The 5 People You (Can) Date in College
Updated: Sep 28, 2019
College is an open door of opportunity. You can learn, grow, get a good education, plan for your career and yes, you can even date.
Before you go hog wild with cute humans, parties, heart emojis and social media posts about your new bae, remember that college is also a place where many dreams get sidelined by bae drama and dating woes.
That heart racing, butterflies in the stomach, he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not stuff can bring both tons of fun and tons of heartache.
So before you catch yourself staring with that goofy grin into your phone again, you need to know what you can expect when you choose to date bae.
While anomalies and special cases exist…
Here are the 5 kinds of people you (can) date in college:
Before you even think about getting a bae, you need to date you first.
(I don’t mean anything weird here either.)
I am not saying that you should jump on the self-love hype train that can leave you selfish, overly fickle and dissatisfied with all others.
I mean take the time to discover who you are, what you are about and where you are in this season of your life.
It is important to know what you are working with in the skin you’re in.
(This also can work great after a breakup.)
Find out your likes and dislikes.
Identify what makes you tick.
Where are you in this season of your life?
What makes you happy? Sad?
What hobbies or interests do you have?
Having interests make you interesting and can help give you a well-rounded perspective or another way in which you connect with the world.
If someone asks you what you like to do for fun and all you can say is “I go to work and school” you have not taken the time to date you yet OR you haven’t done so in quite a while.
And, if you’ve been getting the same thing on the menu at your favorite eatery now is the chance to order something new.
Find out what you have been called to do.
What is your purpose on earth?
What have you been called to do for such a time as this?
How do you intend to make this world a better place than when you found it?
These kinds of questions speak to personal vision, calling, destiny and purpose and may in fact push you to strengthen your faith and your identity on earth.
It may also inspire you to live for something bigger than just you.
Finding out who you are and what you are about before you get a bae is a great way to become a well-rounded, healthy individual who is comfortable in their own skin.
In other words, you can become a whole person.
Not a person waiting for someone else (a bae) to make you whole.
If you have to wait on someone else to come along and define your present or your future, it is a clear sign you may be operating at some level of deficit (which is not good).
2. The Flake
When you are ready to date someone else, avoid the flakes at all cost.
Save yourself the drama, the unnecessary stress and the unnecessarily spent emotional energy by declining any dating relationship with a flake.
This person cannot be counted on.
When the going gets tough they get an attitude, pitch a fit, melt away or ghost you.
They can be unreliable, superficial, consumed with their own vanity, unfaithful, ungrateful, temperamental, interested in what’s in it for them more than your own welfare and can take on many forms.
Gold diggers. High maintenance hunks. Chronic schedule breakers. Emotional manipulators. Unapologetic ghosters. Fickle-feeling dealers.
Flakes cannot be counted on, trusted to follow through and they are the least likely to love you for you.
3. The Casual Companion
More often than not, this one’s love language is physical touch.
They can come with all the flirts, all the feels but none of the long term commitment that a real relationship takes.
Casual companions are the ones who want the good stuff with the littlest sacrifice.
They want all the benefits of being your bae with the least amount of commitment.
Smooth talkers. Fast-lane drivers. Handsy Harry. Sexy Sadie. All-over-you Albert (or Alberta).
Don’t be surprised if the most casual companion wants the most physical stuff out of you with no strings attached (AKA with no commitment).
After all, they want it casual not complicated.
That said, a casual companion may not always be physically focused.
They may choose the emotional or mental route and forgo the physical expectations for emotional dependency.
Head games. Manipulation tactics. Long talks and conversations where they get to “know” you.
The ones who want to hang out the most when they don’t have anything better to do.
This one is especially devastating if they ghost you, use what they learn about you against you or withhold reciprocity.
Either way, whether the casual companion is physical, emotional or plays mental games with you…
Avoid them at all costs.
Flee their temptation and all their warm and fuzzies.
You don’t need the distraction of casual when you can choose the committed.
4. The Interviewer
This guy (or girl) is looking for something specific in a potential bae and they would probably do very well in a career as a company head hunter or corporate recruiter.
When you meet this kind of person, prepare for rapid fire questions and silent scrutiny over each answer.
