The dos and don'ts of college relationships
Dorm living is one of the most integral parts of college life. After all, how else is one to learn the important craft of secretly smuggling extra dining hall food, or practising methods of selective hearing when your neighbour decides to blast dubstep at 3am?
But with the excitement of dorm living comes the inevitable dare of college relationships. It’s practically scientific; living in such close proximity to people who share common similarities is unbelievably distracting, and that’s not to mention the heavy sexual tension floating through the halls.
The question is, is it a good idea to give in to temptation? That’s a tricky question. But if you do decide to test the romantic waters, here are the dos and don’ts of embarking on a college courtship.
Don’t: give in to dorm incest
Despite being the most important ‘don’t’ of them all, dorm incest warnings are generally completely ignored. Sure, you’re saving steps on your walk of shame, but nevertheless, dorm incest generally ends in a complete and utter mess. Seeing your person all day everyday won’t only take away the desire to actually see them, but it can also provoke a snake pit of inappropriate comments and behaviours from those you live with. Everyone is inevitably going to know all about your business, word spreads like wildfire, and all of a sudden the elephant in the room becomes more of a pain than a passion.
Do: openly admit to being in a relationship
You have to admit to being in a relationship, whether it’s casual or serious. Not only will it save you the effort of tiptoeing through the halls at 4am, but it’ll be easier for those around you. In saying that, be mindful. Nobody likes to hear about how “in love” you are, so control yourself and keep your PDAs classy.
Don’t: confuse the friendship line
The happy friendship bubble is never the same after tampering with it, so be sure you know what you want. The transition from friends to friends with benefits - or, heaven forbid, a relationship - is a lot harder than your everyday sitcom suggests. Confusing friendly hugs and snuggles with the desire for a full throttle relationship is the most common mistake. If you are going to do it, you need to fully commit with no hesitations. So quit playing around and teasing - strap your big girl panties on and just do it!
Do: explore your options
Freshers, this one goes out to you. Yes, you have finally moved out and have your own little slice of freedom, so what’s the rush? Don’t just jump on the first person you see and call it love – chances are they don’t want a commitment. From experience, college is full of short-term love affairs that end as swiftly as they begin. Test the waters; there are more people out there than the seven other dormies you live with…
Don’t: get a reputation
There’s no good in shaming a person’s choice in sexual liberty; people are free to be sexually adventurous if they choose to. In saying that, always be cautious and careful with what you tell people. Respect not only yourself, but also your other half - even if it was just a casual fling.
Do: focus on all types of relationships
Try not to get so caught up in getting laid. Focus on meeting new people, both inside and outside of your dorm. Funnily enough, this group will probably be full of friends you’ll keep well after your college life ends, and the only ones who’ll give you a comforting cuddle when you’re not feeling so crash hot.
Don’t: expect a wine and dine
Can you afford a fancy bottle of wine and a degustation meal for two? Probably not – after all, most of us are poor and surviving on Macca’s and two-minute meals. Don’t go expecting someone to wine and dine you without helping out a little bit. Otherwise, be prepared to split your date night bill or, better yet, organise a freebee date. At the end of the day it’s the company you’re after, right?
Simone is a journalism student from Charles Sturt University, 30-second dance party enthusiast, pho-lover and proud Hemingway fan.