Is The College “Dating” Scene Ruining Us?

Red solo cups litter the floors and tables, filled with either Busch Light or some untrustworthy concoction made by the bartender. So called “bartender” is actually some frat boy wearing a beer helmet and a sign around his neck that says “007.” There are two guys holding a kid by his ankles in his attempt to do a kegstand, and there’s a few couples dancing in the living room to the latest radio hit (by couples I mean complete randos, and by radio hit I mean Justin Bieber).

Just a normal Thursday night.

So you and your group of girlfriends have spent the last hour getting ready for this Sigma Kappa Rho party, and have your slinkiest dresses on. As soon as you walk in the door you force your way through the mob (aka slutty sororstitues) at the bar (aka kitchen table) and ask for the infamous Jungle Juice (aka Death).

“Nice choice, ladies. You’re gonna feel it after one cup of this, it’s that insane,” the frat boy says as he hands over the cups full of icy blue liquid.

You take the cups and proceed to down half of it in one go; it’s the easiest way to get drunk, and at a party like this, you definitely need to be drunk. With your new alcohol-induced vision, or lack thereof, the not-so-attractive guys become pretty damn handsome, and therefore better potential for a make-out sesh. Because that’s the whole point of a frat party; you get drunk, then hook up. That’s what you do in college.

Now fast-forward four years into the future. You’ve just graduated and have landed a sweet job at a marketing company, with enough income to fund your Upper East Side apartment. OK, probably not apartment; more along the lines of a prison cell, with room for a bed, and well, that’s it. But it’s still pretty awesome for a recent college grad.

But now that you’ve got this great career, what about the state of your love life? After all, all you did in college was hook up. And like one of College Candy’s articles said, only 12% of hookups lead to relationships.

Wait… what?!

You wonder why no one had told you about this before. If you had heard about it, maybe you would’ve been less prone to seek out the one night hookup and be more attuned to finding an actual relationship with the guy, blah blah blah. But it’s OK. You can start now. What’s that thing called… oh yeah, dating.

So you head out with your girlfriends to the local bar you heard was pretty hot, or at least that’s what it said on You sit at the bar and scan the room, eyes finally resting on the cute guy decked out in Armani with… is that a Rolex?

What are you supposed to do now?

Do you make the move first, or do you try to catch his eye and get him to come over to you? Is more alcohol required, or are you supposed to stay sober? What if he’s not actually nice at all, and is a total creeper? And how are you supposed to know – he’s not a friend of a friend of a friend. He’s a random guy that cold kill you…and once you’re alone with him, there’s no sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, hallmates, or campus police to help you out. But, then again, he could be nice. And if you don’t go back to his place for “a drink,” what do you do?

How does real dating work? What does it look like and how do you do it when all you know is what you learned in college, and what you learned in college was late night booty calls followed by walks of shame? Look, I’ve had plenty of experience in the college dating scene, but by normal standards, I’m a dating virgin. I’ve never been on an actual date, let alone really “dated” anyone. I’ve hooked up with plenty of people, yes, and some of those have turned into something more serious, but as far as “dating” goes? What the eff is that? How do I do it?

As I near the end of my college experience and take a look back, I have to wonder: is the college not-so-dating scene of our present hindering the happy endings of our future?



    1. Ashley says:

      Just have normal conversation with someone who would be interested in and if they seem interested back – ask them out for coffee. You can decide where to go from there! :)

    2. Kimberly says:

      I'm in the same boat. Before a few months ago, I never been on a date, only the dating in high school where you say your going out and then go out to dinner and what not. It's sad I had never been on a date just getting to know someone until the end of sophomore year of college.

    3. shari says:

      normal dating just seems so awkward to me! lol when you figure it out, let me know! haha

    4. Jennifer says:

      Oh G-d is this hard to read. I'm in college and while I've had one 'relationship' which was mainly hooking up I genuinely liked him and was attracted to him. I've also dated and had real boyfriends. And I don't have the world's best self esteem.

      It is a pathetic and depressing tone that oozes off this article, not to mention the previous comments. I'm a very sexual person but I also have a hardy dose of self respect. How can you possibly enjoy getting that drunk and touching people you don't even find attractive?

      Oh and good luck with that fabulous job. In this economy it's funny how you write so expectantly.

    5. Lauren - University says:

      Why you gotta hate, Jennifer? I think the scenario the author describes is spot on for many college students. There is no real dating scene in college. Most people don't get set up and go out for coffee to get to know one another. Everything is backwards and things usually start off with a hookup and go from there. The only good thing about it is, from what I hear, a lot of dating in the real world is pretty similar. I know lots of friends who have graduated who are still going about dating this way… so maybe you know more than you think you do!

