17 Things Every Guy Needs To Know About Dating After College

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Dating after college is tough. It kind of reminds me of blackjack: the house always has the advantage, but if you know how to play, you can tip the scales in your favor. Every species of animal on the planet has a mating ritual, and as postgrads, we are no different. Times are changing, and most girls our age don’t have sex immediately upon meeting a guy anymore. I haven’t circled the bases on a first date since I stopped attending house parties. Either I’ve gotten uglier or the girls have gotten smarter; self-worth only increases with age. In these modern times as 20-somethings, it’s reasonable to assume a one to three “hangout period” before you become bang buddies. As a single male, you have to navigate through hordes of technological and psychological land mines before you seal the deal. No list is bulletproof, but these reminders should get you pointed in the right direction.

  1. Avoid the subject of Tinder. I don’t care what the situation is–talking about an orgy arraigning app where you could totally be sleazing on the side is not making her comfortable.
  2. Delete Tinder altogether. Tinder should be off your phone in the presence of a girl you want to sleep with. Your matches are saved when you reload it.
  3. Put your phone on silent. If you’re a moron or a daredevil and ignored the last two, no other app has a more distinctive sound, except maybe Words With Friends. What if one of your only responding matches decides to message you? You’re hosed.
  4. Turn off your phone. You shouldn’t be on your phone when you’re out with a lady anyway.
  5. Do not mention that you play guitar.
  6. Don’t send her recordings of you playing guitar. If you already did offer unsolicited lists of your hobbies and interests, the worst thing you can do is expand on them without her prompting.
  7. Compliment her shoes. You’re obviously fishing, but notching a small point if you do it right.
  8. End each date with moderately solid plans to see each other again. It doesn’t matter how far in the future, but nothing starts a fizzling like an “I’ll let you know.”
  9. Don’t send more than two unreciprocated texts in a row. Three strikes and you’re out.
  10. Don’t start a texting conversation during the day. If she texts you all day at work, she might just be bored and happy to have a distraction. If she texts you in bunches during her free time, she might like you.
  11. Don’t start texting conversations at all. If that’s not even on the table (I’m guilty, too) then limit yourself as much as you can and try to gauge her responsiveness. If her texts are consistently longer than two sentences or if she digitally laughs in any form of “haha” with more than two syllables, it’s legit.
  12. Read her body language. I found out about body language from reading Cosmo, which I bought for $3.99 in one of the Chicago airports after a heavy beer buzz. A lady who has squared her shoulders to you and leaned her elbow on the bar just like yours is definitely listening to what you have to say.
  13. Watch your body language. Chin up, hands out of pockets, don’t slouch, and smile as much as possible. The basics, really.
  14. Do NOT get too familiar too fast. Don’t share any harrowing or traumatic stories from your childhood, or even party stories extolling your debauchery from college. People make snap judgments that stick. Even though you’re basically the same guy, you still have to act like you have it together.
  15. Go on dates that don’t have a bill handed to you by a server. This eliminates the need to shout down her protests over who pays. Museums, aquariums, sporting events. NO PUMPKIN PATCHES. I don’t care what she says. Save that until the two of you decide to procreate.
  16. Clean your car. I drive a 1996 Ford Taurus, which is probably the lamest car available. The least I can do is not treat it like garbage, so I can show some pride whenever I’m carting around a girl. Don’t go nuts with vacuuming or polishing, just wipe away dust every now and then and make sure it doesn’t smell.
  17. Assume her friends are reading your texts. Screenshots, bro. I’m sorry, but it was a sad day when I realized that girls really do tell (and forward) their girlfriends everything. Now that you know this crucial fact, take Happy Gilmore’s advice and “try not to do anything stupid.”

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California guy coming to you live from the Mile High City. I enjoy weekend day drinking, handing out my business cards, and ordering pizza while hungover. I do not enjoy "working through lunch", folding laundry, or small domesticated animals that evolution should have stamped out long ago. Chipotle will be catered at my wedding. Feel free to call me out on Twitter. Division II grad.

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