Keene State College students agreed that meeting new people is always exciting, whether it be in class, during a study session or out at a party on the weekends.
What’s even more exciting, some students said, is meeting someone who they could be more than just friends with.
Many suggest that the idea of dating is taboo in college.
KSC students share what it is to be talking versus dating.
According to college students today and an article titled The College Relationship Timeline on Hercampus.com, there are more than just two stages of relationships in college.
The article also emphasizes that college relationships can be much different than “real world” relationships.
Students explained that a college relationship could go from the ongoing booty-call stage to “friends with benefits” to talking and then exclusively dating.
Junior Bella Robinson shared what she thinks the levels of dating consist of.
“It really depends on the person. Relationships in college seem rather impossible either way,” Robinson explained.
She explained the stages of college dating that she has witnessed.
“I would say it starts as meeting and randomly seeing each other on weekends, then that can lead to texting plans to meet that weekend, to hooking up for a good amount of time, to bringing friend groups together,” she said.
“Dating comes after, when you have both decided to be exclusive. It’s very casual up until then,” Robinson said.
Robinson explained that there are usually several stages of college relationships.
She elaborated on what may mark crossing that bridge from the casual stage into dating.
She said spending time together without liquid courage or friend support is a sign that the relationship might be becoming more serious, because in college people usually use alcohol and friends as a confidence booster and support system.
Hercampus.com agrees that spending time together sober is a step toward a relationship in many college dating senarios.
Robinson continued, “[It comes down to] really having no shame that you are with that person because talking can be secretive and shady. Dating is more willingness to change routines, such as weekend routines, for that person,”
“Although talking is casual, it can still be serious, dating is just much more out in the open with a strong level of commitment,” she continued.
Students noted that taking a relationship into the boyfriend/girlfriend stage may frighten some people.
Junior Paige Priskie said, “It seems like there is a lack of wanting to be exclusive in college.”
“Everyone is looking for the next hook up, or what’s better. It’s like no one wants to settle and keeps searching for more,” she said.
“So when it does happen, it’s rare and rather questioned. More and more it seems like people have a hard time opening up,” Priskie said.
“I’m not sure whether it’s fear of judgment or something along those lines. But it seems kind of impossible to move forward if you aren’t open with your feelings,” she explained.
Senior Jack Rogers said he has already gone through all levels of college dating.
He gave his perception of the difference between first-year relationships and senior year relationships.
Rogers said, “As an incoming freshman, there’s not so much a dating aspect, it’s more of casual talking.”
He continued, “But as you age through college and meet different girls you find and learn to know what you are looking for. Relationships seem to form more naturally later in college.”
Rogers, who is in a relationship now, detailed what is is like to be in the early stages of talking.
Rogers explained, “Hanging out at parties, maybe weekday hanging out with some homework and movies, can lead to a nice dinner if you’re a charming guy and can blossom into a relationship.”
Rogers continued to tell the secret that he believes is the difference between just talking and dating.
“There needs to be a mutual understanding between the shift. It can’t just be something that happens because that can lead to confusion in the end of where you stand,” Rogers said.
“A mutual understanding of where you are at in your relationship is key. Communication is key,” Rogers emphasised.
American poet Maya Angelou once said, “Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.”
The Hercampus.com article also notes that love in college isn’t impossible to find, it is just different than dating outside of the college setting.
Priskie noted that students should live these four years with an open mind and shouldn’t be scared to share their feelings, because it might lead to something more than just talking.
Sofia Hart can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org