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Dating: Love in the Time of Hookup Apps

After spending four years in and out of high school relationships where the extent of dating is holding hands while walking each other to class and putting your partner’s name in your Twitter bio, you are now at a larger school with a new sea of faces and a spectrum of relationships. This is your roadmap to navigate three major categories that your new relationship is likely to fall into.

Keepin’ it casual

In his article, “Sexual Hookup Culture: A Review,” Justin R. Garcia of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University reports that, “a combined 81 percent of undergraduate respondents engaged in some form of hookup behavior.” Hooking up is a relationship with a partner without involving feelings; it’s typically a sexual relationship. Dating apps and social media are two popular places to meet partners. Intentions can be communicated without making things uncomfortable within a friend group or a classroom. Your friends at school will have their own friends and as long as tides are calm between you, your friends and your partner, there’s no harm in casual sex. Communicate to your partner that the situation isn’t working out and you would like to put an end to things. This can get tricky if your partner is present in your everyday life; however, without commitment, there isn’t much justification for bad blood as long as you do the respectful thing and communicate with them.

Dating Apps. Image Courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you’re meeting a partner off of social media, let a friend know. Text them where you’re going, or who is coming over, along with an address and a screenshot of your partner’s social media profile. Keep your friend updated once an hour and set a time limit for them to take action if they don’t hear from you. If your partner is involved in your friend group, ensure all of your friends are alright with the relationship because it’s never worth throwing  away a friend for just casual sex.

Deciding who to start dating

In his article “A Million First Dates” published in The Atlantic, Dan Slater shares a conversation with a friend, Jacob, where Jacob explains, “Each relationship is its own little education…You learn more about what works and what doesn’t…I’m not jumping into something with the wrong person, or committing to something too early.” Commitment in college can be scary, and it’s alright to not be ready to dive into a relationship with somebody. You go on dates, you hold hands and people know that, to some extent, you two are an item.

It’s a relationship without the pressure of a label or the intimidation that can come with commitment in your late teens/early 20s. Start a conversation with a person you’re interested in that sits near you in class or by discussing common interests in a club. Stay away from people you know because it can be tricky to have a partner in this stage in your friend group, because although there isn’t commitment, there are still feelings involved. Because feelings are involved, communicate them to your partner and be honest with what you want and where your feelings are at, and do what is best for you.This stage is the gray area of relationships and to ensure you and your partner are taking the same steps where it will influence your status, communication is key. Find a term that is well-known and establish terminology when beginning this relationship that is easy to explain to a wide demographic and is also comfortable for you and your partner.

It’s Facebook official

Cara Newlon of USA Today reported that a Facebook Data Scientist study released in 2013 found that about 28 percent of married graduates attended the same college as their spouse. Even in the generation of hooking up and dating apps, romance on campus is not dead. When you’re in a relationship, there is exclusivity with you and your partner, using concrete terms like boyfriend and girlfriend. There are intentions to grow with your partner and there is permanence in your relationship.

Relationships can begin in a plethora of ways, from friends to social media to meetcutes at Jimmy John’s. If you’re interested in someone, never hesitate to make a move and keep in mind that the worst they can say is no. If you want to end things, be honest, be open, and be kind. Remember that you’re only in college and you have time to grow independently and you’ll meet people along the way. If you attend school with your partner, you’re prone to run into them. Try to avoid people who live in your building in case things have a rocky ending. These are pivotal growth years, so to maintain your independence in your relationship and remember you don’t have to share all of your interests with your partner. Also, make time for your friends throughout your relationship. It can be easy to isolate yourself from people that aren’t your partner, but try to set aside at least a night a week for your friends.

Dating Today. Image Courtesy of Shutterstock.

In this generation, dating is more complex than it once was. There are a spectrum of terms and statuses your relationship could fall on. Although this culture is experiencing constant growth, at the core of any relationship lies communication and honesty, and with those two things in your pocket, you can navigate through any relationship.

See Also:

Is This The Real Kind Of Love?

Looking back on your first love

Dating Mistakes

Avoid These Common Dating Mistakes

Just like any other skill, dating takes practice. However, most people aren’t very excited about the prospect of practicing for weeks, months, or even years. Those who are tend to find the thrill wears thin after the first few bad dates. You likely don’t have a huge circle of close friends, and that makes sense. It’s challenging to find people who share the same values, morals, ethics, and interests as you—or even enough to make for an interesting overlap. Once you try to add in attraction and chemistry to the mix, the possibilities can get even slimmer.

We live in an era of instant gratification, and big pools of the dating population were raised with the idea that they could have it all. That may be true in some niches, but when it comes to dating, there’s no such thing as the perfect person (on either side of the equation).

Here are some of the most common dating mistakes that are made and how to avoid them:

Getting addicted to dating apps

 It’s exciting and very validating to download a popular app and start swiping away. However, the idea that there are limitless options makes us feel like, well, there are limitless options. That’s not the case. It encourages us to flirt a little on text, never meet up, and always think that if something doesn’t work out then there are thousands more options just a swipe away. Try seeking out a real connection and focusing on one possibility at a time.

Sharing too much

It used to be that talking too much about personal things (such as past lovers) on a first date was taboo. It still is, but now people have taken it farther. It’s common to ask for and receive naughty pictures before ever meeting in person. It’s easy to “stalk” an interest on various social media platforms. Wait until you meet in person more than once to get intimate (if you’re looking for something serious) and keep your social media private.

