The Essential Guide to Postgrad Dating

It’s a New Year. 2013 is full of possibilities, hopes, dreams and aspirations that were likely shot down your first day back at the office after two consecutive short work weeks. There are probably a few attainable goals on your laundry list of New Year’s resolutions. Maybe lose some weight, call your parents more, eat healthier, travel, bang one of your grade school teachers. Normal stuff.

Perhaps beginning a new intimate relationship was high on your list of resolutions for 2013. No longer will you sit by your lonesome in your apartment, meticulously stalking your high school girlfriend on Facebook, and accidentally liking one of her Instagram pictures. A rogue Instagram “like” is equally as horrifying as the accidental like of someone’s spring break pics from four years ago on Facebook.

But you’re ready to put yourself out there. Your college relationship ended after a few months of the dreaded long-distance attempt went awry. Or maybe you were one of the smart people who went stag during college.

Whatever the case, postgrad dating is a whole new ballgame. The sheer schematics of it are completely foreign to any person with a fresh diploma. I’m still pretty weirded out by it. So, you’re telling me I have to walk up to a girl, SOBER, and ask her if she wants to go to dinner? That’s a nightmare. Finding someone you can marry in your later college years never seemed like a good idea, but here‘s some news for you: it was probably the right move. Postgrad dating, especially in the first couple of years, is painfully awkward. There aren’t any date parties, mixers or late night after-bars to find a potential mate while your guard is at its lowest. If you’re good looking and/or nice enough, people are going to be trying to fix you up with all sorts of relatives, co-workers, former babysitters and 30-something disasters.

It’s hard out here for a postgrad. I mean, it should be easy now, right? You have your own apartment and plenty of money to spend (if you’re lucky). Well it isn’t easy. Of course, people are always on the lookout for some strange on a nightly basis. Inhibitions are raised with each passing month. The dating pool thins with every engagement and serious relationship. Some people tend to get desperate and it seems like all the good ones are always taken.

Then there’s that dirty four-letter word. Love. Love is real. Love is wonderful. It’s fantastic and terrifying. But it comes with its warts. Postgrad dating is a big deal. You start dating someone and you’re on the fast track to marriage, kids, mortgage, the whole nine. You have a good job, maybe even a career. For most people, the next logical step is finding a partner and then marriage. That’s the most terrifying part of postgrad dating. Everyone you date is going to be viewed by everyone, including you and your partner, as a potential lifelong mate. The pressure to get married will be ever present in your relationship as it goes on. You can’t afford to swing and miss as much as you did in college.

On the flip side, break ups will likely be easier than they were in college, as you probably won’t have as many mutual friends with your significant other. But once you and another adult get into a relationship, shit gets real…fast.

But if you’re lucky, you’ll meet the right person, the fabled “soul mate.” It will undoubtedly begin awkwardly. The embarrassment of telling people how you and your date met will be even more awkward.

“Well, we were both really drunk at happy hour and then we hooked up for like two months, had a pregnancy scare, then we finally went on a date. It‘s been wedded bliss ever since then, kids.”

It’s one of those quirks about being a postgrad. There’s pressure to be an adult, while at the same time, you want to cling to being irresponsible and careless. That quirk applies to all facets of your life in your mid-20s, especially with relationships.

Don’t let it stop you from having a good time.

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TheChampionsTour (@ChampsTourTFM) is a contributing writer for Post Grad Problems, Rowdy Gentleman, and Total Frat Move .

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