Dos and don’ts of university dating

How to survive the dating game at university 

There’s unlikely to be another time in your life when you’re surrounded by so many like-minded single people as being at university. But such a unique environment comes with pitfalls as well as possibilities. Here’s our guide to making a success of your campus love life.

Less is more

DO look before you leap. Thrust into the maelstrom of student life, you may be tempted to grab every opportunity going. But get to know people, make considered decisions, and your experiences will be better for it.

DON’T spread the love too thinly. You want to be known around campus for your insightful comments in tutorials, your witty banter and your enviable dance moves, not because you’ve sowed your seeds with abandon.

Too close for comfort

DO get to know people from all walks of life. Campus cliques are no fun, and will limit your options love-wise.

DON’T search for love within the four walls of your own building. Close at hand maybe convenient, but if it ends badly you could be sharing a microwave with the person who broke your heart.

Fulfil your potential

DO be yourself. One of university’s thrills is that you leave everyone who knows you behind. You have a rare opportunity to reinvent yourself and perhaps be the person you really want to be. This, of course, applies to sexuality as much as to anything else.

DON’T hide your light under a bushel. It may take some courage, but step out of the shadows and you’ll feel much better for it. 

Let’s be sensible

DO have a care for personal safety. In the woozy atmosphere of Freshers’ Week it can be easy to forget that campus is the real world. But just because uni feels like one big playground doesn’t mean you should throw common sense out the window. The same dangers exist here as elsewhere.

DON’T be needlessly reckless. If you’re meeting up with someone you barely know, choose a public place for the rendezvous, and don’t go off with a stranger without telling your friends what you’re up to.

Safety first

DO take precautions. All you want to take home after your first term is your dirty laundry, your assignments and possibly some cracking anecdotes.

DON’T throw caution to the wind in the devil-may-care cauldron of campus. Remember: youth, bravado and joie de vivre are no defence against STIs. And if you are worried, head to your GP or the local health clinic asap.

Wine and dine

DO go on dates. Student relationships don’t have to consist of group nights out at the union followed by a series of ad-hoc dorm room hook-ups. Remember you’re – almost – a grown-up now, try behaving like one. Take your partner out for the evening.

DON’T think the way to your girlfriend or boyfriend’s heart is a booze-fuelled late night text asking if they’re still up. There are only so many times you can do that before they’d rather get a good night sleep.