Unsolicited Senior Advice: Dating for dummies

Ryan Lynch’s weekly column tackles not messing up in college like he did. This week: finding romance while avoiding stupid mistakes.


Ryan Lynch. Photo courtesy of Mohammed F. Emran

Ryan Lynch, Business Manager

Like every other stage in life, dating can be difficult in college. And no matter what age you are, relationships can get messy.

I’m no expert, but I’m also not completely lost either. After several failed and one current, healthy relationship, I have a few suggestions for those looking to land a date.

From learning to ignore your phone to navigating different dating apps, read my advice for college students struggling to stay afloat in the dating pool.

Really listen, don’t just stare at your phone and nod

While this applies to more than just dating, it’s essential if you want a second date.

It could be as simple as listening to the other person’s problems, but you have to be attentive and ask for the same.

You can fix a lot of issues by just hearing out your partner and being present. If you give the effort, most of the time you will get it back in return.

On top of that, it helps you learn more about your significant other. If you’re struggling to remember their favorite restaurant, put the phone down and listen dummy.

Practice self-reflection

A lot of what I’ve learned has come from making mistakes. Previous relationships taught me to be more present, learn what I want out of a significant other, and figure out how to address problems differently.

If I didn’t look back on those things, I wouldn’t have learned how to better contribute to a relationship. Whether you’re freshly heartbroken or newly in love, being able to look at yourself and consider what you may have done wrong will benefit you in the long run.

It can also be helpful in deciding if you need a break. If a relationship isn’t healthy or isn’t making you happy, looking at both parties can help you fix it.

Treat Tinder profiles the same way you’d treat someone face to face

In the day and age of the digital, dumb dating habits can carry over to your phone.

There is no perfect strategy to finding people on Tinder and other dating apps, regardless of what Buzzfeed tells you. However, there are clear cut ways of messing up a potential relationship.

  • Don’t message people multiple times if they haven’t responded. They will get back to you if they’re interested.
  • Avoid “lurking” people on social media. Not only can you go into the date with an unfair advantage, but you’ll miss out on learning about them organically.
  • Be respectful and don’t let yourself send something you’ll regret. If they aren’t interested, then they weren’t right for you anyway.
  • If the person doesn’t respond, let them go. There are plenty of other people out there.

After all this, if you do end up hitting it off with someone, remember to stay off your phone and to be courteous regardless of how the relationship continues. (Yes, the thing that got you the date in the first place.)

Ryan Lynch is the business manager of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @RyanLynchwriter.