College can be tough. You have to juggle tests, papers, a tight budget, new friends, and a new schedule. But to make this season of life even more complicated, there’s the world of online dating to navigate.
Some people come into college in a dating relationship and have a ring on their finger by graduation. But for others, dating in college proves a little more challenging.
If you’re attending a large college, you’re in a great environment to meet people. If you’re going to a Catholic school, the chances of meeting someone who shares your values are high. But if you’re going to a secular or small school, things can get complicated. This leaves many college students opting for the online dating route, especially if they’re looking for someone who shares their belief system.
So how do you navigate the sometimes choppy waters of dating in college while balancing studies? Regardless of whether you prefer the old-fashioned routes or turn to the internet, you can meet someone who you’ll want to share the rest of your life with.
In this blog post, we’ll cover:
- If it’s possible to find your match in college
- 4 Ways to increase your chances of finding your special match
- How online dating can help you expand your dating horizons
- 5 tips and tricks for meeting people online through dating sites
Is it possible to find your Catholic match in college?
In 2018, most people don’t go to college to get their ‘MRS’ degree. Instead, people attend college to earn a great education and pursue a career. According to a Pew Research Survey, the median age of marriage for a woman is now 27 years old, and men are tying the knot at 29. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t meeting their spouse in college.
A Facebook Data Science study discovered that 28% of married grads studied at the same college as their spouse. So, it’s possible to go from classmates to lovers. But just how do you
4 ways to increase your chances of finding your special person
So it’s possible to meet that special someone in college.
But just how do you start?
Here are 4 ways you can increase your chances of finding love in college (that don’t involve bars or parties).
Surround yourself with people that share your ideologies
If you want to form solid friendships and relationships during your time at college, you need to spend time with people who share your values. Look into joining a Catholic organization. Not one on your campus? Start thinking about ways you can form one.
If you’re striving for sainthood, you’ll want to be surrounded by friends who are running the same race. And who knows? Maybe you’ll meet that special someone who wants to run alongside you and grow closer to Christ together.
Join a student organization
If you want to meet someone who shares your passions, spend time investing in things you’re passionate about. There are plenty of opportunities in college to get involved on campus. Stop by the student union and check out what’s offered on campus.
Maybe you’ll meet the love of your life while being involved in student government. Love music? Join the choir and meet people who share that passion. Sports more your thing? Sign up for a co-ed sports team at the rec.
Live in a Catholic dorm
College dorms provide a unique community. You’ll be living in close quarters with people, learning how to share and be respectful of personal space. But dorms can also provide a great opportunity for Catholic community, too! Look to see if your college offers a specific dorm or dorm floor for Catholic students.
Attending a college that doesn’t have an advertised Catholic dorm? Make your own! Invite people to rent an apartment on or off campus with you during the semester. Living in community with people who share your values is a great way to meet new people, too.
Find a parish near campus
Another great way to meet new people is to be involved at a parish near campus. A quick internet search can inform you of parishes that are nearby. Try attending Mass on the weekend there. If your schedule allows it, go to daily Mass there, too.
Even if you’re the youngest person there by a few years, don’t despair. Spend time getting to know the permanent community of the parish. As you get to know them and their families, you may discover that they have single Catholic sons, daughters, nephews, or nieces who you can get to know.
Expand your chances of finding your match by dating online
Burnt out by the campus dating scene? Think all the good men or women are already taken? With 90 million singles living in America today, it’s definitely possible to find your match. But if the old fashioned way of meeting people isn’t working out, consider going online! Online dating provides a great opportunity for you to meet new people and go on great dates.
“A competent online dating site literally brings the single population to you,” Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot write. “Finding a date is no longer a scavenger hunt with your heart. You simply consider the various options that are literally at your fingertips. Your computer keyboard is all that stands between you and finding a date.”
How can an online dating site help you expand your options?
If you’re feeling dissatisfied and disheartened with meeting people in person, give online dating a try. The blurred lines between friends and potential dates are gone. After all, most people join online dating sites to go on dates.
Regardless of whether you’re a student at a small or large college, secular or Catholic, online dating can expand your dating horizons. You may be living across the city from your next relationship, or they may be in another state. But regardless of the miles between you, your online dating profile could create that spark that you’ve been hoping for.
