Dating in College: Abstinence or Not

In 2018 dating is a whole thing. Everyone wants to tell everyone the right and wrong way to do it, who to do it with, when to do it etc. Sure some of this advice is helpful but sometimes it goes back to the old joke of the relationship advice expert being single. One of the most challenging times to date for some people is college. It can be difficult balancing academic tasks and dating life or it may be hard to find people that want more than that thing (that thing, that thing, that thiiing). As cliche as it sounds people may even begin dating outside of their usual sexual preferences (A.K.A experimenting) I surveyed a few current and former college students to see how dating went/is going for them during their time at school.

Brandy (Female, 19, Class of 2020)

Paul: Did/do you practice abstinence while dating in college?

Brandy: I did.

Paul: Did practicing abstinence while dating make things easier or harder?

Brandy: It made things easier, I was more focused on my schoolwork. Plus there wasn’t any drama with guys or anything.

Paul: How was balancing dating and schoolwork for you?

Brandy: Pretty easy to me, I didn’t get my feelings involved if it wasn’t anything serious so it wasn’t hard for me to stay focused. So basically I just put myself before anything else.

Paul: I feel that. Would you say you learned anything new from the guys you dated?

Brandy: I guess not to give myself up easily. Also, to state what my intentions are because if you don’t then they’ll just try and do what they want with you.

Kennadi (Female, 19, Class of 2021)

Paul: Did/do you practice abstinence while dating in college?

Kennadi: It depends but mostly no. I’m really in between.

Paul: Does not being abstinent make things easier or harder when dating?

Kennadi: It could be either way to be honest. You can have sex and have a nice fling going with somebody or you can have sex with somebody and they ghost you after. I think it’s really about the people you deal with. But having sex doe put that extra stress of trying to doge pregnancy and STDs.

Paul: How was balancing schoolwork and dating for you?

Kennadi: For me it wasn’t hard, school always comes first. It’s just about managing your time.

Paul: Did you learn anything from the guys you dated?

Kennadi: People will treat you however you let them.

Kenya (Female, 23, Class of 2017)

Paul: Did you date while you were in college?

Kenya: Yes

Paul: Did you practice abstinence while you were dating?

Kenya: No

Paul: Did that make things easier for you?

Kenya: Up to my junior year I was in a long term relationship. But, my boyfriend wasn’t in school with me. It was beneficial but at the same time it wasn’t. The distance caused him to assume I was cheating/”getting it from someone else” but I wasn’t. It was easier to practice abstinence because I didn’t see him too regularly but when I was with him I wasn’t abstinent.

Paul: How was balancing school and dating?

Kenya: It was actually annoying most of the time. Mainly, because of trust issues and distance as well as scheduling conflicts. Also, he didn’t have a car so I was only travelling to see him. Sometimes I’d get back to campus late because of traffic (I was an hour and a half away) but I never planned to go out anywhere in general unless I was completely done with all my assignments or only had some very minor work to do.

Paul: Did you learn anything from the relationship?

Kenya: OH BOY. Okay #1: You can’t have a relationship without trust. Period. #2: Communication is vital to make sure the both of you are on the same page about things. Like knowing if you’re in the relationship for the right reason and stuff like that. #3: My happiness matters. I learned that I don’t need to compromise my happiness for someone else’s. Also, just because it’s your first love, it doesn’t mean it will be your only love. You shouldn’t feel like you need to stay in something just because you feel like you’ll never be able to achieve it again.

Jamaal (Male, 23, Class of 2018)

Paul: Did/do you date while in college?

RJ: I did, but I won’t anymore.

Paul: Were you abstinent while you were dating?

RJ: Nah I wasn’t.

Paul: Would you say that made things easier or harder?

RJ: I’d say it made things easier at first but hard after awhile.

Paul: Can you elaborate on that for me?

RJ: Like at first it was cool having relations but it got old and tiring after awhile.

Paul: Dang, that’s very interesting. How was balancing school and dating?

RJ: I tried to make sure my partner was on top of their school work and vice versa and at times we’d do schoolwork together.

Paul: Did you learn any learn any life lessons from the people you’ve dated?

RJ: Never go back.

Paul: Can you elaborate?

RJ: I’m talking to the girl I was in a relationship with freshman year and things are worse this time around even though we’re older.

Paul: Jeez I’m sorry to hear that man.

Kahlil (Male, 20, Class of 2020)

Paul: Did/Will you date while in school?

Kahlil: I have actually.

Paul: Did you practice abstinence while you were dating?

Kahlil: We didn’t have sex all the time, but we had sex.

Paul: Did that make things easier or harder?

Kahlil: It made things easier. There was a mutual understanding. The only complication was figuring out exactly when it was desired.

Paul: How was balancing schoolwork and the relationship?

Kahlil: It’s pretty simple. You do your work together or do it on your own time.

Paul: Would you say you learned any life lessons from the relationship?

Kahlil: Many lessons brother!

Paul: Such as?

Kahlil: Boundaries, it’s important to give your significant other their space. It’s okay to see them all the time but remember they need their time for classes and their social life as well. You learn to compromise and see life from their perspective, you have to respect their views and opinions.

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Paul Barnes

Writing has always been Paul’s passion. His ultimate dream is to become a best selling author but, that journey begins here! He also loves movies, music, and food (eating it more than cooking it!). He says he tends to gravitate towards action and some dramas but, can also really get into a psychological thriller. Being an open minded individual, he literally listens to ALL kinds of music, so he has favorite artists across multiple genres.

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