There are a lot of amazing benefits to getting a college degree, but I don’t think it’s the healthiest place for romantic relationships. Here’s why I think not attending college has made me pickier when it comes to my taste in men.
- I was never introduced to hookup culture. If you want to sleep with a different person every night, go for it! I think everyone should be able to do what they want without judgment. However, many guys seem to think that having that freedom means they’re free to disrespect women. The stories I’ve heard about the way girls are treated before or after a hookup are disgusting. Just because it’s a one-night stand doesn’t mean the girl should get treated like crap.
- I never got used to “locker room talk.” Aside from the fact that the phrase “locker room talk” is a horrible excuse for blatant misogyny, it’s unfortunately very common with young men. I sort of skipped the phase where that was “cool,” and even though I’ve dealt with my fair share of sexism, there’s nothing like the frat boy attitude of guys ages 18-22. Because I never got desensitized to it, I’m much stricter with my standards for the way men treat me.
- Toxic masculinity is a real thing. In an environment like a fraternity, men are frequently ridiculed if they don’t wear their masculinity like a badge. It’s fine to embrace your masculinity, but not to the point of prioritizing manliness and machismo above everything else. For instance, betting each other how many girls you can hook up with is not a healthy approach to sex.
- “Boys will be boys” is not an excuse to me. Bad behavior should never be brushed off as a generic male trait. That’s insulting to both women and men. I was appalled when I witnessed some of the sexist conduct on college campuses. When I asked my girlfriends if they were bothered by it, they said simply, “Boys will be boys.” That’s when I realized our education system is not doing enough to teach boys and girls how to treat each other right.
- I didn’t feel pressure to find someone. While it may be true that college is an exciting time of transition, it’s also a very stressful time with lots of pressure to grow up quickly. After graduating high school, everyone talks about finding a boyfriend or girlfriend in college. If you aren’t interested in finding somebody to hook up with, it can feel pretty lonely and isolating. Because I never felt that pressure, I was able to take my time without feeling left out. That made it much easier to be picky with relationships.
- I’m selective about who I flirt with. When you’re young, you want people to like you, especially when you’re in a brand new environment with complete strangers. It feels good to get attention, and flirting is an easy way to acquire that. I was never a part of that world, so it’s always been easy for me to be cold to people I have no interest in. There’s nothing wrong with flirting if you want to do it, but let’s be honest, some guys just don’t deserve your attention.
- I won’t tolerate any comparisons. One major problem with our society is that we are accustomed to having ourselves compared to others. In college, this problem reveals itself in comparing women’s appearances. I’ve overheard guys on college campuses rating girls and comparing them to one another way too often. It’s become so common that some women don’t even flinch when they hear the intense judgment. If a guy ever tries to pit me against another woman, I’m prepared to put my foot down immediately.
- I’m not OK with everyone knowing everything. It’s pretty common when you’re sharing a dorm room or in a constantly social environment to become desensitized to people knowing intimate details about your love life. It’s common for guys to share that information with their “bros” and it’s even more common to have those personal stories travel through the grapevine. The guys I date know that what happens between us is only between us.
- Although I’m picky, I’m not perfect. I admit that I don’t know what my view on dating and relationships would be if I had gone to a big university. However, I do feel like being catapulted immediately into the adult world made me much more selective. I think that the way boys misbehave in college should have much stricter consequences and we shouldn’t let them get away with nearly as much sexism and misogyny.