    6. Lucy says:

      Haha, I agree with Jennifer. I can't believe the author has seriously NEVER been on a date but fucked a bunch of guys?? Yeah, this is becoming society's problem; girls whine and whine about not finding a good guy but getting hammered and hanging out with a guy twice before fucking him doesn't count as dating and won't help you find a decent guy. I am totally down with having one-night stands, I think it's criminal if you don't but I also think there should be limits..

    7. Lucy says:

      P.S. Watch Sex and the City for dating tips. Duh!

    8. Megan says:

      This is SO true. I went on a date a few weeks ago and it probably the first date I'd been on in nearly a year. Everything else this past year was meeting up at a bar, having too much to drink and then never really talking to that person again.

    9. Nicole says:

      Seriously, Lauren? That's the problem. All these people that have graduated are still dating the way they used to "in the real world." And the media doesn't help with how it shows hookups all the time instead of real relationships.

      No, most people DON'T go out for coffee. Um, that was kinda the point of this article, and when the author mentioned that she doesn't know how to date, that was offered as a solution.

      While this article didn't pertain to me, I still respect that it's something college-aged women have a problem with; I'm glad it was written. But Lauren, next time give more helpful advice that is thought through. You're comments usually come off as bitchy and annoying. If you know so much, write a book.

    10. […] Has hooking up in college made you a “dating virgin”? (College Candy) […]

    11. Chloe says:

      Wow! I am beginning my senior year in college, and I go to a large, party school in Southern California. I have never had a problem with dating; actually all I did was casually date for the first year of college. Now, I have been with my bf for two years, and he is the only guy I have ever slept with. I understand where the author is coming from, because I am in a sorority and I see what happens at parties, but seriously? I think the way women conduct themselves today is so distasteful. You are not breaking free of your gender roles when you act like a whore. Whatever happened to acting like a lady? AND to continue this rant: how can you expect a man to treat you like a woman if you are sleeping around and getting wasted all the time?

      A.) One Night Stands are disgusting

      B.) How can you say someone sleeps around too much, but you're down with one night stands?

      C.) Don't expect to find prince charming at parties (or bars) where people are drinking profusely.

      D.) Dating is not rocket science. You go to a basketball game (Go Lakers, lol), charity fundraiser, work, business mixer, etc… See a hot guy, flirt, give him your number, go on a date. If you don't like him, you try again!

      Geez, come on girls!

    12. […] Has hooking up in college made you a “dating virgin”? (College Candy) […]

    13. Renee says:

      And I believe Chloe wins for best advice on this article:)

    14. Leah says:

      I agree with Chloe but I'd also like to criticize the author's blatant double standard. What separates the actions of the author and her friends from the "slutty sorostitutes" she slams in the 3rd paragraph? Is she not also going to the same parties as them with the presumably equal intent of getting plastered to the point of accepting a hook-up with a "not-so-attractive" guy? And in that case, is she not a huge hypocrite? It seems to me as if she is. She's getting drunk, they're getting drunk, she's making out with people, they're making out with people… By the author's definition, she's just as "slutty", she just lacks the GLO affiliation that seems to make it alright to condemn college-aged girls for their behavior.

      For all you girls out there looking for something serious: try paying attention to the boys in your classes or clubs. At least there you'll know if you really are interested in pursuing something with a guy, rather than having to get drunk to be able to stand being near him.

    15. Rose says:

      I read your article about being a virgin in college, and how non-virgins patronize you. You talked about how you weren't willing to settle for sex, but now you are? Finding a date isn't that hard, but how can you really expect to find a date at a frat party where everyone (just like you) wants to drink and hook up with randoms?

      By the way, how are women in sororities prostitutes when you're doing exactly what they're doing?

    16. dudeman says:

      Good god cant you people stop worrying about whether or not you're in a relationship for at least one second??

    17. Han says:

      Well, there are a lot of things I agree completely with in this article and I can definitely relate. I have only had one relationship, but I have dated different guys (and what I mean by dating is more than just hooking up but we never had a title) during the past three years of college. One of them I met in the dorms, another in my apartment complex the following year, and another through a friend whom had met him at a party. And a few other guys scattered. Sounds pretty typical right? Why I’m disgruntled is that one way or another these boys never have become my boyfriend which is what I am truly seeking. I did not know, though am not surprised that only 12% of hookups lead to relationships, and I DO think the college-scene is to blame. We party on the weekends, go to the bars, go to happy hours, and hang out with friends when we are not studying. So these places are the only places to meet and talk to potential boyfriends. But frat boys and the average college boys aren’t seeking relationships. They like their freedom and are on the prowl for sex. With the exception of 20 billion of my friends who are in happy, pretty serious relationships….leaving me standing back thinking what the fuck. What am I doing wrong and where is MY prince charming?😦

      Chloe: good for you for having a 2year boyfriend. And I am not trying to judge you for being in a sorority, but Come on…….Leah has it right on Kind of a double standard seeing as plenty of your sisters probably sleep around a lot/ have one night stands. Where did you meet your guy anyhow?

