The dos and don’ts of university dating

Relationships at university can be difficult. Not only are you fighting to wake up in time for your 9am lectures, juggling summatives with socials, and just all-round trying to make it through to the end of the term, you also have to figure out where your dating life actually fits in amongst all the chaos (if that is even something you’d be interested in at all).

Although university can be a great place to meet new people – and not just potential romances, but best friends too – it can be daunting trying to figure out where to start amongst the hundreds of societies, socials, college events, and countless nights out. If you’re looking to start dating whilst at university, here are some (more or less) foolproof rules to follow to create a recipe for success.


Do not (and I repeat DO NOT) date your housemates

This one should hopefully not come as a surprise as most people are warned of the consequences of ‘flatcest’ before they’ve even stepped foot on campus, but despite the warnings, many people choose to pursue their housemates anyway. To this I say a hard NO. I’m sure there are some couples out there who have had long and happy relationships that stemmed from living together, but as for the rest of us, the horror stories speak for themselves. Living with someone 24/7 as a newly dating couple is not always the best idea, as well as the fact that no one wants to be living with that couple – imagine paying rent just to third wheel! If things don’t end in happily ever after, the idea of having to deal with the fallout of a breakup while still living together is just not worth the hassle of thinking about. It will most likely end in tears, and you are not the exception to the rule.


Be open-minded

Going to university means meeting people from all walks of life, and maybe your ideal ‘type’ will change while at university. Having a very set type is okay, but realising that your type has changed is okay too. Be open to where you meet new people and the kinds of people that you strike up a conversation with. Sometimes the most interesting encounters are those that we never expected. It is also worth being open-minded about putting yourself out there too. If you are genuinely set on dipping your toe into the university dating world, try casting your net far and wide by joining new societies, getting involved with college sports, or volunteering for charity events around campus. Even if you don’t end up meeting the love of your life, the chances are you’ll get some great friends out of it and so either way, it’s a win-win. University is all about being open to trying new things and getting the most out of the student experience, and using the same mindset when dating can introduce you to a wide range of people that you never thought you would end up fancying!


Don’t rely on Jimmy’s

This links back to the previous point about being open-minded, but it is also worth branching out from where you are relying on meeting romantic potentials. A Jimmy’s night out can be a fun way to practice your hopelessly non-existent flirting skills, but let’s face it, the love of your life is probably not in the Jimmy’s smoking area (as much as you might wish they were). As daunting as it might seem, why not try venturing into the world of dating apps as a way of getting yourself out there and figuring out the kinds of people that you’re into. Dating apps can be a great way to boost your confidence and might even get you a date or two! Dating is all about putting yourself out there (which is the scariest part of the whole thing, I know), but once you’ve taken the first steps, attended some new societies, and chatted with other hopeful romantics, the world of dating doesn’t seem so impossible!


Be yourself

I know that this rule is the classic dating cliché, but it is a classic for a reason. Being confident in yourself is not only a surefire way to attract like-minded people, confidence is also a very attractive trait. There is truly no point in pretending to be someone that you are not just to attract the type of person that you think will be the love of your life. If they don’t accept you for who you are, they probably aren’t going to be your soulmate. The key to dating is finding someone that you enjoy getting to know and spending time with, and you won’t find that person if you are anyone but your wonderful self.


University isn’t the end of it

Finally, although university feels like the best and most likely place to enter into the dating world, it really isn’t for everyone. With everything else going on at university, sometimes the dating luck isn’t on your side and that’s okay! University is only a few years of your life after all, and joining the Durham 70% shouldn’t define your university experience. As much as you might want to find a partner at university, maybe your perfect person isn’t wandering the streets of Durham (or in Jimmy’s, for that matter). University isn’t just about romantic relationships, but it is the spontaneous experiences, newly discovered passions, and the friends that we make along the way. If dating isn’t working out for you at university, that isn’t to say that the love of your life doesn’t exist. Be open-minded, be yourself, and the dating world is your oyster.


Featured image: Pixabay via Pexels


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