Meeting people while you’re in college is easy. Hundreds of people all moving to a new city at the same time, all looking for new people to get to know. There are so many people looking for love that you can trip over them on your way from one class to another.
College is a fun time, and one where you’ll grow as you take on more responsibility. Whether you hit the books hard or spent a little more time on the social site of things, it’s a fact. Dating is easier in college than in any other time of your life.
But what about happens when you graduate? Whether you head into the job market or start grad school, you’re less likely to meet so many available people all at the same time. If you begin to think of dating as an uphill battle to be won, you’ve put yourself in the wrong mindset to find lasting love.
But all is not lost! We’ve put together some tips for you that will make dating after college less of a drag.
Stay active in your alumni organizations
Whether it’s an association for your school or a network of members from your old fraternity or sorority, alumni groups are a built-in method for connecting with potential partners who share your school spirit. That built-in common interest could open the door to something more.
Keep in mind alumni organizations are not a meat market, and that many of the people are there just to share memories or network professionally, but if you’re active in supporting your alma mater anyway, don’t discount the chances of meeting someone at a group function.
It’s not a given, but you never know where love is hiding. Respect people’s boundaries, but be open to a spark that might turn into something more.
Dip your toe into online dating
It may seem strange to rely on the internet when your flirting game was so strong in college, but your time is more precious in the post-college world. While in the past you’d be able to sneak in a coffee date between classes, workday commutes and late meetings make the logistics of meeting people a little bit harder post-college.
With bills to pay and no shortage of new responsibilities, your post-dating college game could use an assist. Dating online or using a dating app alleviates many of those time constraints like professional functions or taking care of the house. Online dating lets you meet new people and get to know them at your own pace.
You can search profiles on your lunch break, and chat online after you get home in the evening. Profile views and chats can save your precious free time for dates with people you’re more likely to get along with instead of leaving it up to luck of the draw.
Even better—there are so many sites to try that there’s no shortage of people to meet, especially if you’re willing to travel. Many sites focus on specific hobbies and interests, so you’ll have a good ice breaker if you choose to sign on to a more specialized site.
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Step out of your comfort zone
Whether it’s trying out a new hobby or giving a different dating site a try, be open to all the different ways of meeting people that you never would have considered during college. Besides, believe it or not, keggers and late night parties get less and less appealing as you get older.
But wine tasting, trying out a craft beer flight, or getting into adult recreation leagues can be key to meeting new people while you’re learning something new and enjoying yourself. Softball leagues, pub trivia, and even karaoke nights have the potential to be a place to find lasting love.
Trying something new also means getting to know yourself better, whether that’s developing new skills, getting a better idea of your likes and dislikes, and more. The better you know yourself, the better you’ll know what qualities you’re looking for in a potential mate.
Let your friends play matchmaker
We’ll admit it: this is a tricky one. Sometimes your friends know you better than you know yourself…but then introduce you to a person that makes you wonder if they know you at all. But give it a shot. One dinner date is just a few hours, and whether it goes well or not, you’ll know how well you can trust your friends’ dating smarts in future.
Whether you get along or not, be sure to be polite and courteous to your date. Ghosting is bad form no matter who you’re dating, but ghosting a friend of a friend can have lasting repercussions on your friendships. For better or worse, those close social ties could mean potential awkwardness if things go sour between you and your date.
But there’s also a good chance you and your friend of a friend will hit it off, too, and that’s what everyone involved is hoping for. Good opportunities in life come to those who welcome them.
Trust that time is on your side
The farther away you get from college life, the older you’ll feel looking back on it. You’ll always be nostalgic for it, but those college years are an unrepeatable formative experience. There’s no need to regret not settling down right after college. You have plenty of time to meet the person of your dreams, but slow down and live in the present moment.
There’s no sense in stressing over what-ifs and worrying if love hasn’t come your way. As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. There’s nothing wrong with being a hopeless romantic.
A good old fashioned meet-cute can happen at any age. Don’t rush it. The more time you spend getting to know yourself, the better the chance of finding a quality date, whether it’s short term or longer. However you want to look for love, you’ll find it in time.