Hunger Dating Games are brutal at IU.
Dating at IU is nearly impossible. Not fully impossible, but it’s hard. My high school sweetheart of three years broke up with me in early October of my freshman year (October of 2009, I’m old) and it took me two years to get over it (until October of 2011). He was a year older, went to Rose-Hulman, and a combination of distance and my freshman year stress had him driving over here to break up with me. It sucked and drove a further rift between my roommate and I, as she was friends with him as well.
Dating here is weird. There are so many people from so many places that have so many different backgrounds than you. Suddenly, you don’t really know the person you’re interested in. It isn’t like high school where you’re trapped with them for four years and you get a pretty solid grasp on their lives. Plus you’re from the same town. No, here in Bloomington, you’ll meet people from halfway around the world. That said, there are a lot of fish in the proverbial IU ocean. And it’s awesome. I highly advise casually dating (read: DATING. NOT casually hooking up. That’s legitimately dangerous) and staying out of a long term relationship for your freshman and sophomore year. I know, it’s like impossible to not want to have someone, but you have to resist!
There is a danger to dating around though: you don’t actually know that person. But seriously. You have to trust that they’re being 100% honest. You have to trust that they aren’t seeing someone on the side. And if you’re a small town girl, you might be a little more naive than you should.
This danger didn’t affect me until junior year. To make a long story short, my guy left another girl for me. And I didn’t know about her. And he “forgot” to mention her. And it was awful, stressful, and caused a lot of tension on both ends. Before you jump into a relationship like I did, do your research. Work hard to get to know the person, without stalking or being insane. That's what dates are for, getting to know someone. (Stalking is bad. Even Facebook stalking. Just say no.) I know this isn’t a perfect example of the whole “not really knowing someone” thing, but it’s my real life example.
The other relationship-hurdle you have to clear is the whole “trust” thing. Trust can be rough, especially if you’re
dumb brave enough to date a within the Greek system. There will be some social events you just can’t go to without it being weird. There will be other girls/guys who show interest. And there will be a few arguments. And that goes for just dating at IU in general as well. Trust is paramount. If you can’t trust your significant other, then you shouldn’t be with them.
My advice for dating in college can be summed up using the following things:
1. Trust your significant other
2. Spend time together and apart
3. Date someone who doesn’t require you to change
4. Share a few friends
5. Have a hobby that you share (like running)
6. Be patient
7. Remain independent
8. Don’t date seriously until you’re a junior or senior
9. Don’t let it make or break your time here
10. HAVE FUN
And remember, in the words of Van Wilder:
"...Don't take life too seriously, you'll never get out alive."