Between late nights studying for exams, early mornings to commute to class, working overtime and hanging out with your friends, love gets lost in the busy college life that you lead day to day.
Remember gentlemen, thanks to Disney, Nicholas Spark books-turned-films and 1990s boy bands, women’s expectations are high. They want all the romance and excitement that is scripted and you should already know all the right things to say.
Ladies, it’s a tad harder for us because the spectrum of guy’s standards varies from guy to guy. Sometimes you can cook your way to a man’s heart or you can win his heart over by knowing how to talk about cars or the latest video game.
Some young adults aren’t even thinking of finding love at this age. While some of us are looking for that special person to start building the foundation of a relationship, others just want a special friend to cuddle up with on the couch and watch a movie with during the cold winter, while still others are just looking for someone to have a good time with for the night. Whatever you’re looking for, the question is, where do you even look?
The first obvious place you’d search for a date would be someone in your class. Clearly, you two could relate to having a busy schedule since you’re both in college. Dating doesn’t get much easier than asking your class crush for a study date that could lead to more time together, minus the studying.
If you’re afraid of the awkward moment in class that could follow after an unsuccessful date, then why not try going old school and meeting someone at a bar? You could have a drink or two to relax and take that chance on striking up a conversation with that special someone who’s caught your eye. Let’s just not go overboard with that liquid courage and forget to filter out the part about how his butt grabbed your attention the minute you walked in.
If at first you don’t succeed, maybe your friend can introduce you to someone new. This is probably one of the most reliable ways to find a date, but it could also be one of the most disastrous. It could be a match made in college-life heaven because, who knows you better than your friends? If a really good buddy sets you up with a friend he has known for quite some time— and I’m talking years, not a semester— then obviously they would know you both well enough to match you two up. However, if your friend sets you up with that guy she met twice through her boyfriend at his friend’s party, well then, you might find out that you two aren’t as compatible as everyone had hoped.
Most young adults in their early to mid-20s find that they’re too young for speed dating, so where else do you turn to find a date? In today’s day and age, a date or cuddle buddy could be a smartphone app away.
Yes, the fastest growing fad in dating is online dating. Because who wouldn’t want to be able to do a full background check on someone before they decide to meet that person face-to-face? Type their name into Google and their Facebook profile will most likely pop-up and depending on their security settings you could find out about them and their friends within minutes.
What is really fascinating is the fact that there are multiple ways that the Internet could help you find someone for life, the day, or even just the night. From virtual games with avatars you design, to apps on your smartphone to dating websites, love truly could be at your fingertips. As long as you have an e-mail address you can look for love in all corners of the world all from your seat on the bus or even the comfort of your bed.
Imagine creating an avatar to look the way you dream of looking and walking around in this online universe meeting people from other parts of the country and the world, chatting about life and learning about each other while sitting in your virtual condo you have decked out. Sounds fun, right? IMVU— origins of the name are unknown— an online community with 3D avatar-based experiences, let’s you do this. Save up your virtual currency and dress your avatar the way you want them to look to the world and meet them at the virtual “club” chatroom before inviting them back to your virtual place to have some “alone” time. If you don’t mind possibly finding someone whose thousands of miles from you and the idea of a long distance relationship doesn’t faze you, then try your luck. But be warned, who really makes their avatars look like themselves on those types of games, right?
Speaking of cautions, with online dating— whether it’s a website or app— keep an eye out for people who are just looking for attention not love or company. Thanks to MTV’s popular show, ‘Catfish,’ the caution of dating someone who turns out to be not the person they say they are is being brought to the world’s attention. Before you commit to someone you have started talking to online, you should definitely try to at least Skype video chat them. If they are being completely honest then they won’t have any excuse as to why they can’t even log onto Skype for five minutes to talk to you.
