Column: Dating doesn’t have to be dead

Sept. 14, 2015

Alexander Nedd
[email protected]

Three weeks into his first semester at UCCS, freshman Kristian Miller has already done a lot of studying for his classes. But one subject remains hard for him to grasp: dating.

“It’s hard meeting new people, and even harder to go out with them. It just seems that everyone is either not interested or only wants a hookup,” Miller said. “No one asks each other out anymore; people just use their smart phones.”

Miller is one of several students who feel that dating on campus is difficult and is becoming less common. And, similar to the job search, it seems to only work if you are referred.

Dating in the 21st century is no easy task. Times have changed. Sex is a click away from your app store.

The generation often referred to as the “hookup culture” has rapidly influenced this dominant way of thinking on college campuses across the nation. Despite this, there are still ways to meet, and truly date, others on campus.

Dating can be hard work. It is not for the feeble-minded. Relationships deserve real, honest work from both parties. Those who use their cell phones are doing it wrong.

The best way to open up to others is to put yourself out there. Sitting at home behind a computer screen is not romantic, nor will it ultimately lead to a fulfilling relationship.

College naturally offers chances to meet people in your area of interest. Take advantage of these moments. If your daily routine consists of classes and then heading home, you are doing it wrong.

The fear of rejection is strong, a reality no one wants to meet. But just because a car crash occurs every ten seconds in America doesn’t stop you from driving to school. It shouldn’t prevent you from dating either.

With every generation comes a set of different rules and standards. In 2015, we’ve introduced an equal playing field for men and women.

“I think girls can ask guys out,” said Alexandria Smith,a sophomore biology major. “Guys shouldn’t be the only ones who have to go up and ask,” she said.

“If you like somebody ask them. Don’t go through friends or text, that just makes you seem scared,” she added.

If you take a chance and ask a person out, you’re more likely to get a response than if you never ask at all. And once you ask, those odds are 50/50.

The worst that can happen is the person says no. But the more you do it, the easier it can get.

Most of us have an idea of how we should act for a first date. Take that thought, and throw it out the window. This isn’t your parent’s campus anymore, and that’s OK. That just means you need to adapt your skills.

Go for the standards. Spoil your date; pay for him or her. Unless you both decide on hanging out together, the one that asks the other for the date should pay for the festivities. This is dating 101.

But here is where you should mix it up. Instead of a movie and a fancy dinner, try a local restaurant and the penny arcade. Make a meal at home before going out and paintballing one another.

Make the date extraordinary, and turn “Well, I had a good time at Cinemark” into “OK, next week, let’s make it two out of three.”

Making memories begins with date one, so go big. This concept is lost on students today.

Dating isn’t dead. Meeting new people isn’t out of the question. It’s simply a new world, and with it, new rules.

Anyone can do this. You simply have to work hard.

So try it. You just might be surprised at where it can lead you.