Things to Know About Dating After College
College dating is pretty easy because you live in a secure bubble with like-minded people. It is only when you graduate and move out of the college campus that real-life scenarios hit you. Dating after college can be quite a tasking affair, partly because your life takes almost a 360° turn, primarily if you work full-time. Friends get busy, too; sometimes, you relocate to a new place for work or study. Most of all, the secure bubble bursts, and many aspects of the natural world hit you at once. Handling all of that is daunting, and to top it off, romance, relationships, finding a date, etc., can intimidate you further.
Like everything else, though, there are pros and cons of after-college romance too. So, the last thing you would want to do is to stress yourself about the hows and whats of dating after college. But we are here to guide you through the process, so nothing seems unnerving.
To start with, know that there are no dating rules in the real world; it's all about finding what feels right for you and living life one day at a time. So now, let's get started with the rest of the details.
Facts to Know to Date After College
It Requires Concerted Efforts
First things first. The concept is pretty simple. If you wish to find a date, you must put in focused efforts. It takes time and energy to meet people who are your type. You will have to work hard if you really want to meet someone interesting and sow the seeds of a special bond with them.
Work-Life Balance is a Challenge
That's true! Your professional pursuits and personal life can seem to be at loggerheads often. If you are freshly out of college and just started working, you may feel in complete control of your life for the first time. Soon, you will realize that managing both ends is like playing a seesaw. Therefore, a lot of your time should be spent learning how to balance work and life. Once you are able to achieve some semblance, you will start to enjoy the freedom.
The Dating Pool is Much Bigger Than College
There are all kinds of people out there – you will find individuals from different age groups engaged in diverse professional pursuits, hobbies, interests, etc. So, unlike college, where you are surrounded by like-minded people with similar interests and educational objectives, once you are out, you realize that there's a heterogeneous mix waiting outside, thus, increasing your choices. It's exciting too! So, you can meet people from different communities, interests, beliefs, eating habits, and lifestyles.
Dating is Intense After College
While you can have fun, one-night stands, and casual affairs even after college, you can also look at having serious relationships now. No swords are hanging on your head, with the graduation day tension creeping up time and again. You are not on the tenterhooks that it is all going to end all of a sudden, that you will be separated from your partner as you move to different cities.
Instead, after college, there is no stress about the end or losing the other person. So, you have the time to build up companionship, become lovers and friends and explore the relationship deeper and more. And, if everything goes fine, you can build a real future gradually. You can secure a relationship for the future, celebrating milestones together.
You Grow Beyond Physical Attraction
You suddenly realize that lust and physical aspects are superficial and can change with time. This is the time to delve deeper and make an emotional connection. You look out more for common things of interest and preferences. You can also be adventurous and go beyond your comfort level to try something new.
There's a More Formal Tone to the Relationship
The dating scene in college is more flirtatious and casual in nature. There are no pressures and no strings attached. You meet your date, dressed in your jeans and sweatshirts. But it all changes when you start to date after college. For example, when you meet a person now, it might begin with a formal dinner where you must spend a lot of time presenting yourself in the best possible manner. Even if you are chatting with the person online, you will take care to choose the right words and improvise your presentation skills.
Do What Feels Right
Often, people take too much pressure to behave in a particular manner because they are expected to do so after college. The best way is to do what feels right in your shoes and not try and live up to others' expectations. That way, you will not put too much pressure on yourself – remember, there's no competition, and there's no right or wrong time to date. Whenever you are ready, it is the right time.
Just revisit your values. Understand what makes you happy so that you know what you want when you start looking for a partner. Also, try to be honest with the other person; rather than beating around the bush, be direct, as this approach always simplifies things.
Be Ready for Rejection
It is one of those situations that you should always be prepared for mentally and emotionally. When you are prepared, you will have the courage and confidence to make the first move. For example, as a guy, you can ask a girl to be your girlfriend. If the person agrees to go out, it is okay. If not, don't make a big issue out of it. It is not a failure; don't let it harm your self-worth or self-esteem.
Finding A Date After College
If you are keen to date after college, you need to manifest situations or create opportunities to meet that ‘someone special.'
What are the possible ways to meet new people worth considering for a date? Here are some ideas:
Since there is a diversified group of people out there who can be your probable dates, you have a plethora of means to connect with them. The only hitch is that you may take some time to meet someone special, whether you are looking for a serious relationship or a casual date.
There are a few selected credible, free online dating sites and apps where you get a free trial to try out the services. Once you are sure of the services and quality, enroll as a paid member to keep meeting real people interested in genuine relationships.
Pursue Hobbies and Interests
Other than depending on the internet, joining community clubs or activities that interest you also open up doors to meet potential dates. For example, if you love cycling and your city has a stadium with the infrastructure to support the sport, you can register and join the track on weekends.
Similarly, joining a hobby class offers opportunities to connect with similar-minded people. While at college, you really didn't look for such opportunities with clubs, classes, campus activities, etc.; beyond college, you will need to work a bit harder to create such opportunities to meet people.
Make New Friends, Meet Old Friends
Keep in touch with your old group. Most probably, all of them would have moved away and joined work, and some may already be dating. However, keeping in touch helps you meet new people through their network. Friends of Friends is an excellent dating concept and works incredibly.
Another way is to strike up new friendships – at work, with neighbors, cousins, siblings, etc. The more you are open to meeting strangers, the better the chances of getting a partner. Going on blind dates with this expanded network of acquaintances is one of the most effective ways to date after college.
Whatever the method, your circle of acquaintances definitely needs to be bigger, so work towards it with honest intentions.
Accidates Are Not Bad Either
What is an accidate? It's like you go out with a known person, maybe a good friend or a buddy from your hobby class, and end up smooching in the end. While you may not have been prepared to date this person, if both are okay with spending time with one another and discovering things that connect and excite you, then why not? It is not a bad idea at all.
Bars May Not Be the Best Place to Meet a Date
You will be told by your friends and family that letting someone buy a drink might do the trick, but don't fall for it. Blasting music in the background is not really the ideal way to strike up a rational conversation. One research in this context mentions that such meet-ups usually do not lead to anything serious. The survey mentions that only 2% of men and 9% of women have been able to strike off a healthy relationship at a club/bar.
After college, romance can be all about what you want, provided you are clear about what you are looking at. Are you looking at a long-term relationship or something for a shorter duration? More of fun or a serious commitment? Want to date multiple people simultaneously or have a dedicated partner?
Understanding your needs helps you keep things clear and simple with the other person/people. Either way, ensure that you keep things safe. Use the best dating app to ensure that you meet genuine people. For a casual date, too, research a bit before hooking up.
To avoid risks, it is a good idea to check out the person's profile on social media before meeting them. Thanks to technology, you can know a bit about everyone before actually meeting them in person.