though I was still busy AF).

19. Your friends are pretty good at judging his character.

Since they aren't emotionally attached to this guy, they can easily tell if he is up to something. Your friends will always watch out for you and tell you what you need to hear (even when you don't want to hear it).

20. Have standards, but no expectations.

This is probably my favorite dating advice because with this mindset, you will never be disappointed.

21. Make sure you constantly remind yourself of the big picture.

When you like someone, it's so easy to become obsessed. Too much of anything is never a good thing, so it's time to back off. I'm serious! Don't lose sight of the things you love just because some attractive guy waltzed into your life and swept you off your feet. Keep yourself busy and focused on everything else that you've got going for you, whether it be your friends, your career, etc.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

8 Weird Things That Inevitably Happen After You’ve Been On Dating Apps For More Than, Like, 10 Months

Staring and swiping all day really does something to you.

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The world of Tinder and Bumble is a weird one.

You meet all kinds of people from all walks of life. Yet for some reason, every single person's hobbies consist of hiking and traveling.

From receiving creepy one-liners about cunnilingus to being constantly hounded to drop all your plans to meet a stranger, Tinder is a gold mine for article content.

1. You never actually meet up.

This is almost inevitable. You'll start talking to someone. It will either be great, weird, or most likely mediocre. You guys have some things in common (probably hiking and traveling) and someone is gonna bring up the possibility of meeting.

Usually one party is busy this week and an actual date never gets set. Or sometimes it is but is never fulfilled.

Neither of you are bad people, it just never happens. I'm not quite sure why this is but it's going to happen at least once. Or twice.

2. You hit Snapchat purgatory.

I am a firm believer that Snapchat is where Tinder flames go to die.

Of course, you might head down the avenue of explicit content that I don't need to present to my Facebook family audience, but more often than not you guys hit a dead end. Maybe you'll exchange a couple snaps for a day or two, but then it turns into crickets on both ends. Something about that little ghost does something to people!

Also, can we talk about how guys are always asking for selfies? I get catfishing is a thing, but if I'm spending the day on Tinder I probably haven't showered and I've just finished crying. Not the best foot forward.

3. You meet up once and then nothing ever happens again.

Okay these all sound depressing but it just happens. A date can go well from both sides and still nothing comes to fruition after. You can argue that it didn't go well enough which could be true, but I think part of the ghosting has to do with current dating culture.

Or it's just me. Yeah, it's probably me.

4. You have an arsenal of weird stories.

A pro to all these weird situations is that you now have a bunch of funny yet disturbing stories about creepy men. The perfect icebreakers for dates, new friends, and work events. It was absolutely horrifying in the moment, but boy can you look back and laugh now!

5. You already know them.

It's always so weird when you see someone you know on Tinder. Old classmates, friends, coworkers. What do you even do in that situation?

My rule of thumb is to reserve the super likes for your good friends so you can inevitably tease them later but also for the cute guys you never had the courage to talk to in person when you knew them. Just keep intentions of the super like clear.

6. You see them in class.

This is a weird one. Whether you matched while you had a class with them or they show up in your class a week later, it's still awkward. Maybe you get lucky and it's the push you need, but it can also just be downright uncomfortable. As Tinder goes, it's usually the latter.

7. Your friend has already been on a date with them.

Even more awkward than being forced to see them in class, is knowing your friend has probably already experienced the same thing. Does the rule of dibs apply? Insecurities and awkwardness can easily roll in.

Or you can both bond and laugh over how weird it was. That's better

8. You have the worst date ever.

Hey! At least you've got a new story!

But honestly exercise your best judgment, don't let any weirdos walk over you, and BE SAFE.

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I Asked 11 Independent Young Women All They Accomplished After Leaving A Toxic Relationship

"My grades have gotten better, my mental health has improved overall, and I'm just overall happier with my existence now that I'm in a healthy environment."

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We live in a culture that thinks that after a relationship ends, no matter how toxic and draining that relationship was, we need to be devastated. We clearly never loved the person if we don't experience heartbreak. However, I believe that isn't true. Sure, we are heartbroken by the love that didn't make it, but most of the time, leaving a toxic relationship is our saving grace.

I am so sick of watching strong, wonderful, beautiful young women allow a toxic relationship to hold them down. There is SO much more to life than feeling stuck with a partner that makes you feel like crap. You can truly thrive after leaving this relationship and you can accomplish everything you've always wanted and more.