One place to search
While college offers many opportunities to meet someone, the sheer number of places to meet someone can be overwhelming. Online dating provides just one platform to connect to and meet people on.
“Think of it this way: what if, within the next 24 hours, you could be in a room with a dozen or so eligible and compatible singles of the opposite sex? And you could meet with each of them one-on-one? These would be people who not only share your personal values, but have a great deal in common with you,” Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott write.
“Would you be interested in finding a room like this? If you’re like most, you would. What single person wouldn’t? Entering this room would instantly and dramatically increase your chances for finding a date worth keeping. And that’s exactly what dating online does for you and your love life,” they continue. “Let’s say this straight: your chances of meeting compatible singles are hugely increased by dating online.
Save time by discussing values
Another benefit to dating online during college is that conversations about your values happen right out of the gate. If you’re on a Catholic online dating site, more than likely, the other people on the site are also looking for someone who shares their Catholic faith.
You may be nervous to start conversations about religion and chastity. But looking for someone on an online Catholic dating site kickstart those conversations for you. Many dating sites have members fill out biographies and profiles that highlight their values and beliefs.
Filter people who don’t share your interests
Another feature of online dating is that many platforms allow you to filter your results. If you’re passionate about finding someone who’s also striving for Christ and following the Church, you can
Increase your network
Over that past 50 years, researchers have looked at human networks that connect us to each other. What research has found is that we’re close to a small group of close friends, and loosely connected distantly to other people.
Think about it, how many of your friends on Facebook do you really know that well?
Online dating changes the way we look at networks, though.
“People who meet online tend to be complete strangers,” says Josue Ortega at the University of Essex in the U.K. and Philipp Hergovich at the University of Vienna in Austria. When we expand our network via online dating, we set up social networks that never existed before!
5 Tips for meeting people online
So online dating can expand you define what you’re looking for in a partner, help you find love, and introduce you to all kinds of new people.
But just how do you go about meeting people online?
Here are five quick and easy tips when it comes to making those connections.
Set your priorities
What are you looking for in a date, and in a relationship? Setting your priorities doesn’t mean putting together a list of physical characteristics that you’re looking for. After all, you shouldn’t turn down a date just because they have the wrong hair or eye color.
But it is important to know ahead of time what qualities you’re looking for in a potential partner. This should be something you think through and pray about before creating your online dating profile. But if your profile is already up and running, it’s never too late to take this question to prayer!
Take your dates to the real world
Online is a great place to meet someone, but it’s not a good place to date someone. Once you’ve met someone and have gotten to know them, don’t be afraid to take your dates to the real world.
Start with a phone call to get to know them off of the dating platform you met on. Then, agree to meet in person in a public place to get to know each other on a more personal level.
It doesn’t have to be a day-long date. Get creative! You can meet over your lunch hour, for drinks after work, or on the weekend for a walk.
Be honest and realistic
While online dating offers many opportunities to get to meet new people, there is one person you won’t find online – the perfect person.
If you’re going online to find the perfect person who will complete you, stop looking. There’s a reason you didn’t find them in your day to day interactions on campus, and you won’t find them online, either. No one is perfect.
It’s also important to be honest with those you interact with online. Let them know who you really are.
At the end of the day, 64% of people who use online dating sites are looking for someone they have something in common with. Don’t give into the temptation to make yourself into someone your not. If you want to find someone who share the same interests and beliefs as you, be clear about your passions and values on your own profile.
Don’t let a negative experience stop you
Were you burnt from a bad online dating experience? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. But don’t let one or two bad dates keep you from meeting someone really great.
Take time to think over each date. What went wrong? What went well? Then, keep those thoughts in mind the next time you go out on a date. By examining your dates, you can continue to discern what you’re looking for in a partner.
Meeting people online and going on dates isn’t supposed to be torture! Work on being present throughout your date and get to know the other person.
And having fun only helps your chances at finding love.
“People who think others are fun see them as more attractive,” says Psychologist Emma Seppala, PhD, science director at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and author of The Happiness Track.
In between studying for that final and heating up another bowl of Ramen noodles, college is a great time to find someone who you want to spend the rest of your life with!
Maybe you’ll decide to pursue more traditional methods of meeting someone. Perhaps you’ll log into an online dating site. Regardless of your choice, there are plenty of opportunities to meet someone and get to know them better!