10 Ways Dating Is Different Now Than It Was In College

10 Ways Dating Is Different Now Than It Was In College ©iStock/Leonardo Patrizi

Finding love is one of the most influential experiences in life, and the journey to get there is constantly changing. As we mature and enter new phases in life, our relationships and dating habits transition with us, especially after college.  Thankfully, dating is a lot different these days than it was back then.

  1. We’re no longer figuring ourselves out. College dating can be a mess because it’s hard to know who’s a good match when you aren’t quite sure who you are yet. Inevitably, we end up kissing a lot of frogs in search of that one prince, but those days are behind us.
  2. We know who we are and won’t sacrifice it for anyone. By the time we reach full-fledged adulthood, we’ve not only figured out who we are, but also what we want out of a relationship, and that helps us narrow down the search results. As adults, we date fewer people because we become picky about who we date (and that’s a good thing).
  3. We’ve been burned, so we know which flames to avoid. We make a lot of mistakes in college when it comes to dating. Sometimes the mistakes cause us a lot of pain, but they always lead to a greater understanding of what we’re actually looking for and what we should run from.
  4. We know exactly what we don’t want in a relationship. Personal experience is the best teacher, and we figure out quickly what we absolutely can’t put up with in a relationship.
  5. We’re so much more independent. Independence is a pride point, and it helps us build our confidence in every way, including navigating single life and looking for love. We don’t need a guy to support or complete us, because we’ve got that locked down all on our own.
  6. Our confidence is through the roof. Adulthood is awesome because the stuff that made us uncomfortable before is the stuff we thrive on now. We’re so much more confident in ourselves, and that makes us naturally more open to romantic connections.
  7. We know that it’s better to be alone than to settle. It’s one of the most important lessons we ever learn — it really is better to be alone than to settle for just anyone. You’re looking for Mr. Right, not Mr. Right Now.
  8. We won’t with BS behaviors. When we’re younger, we make the mistake of falling for anyone who throws some attention our way, even if he does or says things that are total BS. These days, those guys are out of luck because we no longer put up with BS behaviors. We know we’re worth more than that.
  9. We’ve got our vetting process down to a science. When we’re in college, we don’t know much about dating yet, so it takes longer to figure out if someone is a good match or not. Through the years, we learn exactly what we’re looking for and naturally expedite the vetting process.
  10. We start looking for a partner, not our other half. The problem with thinking about love as searching for your other half is that it means we’re incomplete without that other person. Strong grown women don’t need men to complete us; we complete ourselves. What we want is a partner who’s strong enough to take the journey with us.
Anna Martin Yonk is a freelance writer and blogger in sunny North Carolina. She loves hanging out with her goofy husband and two rescue dogs and can be found at the beach with a drink in hand whenever possible. You can find her on Instagram @mrsyonkdogmom or on her Facebook page.