    18. Jessica says:

      Lauren. you're a bitch.

    19. Rachel says:

      hey now! i think the writer meant that she'd HAD relationships, just not the 'adult version' of dating – i.e. randomly by chance meet someone at some event or through a friend and have to go through the awkward process of having interview-like dates where you share tidbits of information about yourselves. I doubt the author meant she was just a skank looking for fun on boozday tuesday. I think a lot of people in college can relate to feeling totally jaded when it comes to dating, regardless of how many one night stands people have had. Dating, in itself, sounds awkward. It seems uncomfortably formal while still putting both putting in completely vulnerable situations. I agree that college not only educates (most of) us in history, math, etc.. but also in avoiding intimacy when it comes to romantic relationships. I have made amazing friends in college, but when it comes to dating, its really off. I go to a big ten school and love love love it but the guys have different priorities that are not condusive to long-term commitment. At this point in my life, though, I think having the four years of college in which most people are single as being helpful and refreshing. High school romance was intense and dramatic – too much for me. I think college is meant to be a time for being single. Plus, most students are broke and are crunched for time, who the hell wants to date in those conditions? Plus, it's fun to know that when you graduate there will be an entirely new pool of men (or women) to choose from in the actual dating world.

    20. […] so our generation has received a lot of flack for not being able to form real, long-lasting relationships, thanks to technology and archaic dating rules about college that span from the 1500′s. But […]

    21. […] don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against dates. Nothing at all! Hell, in the hook-up culture that is college, I like the idea of them. It’s a lot easier to get to know someone when you’re sober […]

    22. […] ex-beau’s engagement, Anderson realizes that after years and years of sex: “I’d had enough sex without love; maybe it was time to look for love without […]

    23. Chloe says:

      Sometimes it's hard to summon up that much foresight when you're in college, but one good thing you do gain from all those hook-ups? –> CONFIDENCE and that's one of the main things you need when you start going out and looking to date the right kinds of guys:)

    24. […] I started coaching college students a while ago one of them quickly pointed out to me that no one in college dates, they just hook up.  Usually drunkenly.  That is just what they do.  Dating doesn’t exist.  […]

    25. Denise says:

      Listen girls, having sex with men before you know them is dangerous, confidence-draining and plain stupid. Women traditionally always have controlled intimate relationships. We know more than boys do about it. We know a long term relationship is better for us mentally and physically. Stats prove this and it is logical because we are the ones that can get pregnant. So, how do you find a relationship?

      First, become the person that someone wants to be with. Boys (no matter want they say out loud to you) don't want skanky girls as a girlfriend. So, don't be one. Remember its not good for you, either. Be interesting, be smart, do things that are fun, take up a sport, be a lady and gain a sense of humor.

      Second, be picky about the boys you chose to spend time with. They should have manners, be kind, smart, do interesting things. etc. They don't have to be good looking or rich either!! Don't spend time with anyone that doesn't treat you like a lady. Better to go home and read a book and improve your brain than spend time with a jerk. If women demand better men, men will be better!

      Third, don't go on anything but a date. It doesn't have to be fussy…just a coffee or a glass of wine at a cafe. And then talk, talk, and talk some more. The best dates are the ones where you learn about each other and do something fun.

      If he calls back (right away) he sees you as girlfriend material. Take it slow and don't sleep with him right away. Kiss and hold each others hands but don't sleep with him. Build up the passion slowly.

      Boys are sleeping around with many girls. So what? They have always done this if the girls are stupid enough to let them. So don't be one of those girls. Don't give away your power as a female. Hold on to it tightly. Because you are important!

    26. john says:

      kill yourself, because you sound like a tool skank.

      nice guys don[t want to be with a girl like you.

    27. […] made out. No drunken hookup – I thought that was good! In the past, I got suckered into the drunken one-night stands, etc, and realized that no real relationship usually comes from those types of encounters. In the […]

    28. WhatWhat says:

      I think the girls who are sleeping around in college should get checked for ADD/ADHD. Sleeping around is incredibly risky like skydiving. You never know which person will give you herpes, TB, HPV, mono, hepatitis, gum disease (that is right, GUM DISEASE), etc. People who have ADD/ADHD are more prone to drinking and sleeping around. Before you attack me, go look up other women's accounts of their lives prior to be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.

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