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Facing the Challenge of College Dating

What's so challenging about college dating? Let's take a look at this important period of change in a person's life.

Students facing the transition from high school to college are likely facing the biggest challenge they've ever had to face. Expectations are raised, both for themselves and from others. Moving on to college means moving on to a new level of academic performance.

It's the time when most of us move beyond being a not so serious teenager to a very serious adult who is focused on furthering their education and planning for their future. Not only are we expected to think more seriously about ourselves, but at the same time many of us find that we're leaving behind some of the relationships we've formed throughout our earlier school years. Best friends, acquaintances, team members, and even boyfriends and girlfriends are sometimes left behind as we move onto the next important stage in our lives and maturity.

So how difficult is it to handle this serious emotional, physical, academic, and personal change? College life can be intimidating, particularly for those who decide to attend school away from home. Moving away means not only losing the relationships they've grown comfortable with for so many years, but in many cases losing the emotional support system their family has been for them through their younger years. All aspects of college life may be completely foreign to the new college student, and college dating only complicates matters.

Why? Because at times many outgoing and engaging young people who had no problem creating dating relationships in high school may be intimidated by the prospect of dating a new "class" of potential partner.

The thing to remember about college dating is that one shouldn't approach it as such a serious process. There is plenty of "serious" stuff going on in your transition from high school teen to college adult, so to put too much emphasis on being serious about a relationship is not what college dating should be about.

Try and approach college dating as a way to share the college experience with someone who shares similar interests and preferences. Seek out dating relationships with classmates who are studying the same classes or are on the same degree track. In this way, you can be sure that your comfort level is established prior to beginning the formal dating process.

College dating doesn't have to be difficult. A new college student already faces enough of a challenge in this very important stage in their lives, so being too serious about their approach to dating shouldn't overwhelm them. There's plenty of time to be serious about a partner, but if a casual college dating relationship grows on its own into something more substantial, then at least it will come as a result of a natural process rather than an unnecessary focus on being overly serious.

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