Column: The secret to dating in college is not dating at all


Photo by Catherine Randall

Catherine Randall
Oxford Stories

I do not consider myself an expert on relationships. I do however consider myself an expert on breakups. College is weird. We can all agree on that. But “dating” is even weirder.

My friends and I have a saying, if the boy (or girl, love is love) is giving you too many issues, then you better unsubscribe. Easier said than done, but you get the idea. We are way too old to be putting up with half of the stuff we do.

The reason dating is hard in college is because no one has the time for real dating. There are too many people, and no one is mature whatsoever. I shudder at the thought of getting engaged after college, and many of us do, because millennials don’t date anymore. We don’t go out to dinner, and we don’t hold hands in public and kiss in the rain.

Why? Because we know that stuff isn’t real. We have all been hurt too many times to expect that kind of thing.

So I have a suggestion for you. Focus on yourself. You will never be as happy as you are when you rely on no one else for your happiness. There is nothing more satisfying than loving yourself, and when the right person comes along, you won’t have to sacrifice that for them.

That’s a hard lesson to learn in college. We are all so stressed and have a million things to do and no money. Combining problems with someone else sounds like hell at first, but once someone takes a few of your problems away, it starts to make sense. You know, the whole marriage thing?

But if you can’t take care of yourself and your problems alone, what happens when you are alone? People leave, people break up, people move away, and people cheat. So loving yourself is the best way to secure your happiness, and no man, or woman for that matter, should see anything wrong with that.

As an only child, I can be selfish. More than most. I don’t care, but everyone around me does, so I felt the need to address it. But being selfish is a virtue, I think. One must be secure and take care of themselves before they can effectively take care of others.

So take the time to buy yourself a dress instead of someone’s birthday present, splurge on a bottle of wine after you do great (or horrible) on your accounting exam, and cancel on your friends every now and then for a night in with yourself and a movie or five.

Selfish people are happy. But don’t turn your nose up at the power of strong friendships. Strong friendships are the backbones of strong relationships. My friends have picked up the pieces after every horrible breakup. It’s easier to be confident in yourself when your friends have your back. I love my friends so much so that I would gladly choose them over any guy that came along. Ryan Gosling could come in on one knee with a .3 carat ring, and if i had dinner plans with my friends, I would still tell him to wait.

I think that’s the secret to college. Loving yourself and your girlfriends makes you a happy person. Then when you meet someone who can handle that kind of confidence, it will be easy. The secret to dating in college is not dating at all.

My friends have been through hell and back trying to date at Ole Miss. Boys here are evil creatures that morph into demons when they receive a bid to a fraternity. Then when they turn 21, they realize they should start being nice to us girls.

One of my friends was broken up with because a girl told her she was dating her boyfriend now, and she needed to give her his stuff back. They dated for five months. It was bad. Another friend was broken up with by her boyfriend of four months who attended a function with another girl and texted her the night after it was over.

Another friend was dating a guy for an entire semester and was cheated on while she was sick with the flu. Another friend got dumped the week after Christmas break. She had set out all of his gifts for him, and he showed up drunk, dumped her, took his presents and never spoke to her again. These are just a few, and I could write a book on my own personal horror stories.

But don’t give up. I believe in wearing your heart on your sleeve. Don’t decline the possibility of love just because you lost it a few or 10 times. We are too young to be this worried about dating. So have fun, love yourself, lean on your friends and don’t let boys be mean to you.



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