Dating advice: realistically speaking

One of the best parts of dating is being excited about someone new. One of the worst parts about dating is listening to what everyone else has to say about it.

I recently came across a BuzzFeed article telling college students how to date, “21 Life-Changing Dating Tips Every College Student Needs to Know.” Let me just tell you, they’re not life-changing. It’s the same dating advice I’ve heard since I started dating back in middle school. I began to read down the list: “Don’t get into a relationship for at least the first month or two of college,” “Don’t disconnect from the world the moment you start dating someone,” and “If you have control over it, avoid dating anyone who lives in your building.” They weren’t all bad, but some of them really irked me.

First of all, anyone who says they’re not looking for someone is just lying. You may not be looking for a relationship, but you’re more than likely looking for some sort of human contact.

Nobody wants to be told what to do, especially when it comes to dating. As humans, it’s natural for us to feel excited about someone we’re just getting to know. Suppressing those feelings will only hold you back from something that could be as exciting as you feel it is. If someone you really like comes along in the first month or two of college, don’t push that person away because BuzzFeed told you to.

This is not to say that you should dive head-first into dating someone new with no caution, but don’t be afraid either. Especially in college, where a lot of things are new—looking for comfort from a human source other than friends is a natural tendency.

It is inevitable to lose some contact with those closest to you when you begin dating someone. If the feeling between you and the person is mutual, you’ll both want to start spending a lot of time together. And if your friends are really your friends, they’ll understand and won’t hold it against you.

Above all, remember to have fun. This is something I have to constantly be reminding myself when I begin to date someone. I can get way too caught up in what I should and shouldn’t be feeling, wondering whether or not he likes me (when shouldn’t it be more about whether or not I like him?) and wondering where it’s going. Just remember it’s OK to have these feelings.

Reading the article, I saw a lot of things that you shouldn’t be doing. No one should dictate your love life but yourself. There are always consequences to your actions. With that being said, if you want to fall head over heels for someone, I say go for it! But if s/he isn’t the one, don’t forget there’s always another fish in the sea. The disappointment will hurt for a while, but you have to keep moving forward because the world won’t wait for you. One of my favorite quotes from the movie The Fault in Our Stars is, “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have a say in who hurts you.”