Monday, August 5, 2013

Dating in College & BEYOND – Words of Wisdom

   We’ve tackled this issue before here on our University of Texas at Tyler Blog, particularly with this blog and this blog. I felt like adding to the dialogue of this topic since dating and so-forth has been a rather large topic with my friends over the past few months. I’ve shared some thoughts with then and received some as well.

   I can only speak primarily from a male POV on this, however some points are important regardless of your biological or decided gender. If I mention anything out of the ordinary for a male POV, while I am not ‘sorry’ exactly, please comment here so you can understand my thoughts … and so I can learn yours.

   College is busy. It can be so busy in fact that we can often forget to socialize, or even worse? We can tell ourselves we don’t have time, or that nobody will care, or that we’re not worth getting to know.

   Yikes, that is in no way true. Let us break down some of the most common issues people in college have with dating …

   1 – The only people I really get to know are people in my class, and the ‘rules’ say I shouldn't date a classmate!

Hi! I am a human! Talk to me like one and
not a mythic Unicorn
    There is some conventional wisdom in this, similar to the idea that you should not date somebody you work with. There are two things to consider here – First, if there is somebody you are friendly with and/or attracted to in a class, why not just address things up front? “Hey, you want to grab lunch some time?” If the other person isn't interested [for any reason that is his/her own] they’ll likely tell you straight away. Second, chances are very good that you’ll get to know many more people other than ones in your class.

   What you should NOT do however is lure somebody in a class into a “study session” or some-such that, SURPRISE, you consider a date and he/she does not. This is improper, creepy, and should not be done. Talk with the person you might fancy in your class openly, in person, and like anybody else. Don’t lie, don’t pretend to NOT want to date them if they like the idea, and certainly talk to them like you’d want to be spoken with.

   If you decide to go out with somebody in your class, it should be because you both talked about it and you both made the choice to go out AND do HW together. It can be beneficial, provided both people are always mature and address issues if/when they come up.

2 – I can’t talk to [person x] because they are out of my league.

 You’d be surprised how many times this comes up, at least with a group of people I know both here and in the cities where I have lived before Tyler.

   There. Is. No. Such. Thing. As . A. League! [ repeat this x100 times when you think “so and so will never talk to meeeeeee’  ]

Man, just a few more badges ... I'll defeat you, Giovani
   Women and men are not pokemon and you do not need a certain amount of badges before you can talk to a person. If somebody TREATS you like this is the case? Ditch them. Fast.

   One of my friends is very, very attractive ( and how, happily married ). She actually was NOT asked out as much as some of her friends and she became nervous about her looks. Over time she found out some guys did not ask her out ( guys she liked, btw ) because these people considered her “too pretty” to talk with and they thought she would mock or spur their advances.

   Guys? Girls can be attractive, and yes – attraction is 9 out of 10 times the catalyst that spurs people to talk to others when you don’t know them – but that isn't everything. Women have personalities, feelings, opinions, and they make judgment calls like you do. THEY get to be the judge of what they do or don’t find attractive, not you. It seems weird, but when you make their choices for them? That isn't going to get either of you anywhere and it gives you a lower self-esteem than you deserve.

   I know girls who do this as well. The logic is the same – give the person a chance to prove himself a rude moron … or a complete gentleman who likes you. You’ll never have all the facts until you just talk to somebody.

   3 – It isn't like you can just ask out anybody! I need to get to know the person first and I don’t have time for that. I am busy.

Life isn't always like this ... ya know ... cause dogs
can't talk

WOW, so I've heard this little phrase more often than I’d like to admit. I believe this has many, many things wrong with it and I’d like to offer some points on it.

First, the idea that a guy or a girl “has” to be friends with you FIRST before you ask them out? That has some severe holes in it. I am not saying having friends you them ask out is wrong ( it isn't ), however the issue that they MUST be friends with you has a problem.

   If you pursue this route you run the risk of actually setting up a very, very good friendship. These are great and wonderful and rather rare. If you THEN decide to pursue dating, well, it can come as a shock. This always comes down to the personality of the person you ask out, but this about this from their POV?

   Guy/GirlMan, person X is really cool. He likes me for me and has listened to me and become a great friend. 

   You: Surprise, I actually want this relationship to go somewhere else entirely and I’ve waited until now to tell you!

   Guy/GirlUh, can’t we keep things like they are? 

   Here is where the myth of a “friend-zone” comes on. People are people and we treat others like we want to be treated. We treat out friends like friends because … well … they ARE. Pulling an emotional rug out from under a person and saying “I feel like risking the relationship we've been building cause I never just asked out straight away” is risky, risky business.

   Look at it another way ~ if you ask somebody out on a DATE and they say “no thank” and you follow up with “well, as friends then?” If they say yes, you are both CLEAR about the established nature of the relationship. If the guy/girl changes her mind later, so much the better for you because she came to the choice on that on his/her own.

   Doing things in reverse simply risks the person you are becoming friends with feeling like they've been lured into a relationship TRAP.

4 – Just talk to the person you might otherwise ignore or be scared of.

   This is hard.

   I have problems with this.

   The point still stands – TALK TO HIM/HER. The worst that happens is you might get declined, but you can also learn more about another human. You could gain a new friend, you could brighten somebody’s day, you could learn about yourself and you can get a little more brave each time.

   Don’t look at people declining you as “failure” or “ruin.” You are not defined by who you date. You are always still you and the other person ( possibly, bluntly ) is being honest.

   In the end, keep talking.

   You’ll never lose anything in life by keeping at being social, regardless of small set-backs.


Jacky said...

OH! Great post..I was so impressed I've found this kind of blog..Thanks.

Zuhra Imtiaz said...

Nice Post Thanks for sharing
Happy Valentines Day 2015

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