Regularly starting long distance relationships

Sometimes long distance can’t be avoided, and sometimes it can work. However, if this is how you start, it can be nearly impossible for something real to come of it. When neither party will be in a position to move or has the time/finances to regularly visit in person, these online and distance “relationships” can keep you from finding a real connection.

Not giving your full attention on a date

Dating is still a thing—whether you want to call it talking, hanging out, or something else. When you’re spending time with someone one-on-one, put your phone on airplane mode. Avoid one of the biggest dating mistakes and don’t check it—and certainly don’t prowl dating apps when you think the other person won’t know. It can be tough because our phones are like security blankets. However, it’s rude and tells your date that they’re not worth your time.

Limit your drink to just one

Particularly on the first date, it’s tempting to build up a little liquid courage. However, drinking lowers inhibitions and can make you sloppy, making this high on this list of top dating mistakes. You might ruin what could be a great relationship because the other person sees red flags. Avoid bars for first dates and try to choose a daytime activity instead so you’re not tempted to over-indulge.

Make sure you’re over your ex first

It’s fun to date casually to help in licking your wounds after a messy breakup. However, there’s also a risk of becoming a serial monogamist. If you can’t keep things casual, challenge yourself to take a few weeks’ break from dating after a breakup.

It’s normal to make mistakes in all parts of our life, including dating. However, we also need to learn from our mistakes. What big dating mistakes have you experienced?

Further reading: Five Cheap Date Ideas

Trevor McDonald is a freelance content writer, currently writing on behalf of Ohio Addiction Recovery Center. He’s written a variety of education, travel, health, and lifestyle articles to share his experiences with the world. In his free time, you can find him playing his guitar or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.

Dating Apps Created by Women

Five Dating Apps Created by Women for Women

Apps have changed the face of dating and there seems to be no signs of them slowing down. Long gone are the days of courting a lady; instead, swiping yes or no seem to be the newest form of digital foreplay. While dating apps have made connecting to people far easier, they have received a lot of skepticism from both sexes—women, in particular. Women often feel harassed or tired of silly puns and cheesy one-liners spewed out to them by their matches. Another complaint is the lack of safety precautions. Instances of harassment are a common feature of virtual dating. The solution to this? Dating apps created by women—these outstanding dating apps have the answer (for the females at least). Take a look at our top 5 dating apps created by women for women.

Bumble

Possibly the most popular and well known of the eight apps, Bumble is specifically designed with women in mind. It works on a similar premise to most dating apps with location being integral to your matches. What makes it so unique is the method in which a couple will start chatting. A male can extend an invitation to speak with a female, but in order for any flirting to commence a female needs to accept beforehand. Whitney Wolfe, CEO and creator of Bumble and cofounder of the dating app Tinder, is an American entrepreneur. The app’s immense popularity and surge in their monthly base visitors gained Wolfe a place within Forbes 2017 30 Under 30, where they credit successful young pioneers for their work.

HER

HER’s objective is to unite members of the lesbian, bisexual and queer community of women. Their app involves free and paid features with differing perks and functions. But there is a lot more to HER than just dating, it also allows the user to make new friendship connections and read up on topical news. They even promote the sharing of LGBTQ events, providing app users with a well-rounded knowledge f how their identity group is being catered to in their local community. Robyn Exton, founder of HER, commented that “Dating for LGBTQ women used to be pretty tough. Trying to find a woman that hadn’t dated one of your friends was like trying to find a black diamond in Argos; very unlikely.” A prime example of a dating app created by women for women.

Coffee Meets Bagel

The Coffee Meets Bagel app is unlike Tinder, which uses fast-paced swiping software for a quick dating experience. Coffee Meets Bagel takes that concept and flips it on its head. Each day at noon the male users will be sent a selection of 21 matches, they can either like or pass on these. The app then curates the best potential matches for those who were liked, the girl can choose who they speak to out of the selection they receive. The more the app progresses, the more accurate the matches become. The app collates data and starts to track the significance of the users you like.

LuLu

LuLu was created by Alexandra Chong as a solution to harsh dating rules. The app aims to create a safe environment for women, allowing them to remain anonymous until they feel comfortable revealing their full identity. It works in a similar way to Bumble, allowing women to make the first move with a message. What sets LuLu apart from the rest is its rating feature. The app allows you to rate exes and old acquaintances. This review covers sexual performance, hobbies, ambitions and appearance, giving a unique edge over its app opponents.

Siren

Susie Lee, CEO and cofounder of dating app Siren, disliked the swiping culture developing within the dating scene. Mindless and rather shallow use of apps is starting to make people neglect what really matters—an opinion greatly triumphed by Lee. She believed there were no genuine dating apps created by women for women—enter Siren. The app provides you with a daily question, intended to initiate thoughtful conversations that reveal more about the user’s personality. This is one of the more thoughtful apps on the market. Try to consider your answers carefully before publishing them; the pace of the app is decisively slower and more purposeful than others in the market. Lee set out to humanize the online dating scene. Durex proposed a partnership with Siren during one of their campaigns on technology and intimacy.

Further reading: Dating App Bumble is Opening its Own Bar