I decided to highlight the stories of 11 strong young women and all that they've accomplished since ending their relationship. This goes to show that the heartbreak will not be your end — in fact, it will likely be your beginning.

1. Since I left this bad relationship, the self-love and accomplishments just keep growing.

"I stopped being nervous about leaving for school, I didn't worry about him pressuring me to do things I didn't want to, and going to school with that lack of worry allowed me to blossom. I've been on the Dean's list twice (round three coming in a few weeks), joined an organization that allows time to grow into a better leader, I volunteer with kids who need me, work with kids who appreciate me, and have made friends who support me. The positive effects of focusing on me just keep on coming." - Anon, 20

2. My dreams came true.

"After I got dumped by my ex, who was cheating on me with my best friend's roommate, I got accepted to my dream grad program and started a business." - Elizabeth, 22

3. I got myself in shape.

"After dating around in college, one guy hit me. I was so devastated that I allowed someone to do that to me that I decided to hit the gym so that way in case I needed to defend myself I could and I could feel good about my body!" - Sarah, 19

4. Now, I am myself.

"I was able to finally just breathe and be myself. I was always forced to do everything his way and please him so I never considered myself. I grew so much as an individual and became stronger because of it!" - Anon, 19

5. I found my passion.

"I got accepted into my school's honors college and discovered my hidden talent/passion for makeup." - Sara, 21

6. I'm in a healthy environment, and because of that, I am happy.

"I learned what toxic behaviors looked like in even the most subtle ways. I was able to learn what I really believed, which didn't really fit with what he believed, or even what my hometown as a whole believed. I became more empowered, believing in myself more and strengthening my voice and opinions. I was able to learn that I needed to treat myself better and hold others to the standard of treating me better, too. I've become more social since I'm no longer restricted from going out or hanging out with friends. I've grown to love my body more now that what I'm allowed to wear isn't dictated by someone else. My grades have gotten better, my mental health has improved overall, and I'm just overall happier with my existence now that I'm in a healthy environment." - Emily, 21

7. Since leaving my toxic relationship, I have...

"- changed my major

- gave up on pursuing a toxic ex-friendship

- got accepted to intern abroad

- turned 21

- met the one

- discovered my own self-worth" - Maria, 21

8. I'm loving every minute of my life now.

"A two-year relationship just ended a little over two months ago. The first few weeks I was a complete and utter disaster. I didn't really know what to do with myself. Now, I am working on school like I haven't before. I didn't let myself enjoy college in my relationship because he was constantly putting me down for coming to college. I am truly enjoying my college experiences especially academically. I have succeeded in so many things and have joined so many new organizations. I am so busy, but so happy and feel more like myself than I ever was in my relationship. I am not 100% better or healed, but that will take time. I am, however, learning so much about myself and loving every minute." - Caitlin, 20

9. I am now ready for the love I truly deserve.

"I learned so many things and it grew me tremendously as a person—but I think the most important things were that I began to see who truly loved me, I developed a higher sense of self-respect, I no longer had someone sucking the life out of me, I learned how to obtain closure and healing inwardly from myself, and I opened myself up to the possibility of gaining the type of love that I am worthy of." - Anna, 19

10. I'm thriving without them.

"At first I didn't want the communication to stop because the attempt at a relationship ultimately ruined a 5-year-friendship, but eventually I just got used to not having them in my life anymore. My mental health has really improved. That relationship was mentally and emotionally draining and wasn't necessarily productive or empowering. Since then I have really enjoyed not getting caught up in what others think of me and have really enjoyed focusing on myself rather than pleasing someone else. Months after not having any contact, they decided to request to follow me again even though they were the one originally wanting to cut all communication. I accepted it, but I've mentally decided not to reach out or make any communication they attempt to be short. I've realized I don't need them in my life and they didn't want the part of me I was offering months ago, so they don't deserve me now. They can watch me thrive and living my life, but they don't get to be a part of it." - Anon, 18

11. I learned so much from this experience, and for that, I'm thankful.

"I became my own person again, I learned how to be happy on my own, gained friends and confidence, overall, I lost a lot during my toxic 4-year relationship and am so appreciative of how I've matured and developed since then. I'm thankful as to how much I've learned from the experience and who I have become today." - Jennifer, 19

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