Dating Tips to Freshmen From A Senior & A Junior
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – September 12, 2018 – High school dating is like prep work for the far more complicated and adult world of college dating. In high school, you’re living at home and parents are keeping tabs on who you date. In college, you’re on your own – and that’s a big transition for freshmen for whom dating freedom is a new thing. You get to make your own choices about who you want to be a relationship with, and how intimate you want to get. It’s an exciting feeling, but one that that needs to be approached with some common sense.
“You’re not in high school, so if something goes wrong you can’t call your parents to come pick you up or simply drive home,” says University of Southern California (USC) senior Elizabeth Pritzker. “You’re on your own, handling the dating scene for the first time.”
There’s plenty of ambiguity, awkwardness and misunderstanding in the dating field. However, it’s important to put your wishes out in the open before getting close to someone (whether it’s a heart-to-heart connection or just a hookup). To get your dating career as organized as (hopefully) your academic career, read these tips from Pritzker and her USC classmate Sam Skalbania. As upperclassmen, Elizabeth and Sam have successfully navigated the dating scene for a few years, so their advice comes from experience.
● Choose a neutral place for the first meeting. Think Starbucks or a campus café – and don’t plan a long dinner. “That way, if you don’t hit it off with the person, you’re not stuck there for hours,” Elizabeth says. (You can make an easy yet polite exit when you haven’t committed to a full meal.) Or suggest an activity, like going on a hike or working out together.
● Think about what you want, and don’t want. Before you meet your date, ask yourself some pointed questions about what you want from the relationship. “Any answer is OK – it just needs to be about what you really want, not what someone talks you into,” Sam says. “Don’t change your boundaries to impress someone. Stick to your choice.” Maybe cuddling is fine for now – maybe you want to do more. No matter where you are on the scale, get honest with yourself about what you’ll tell your potential partner when the conversation turns to next steps.
● Talk. Unlike your parents’ college dating encounters, dates today should include much more forthright conversation about your expectation for what happens post-date. “Be straight about what you want to do – like, ‘I don’t want to have sex with you tonight,’” Sam says. “You don’t want your partner to have to guess what you’d like.”
● Use a consent app. When you’re navigating the freshman dating landscape, consent apps are a good way to share your wishes with another person in a way that’s easy and transparent. An app like iAPPROVE, which is designed to help you manage relationships, puts both you and your potential partner on the record about your ground rules. With the app, you can replace vague conversations and guesswork with clear guidelines for how you far you want to go. The two of you can define your partner status (like “platonic” or “casual non-exclusive”), and what sexual activity you’re comfortable with.
● Don’t get wasted. This sounds obvious, but in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to get carried away. You can’t make decisions about how far you want to go if you don’t have a clear head. Save the partying for when you know the person better and feel more secure in how they’ll treat you.
● Think twice about dating roommates’ friends. On the one hand, your roommates might introduce you to cool people. On the other hand, if the date doesn’t work out, you’ll be stuck with awkward encounters for months.
● Don’t “ghost” anyone. Unless someone has been too aggressive or made you uncomfortable, it’s insanely rude to simply ignore texts or messages from someone who assumes you want to see them again. “Do the adult thing and say you just didn’t hit it off,” Elizabeth says. If you hide and avoid communication, you run the risk of someone bothering you repeatedly, trying to figure out if you’re just game-playing.
The great thing about being clear and forthright about your relationship and dating needs – and getting on the same page with your partner – is that you can relax and actually enjoy dating. “When you feel confident that you’ve gotten the hard-to-discuss stuff out of the way, you can focus on getting to know each other,” Elizabeth says. “That tension about consent and ‘will we or won’t we’ goes away. It makes dating much more fun – the way it should be.”
iAPPROVEAPP, LLC provides technology solutions to help prevent sexual harassment and assaults. Our application creates greater personal empowerment over choices and has been designed to successfully address the human and legal complexities of consensual sex, assist in the compliance with legislative and regulatory mandates, and create a verifiable and auditable capability for documenting personal choices, decisions and consent. Visit: www.iapproveapp.com