Where do you find these kind of dates?
They often find you.
This kind of person has found me in church, at work and even on the college campus.
Here’s what I’ve noticed about the interviewer: they rarely take their time.
Oh, they start off sweet as the summer sunshine for about a minute but then they blister you with rapid fire questions.
Many will often hover near you or near your space and once they start the questions they are not quick to leave.
Some wait until you are sitting down before they start (which can make you feel cornered between you don’t want to be rude and you can’t get away).
Others will follow you down a hall, into a parking lot or will make the effort to secure a date time and place so they can continue with their list of questions.
While some are more suave than others, the same thing rings true: they are looking for a specific kind of bae (and most often use this tactic when they are straight up looking for marriage material).
For whatever reason, this interview tactic always made me feel less than special.
Say the answer they are looking for and *poof* you fit the bill and they decide they like you or like you enough to date you.
Say the answer they aren’t looking for and…well…time is short and there are a ton of other candidates to interview.
This can communicate that they don’t like you for you.
They like you for what you represent because they haven’t even taken the time to get to know who you really are without it being a fact-finding mission of whether you not you check the boxes in their areas of interest.
It’s not personal, it’s just business.
Bae finding business.
I can understand where the interviewer is coming from.
Who wants to waste time dating duds?
They are looking for a serious love and want to cut through the dating madness to find that diamond in the rough.
Kind of like separating the wheat from the chaff.
But having been on the receiving end of several of these kinds of conversations, I can say that this approach can kind of make you feel like an interchangeable widget or cog in motion that may or may not fit into the machine of their world.
And it can feel like only they can decide this, because if you don’t jump on the rapid fire question bandwagon the interview-style date can easily become one-sided.
I’ve also watched this happen to friends and single members of my family.
None of them walked away super in love with the interviewer either.
So if you are one of those rapid fire interview style question-askers, here’s my advice: take it down a notch.
Remember the potential bae you are talking to is a person that wants to be seen and heard for who they are.
They might think you are cute too or that you have potential to be a great bae but slamming your non-negotiables [those things you look for in a bae that you refuse to negotiate on], your political stances, your checklist of hallelujahs [i.e. do you floss at night, do you like long walks in the park or do you even like animals?] or your thoughts on marriage and family down their throat in the first 5 minutes of talking to them is enough to send even the sweetest most understanding potential bae screaming in the opposite direction at a full sprint.
That said, the interviewer may in fact be an incredibly wonderful person to date, if you can get past their dating approach.
5. The Long-Term Bet
This one is the hardest to find but it is the sweetest date to have.
Dates with these kinds of people are often high quality and low-key #relationshipgoals.
They date respectfully, they honor your heart and your body and they are not put off by your less-than-perfect family members.
The long-term bet is the kind of person you could see being a great husband or father someday (or a great wife and mother).
Keep in mind, just because you go on a date with a long-term bet kind of person that doesn’t mean you will end up together.
It is possible to go to dinner with this person and end up just friends with zero chemistry.
It is possible to end up friend-zoned.
It is also possible that you will not find enough common ground to build a life together.
It is possible that though there be steak there is just no sizzle.
Long-term bets (pardon my phrasing here) are humans with great levels of character, integrity and good intentions that you may or may not spark with.
If you do not spark: that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them or you.
It just means they weren’t for you.
If you do spark: you just may have found someone you are willing to do life with for the rest of your days.
Out of the 5 people you can date in college, my encouragement is to save your time, your emotional energy and your heart.
Date you first.
Then, when you are ready and when the opportunity presents itself, date the long-term bet.
Avoid the flake, the casual companion, the flaky casual companion (such hybrids exist), the flaky interviewer or the casual companion interviewer at all costs.
Your heart will thank you later.
College is an incredible world of possibility.
You can study, learn a lot, kickstart your career, make new friends, learn to adult like a boss, embark on a journey of spiritual transformation, plan your future and work toward your goals.
It is also a place where many get sidelined by baes and dating woes.
If you can date you first, you will know more about your personality, your likes and dislikes and what you are called to do.
After that, look for the long-term bet and don’t get in a hurry or settle for the sake of peer pressure.
A great date is worth the wait.