Another caution is the infamous filter fad. Let’s be honest, because even I’m guilty of this, girls love to find that perfect angle with the right lighting that makes them look amazing and add on an Instagram filter that makes them look that much better. However, if ALL her photos are from the same angle and show only half of her face while the other half of her face is in the shadow being all “mysterious,” I’d ask for a pic of her beautiful face and smile to use as her caller ID picture. And if she still sends you a filtered angled Instagram photo, I’d be weary. Sure, maybe she likes Instagram and filters, but not every single photo should be filtered.
And ladies, if he only has pictures of his abs or with his shirt off, he’s either using fake photos or he’s a jerk that’s totally into his six-pack abs more than he is into really getting to know you.
Most importantly, always be skeptical when trying online dating. I know we all know that one friend who met this guy on one of those social media websites when they were looking for new friends to hang out with and now they’re happily married. I’m sure we also have those friends who have been together since high school and are still going strong. We probably all know someone who tried one of those online apps because they were bored and turns out they found their perfect match.
While there is no rule or specific formula for finding your one true love, the movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You,” helped explain that these few select friends who got lucky in love are the exceptions. But if you’re really up to trying your luck online, then there are plenty of sites you can try, and they’re all free.
- If you want to try IMVU, your chances of finding love are one in one hundred million. Literally, since they have registered user accounts worldwide. You can text chat with your virtual friends, or if you have a microphone connected to your computer, then you can talk person-to-person. This website’s members are predominately young adults ages 18-24, however the minimum age to register is 13-years-old and 7 percent of the members are 35 years and older, so beware of who you’re talking to.
- Looking for a friend to cuddle up or spend the night with? Check out MeetMe. Formerly known as “MyYearbook.com,” MeetMe is an online social media sites that lets you connect with people around you. With the slogan, “Where friends meet,” their aim is for connecting people, not creating relationships.
- Everyone says there’s plenty of fish in the sea so go fish on POF.com. With over 70 million registered members, there really are plenty of fish in the sea to choose from. They also have reported over 1 million relationships created every year from the website, which proves their focus is more on finding someone to spend your time with longer than a night or two.
- OneScene.com is for finding a connection in the LGBT community.
- Match.com is probably the most famous online matchmaker. In 2012, Match.com reported a 1-5 ratio of newly committed relationships and your chances of finding someone in your age range are high since 25 percent of their members are under the age of 30.
- Perhaps you want someone who shares the same values as you? There is a mingle.com site for almost every religion. There’s ChristianMingle.com. If you’re Jewish, you can try JDate.com. There is a MuslimMingle.com, and a CatholicMingle.com. For the Mormon community, try your luck at LDSMingle.com.
- eHarmony.com is a Santa Monica-based online matchmaking website that launched in 2000 and since then has become the #1 trusted relationship service provider in America. They use their psychological based compatibility matching system to match members with matches they are most likely to enjoy a long-term relationship with.
If you’re looking for something more permanent, maybe the reason you can’t find love is because you’re looking too hard. Just like when you’re running late and you can’t seem to find where you placed your keys but you check every inch of your room only to have someone else walk in and point out that they have been in front of your face the entire time, you just looked so hard you overlooked them. Because, let’s be honest here, it’s called “falling in love,” you’re not supposed to see it coming, it’s just supposed to sort of happen.
So while your searching so hard for love, you could be overlooking that special person and not even realize it. It could be that best friend who stays up with you every time you procrastinate to make sure you don’t fall asleep while trying to finish that paper. The one you’re meant to be with could be that guy who you knew in elementary school, lost contact with, and recently reconnected with. Your true love could be that girl who is everything you say you want in a girlfriend but never considered because she’s not the typical “type” of girl you date
And if you’re serious about finding love, don’t rule someone out because they’re not your “type.” Clearly, if you keep dating the same “type” of person— looks and personality wise— then maybe it’s time you break the pattern that isn’t working and try someone new. Who knows? Your Prince Charming or your Cinderella could disappear all because you weren’t brave enough to take the chance— at the bar, online, or even with that friend you care so deeply for.