December 7th, 2018, is the date that I along with over 2,000 students at UNC-Greensboro have been waited for quite literally for years. Now that the graduation ceremony is approximately 9 hours, 25 minutes, and 4 seconds away I can't help but lie awake in anticipation while reflecting on the different relationships I've had over the past four years no matter how impactful or minor.
I think if I could go back into the past to tell 18-year-old self from freshman year some lessons about love, here are 7 things I would say.
1. It’s okay to play the field
Until you actually find the person you want to be with, it's okay to date multiple people. I feel like women especially have a tendency to put all their eggs in one basket even before things get too serious. Some people are naturally more of the relationship and that's fine, but I wish I had known not to be too loyal to guys too soon before anything was clearly established.
2. But don’t play the field to the point where it bites you in the ass
Ladies, it should be a no-brainer that if you're going to talk to a few people at once, at least make sure they aren't in the same friend group. At a time it wasn't as much of a no-brainer for me though. There has only been one time where I purposely talked to multiple guys at once as if I was on a dating show like "The Bachelorette." If I could go back and warn myself to be smarter about the situation I would, seeing as I didn't have enough sense at the time not to chat with half the guys living on the same floor in the dorm that we all lived in. At the time I felt like it was pretty harmless, but eventually, I found that quite a few of them were salty about it.
3. Even “good guys” can have trash tendencies
Sometimes you'll be involved with a "good guy" because he's seemingly different than the rest. He may not be as tall as the other guys or have as muscular of a physique, but you know deep down that you can be happy with him because you know for certain he'll treat you right. Well, that's not always the case. There have been times where I went for the typical shy guy who didn't really get all of the girls because he was seen as "too nice." Unfortunately, there have been instances when they felt extra entitled to having me just because they were seen as good guys.
4. Sometimes you can literally speak relationships into existence
I am a firm believer that the power of our words is crucial, but now I'm an even more firm believer that our words work in terms of finding a boyfriend as well. One night as I moved into the apartment I stay at now, one of my closest friends stopped by to see me and he brought two of his friends along. I introduced myself to both of them, but I was definitely fixated on the Italian friend. Was it because he has the most distinct greenish/grey eyes I've ever seen? Maybe. However, there was this weird feeling I had that he was going to be my boyfriend which was insane considering that we probably only spoke to each other on no more than three or four occasions that night, one of them being when he asked me if he could use my bathroom. I even told one of my roommates right before I went to bed that night that he was going to be my boyfriend someday. Later my sister and I would see him almost every other week at the same two spots in the library and I would whisper to her, saying "I don't really know that guy and I don't even like him like that yet, but I'm pretty sure we're gonna be boyfriend and girlfriend one day." About six or so months later we started dating for real and not just in my head.
5. Having sex for the first time doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative experience
The first time I had sex was halfway through my junior year in college. Prior to this experience, I had heard all of the worst-case scenarios—"Don't expect it to be great," "It's gonna hurt," and "you're probably going to get attached" are among the top three things I constantly heard. Contrary to what I've heard all those years, my first time having sex was pretty good. I think part of the reason because it wasn't this scheduled thing with a romantic dinner and a movie beforehand or rose petals leading up to the bed at a precise time. It was very laid back and natural.
6. Trying to make your ex jealous may leave you stranded alone in a different state
I've mentioned this situation briefly before, but the only time in my life when I legitimately had a grand scheme to make an ex jealous didn't actually go as planned. I used my magic charm on two MMA coaches and finessed my way on a free trip to one of the MMA events in South Carolina where they would coach their clients. It didn't take long for them to realize I wasn't being genuine. One of the coaches insisted that I wasn't showing him enough affection and the other coach who I rode down to the event with completely went ghost and blocked me. If one of my close friends weren't there as well then I wouldn't have had a ride back home to North Carolina.
7. Chicks over dicks
With all of that being said, whether or not I'm in a full blown relationship or just casually dating someone, I will ALWAYS need my friends more than I need the dick so there's no need to stress over guys when the time I spend with my best girlfriends is the most fulfilling.