Was dating and meeting new people easy in college, or was it just me? Granted, by “dating” I mean hooking up, and by “meeting new people” I mean drunkenly making out with strangers at parties. But still, the dating game is completely different after you pack up and move out of your dorm room for the final time. Maybe you only dated jocks or thespians in high school, and fraternity men or RAs in college. Those days are gone though. Now that you’re a real life adult, what types of dudes should you expect to date?
1. The Set-Up
“I have this friend and he is just perfect for you.” Cue the excitement. Who knows you better than your BFF, after all? (Or your mom. Your mom will probably try to set you up on a date in your postgrad days. Be aware. Or beware, depending on your mother.) You’ll spend all day primping and preening for the date only to be horribly let down. The problem with everyone else but you is they think they know your type and really… Well, only you know your type best… Right?
2. “Not My Type”
That being said, you are now an open-minded adult. So what if “tall, dark, and handsome” is your thing? You’re older now. Maybe he’s a few inches too short and a few shades too blonde and maybe he doesn’t have the same sense of humor as you, but it’s time to explore! You might be more mature now, but you’re also young! Get out there and have fun! Maybe you’ll find you have a taste for redheads or yuppies or whatever you’re so not into. But then again, maybe you’ll find yourself asking, “You voted for who in the 2012 election?” and running away from the dinner table pronto.
3. Your Ex
So maybe exploring your interests didn’t turn out that great. It’s better to go with what you know, right? At some point in your postgrad life, you will find yourself reconnecting with your ex, be he your high school sweetheart, college boyfriend, or a fling from that summer between sophomore and junior year. The mentality will be that the both of you are now older and wiser and have really changed and all that stuff. Think Marnie and Charlie from HBO’s Girls. The chemistry’s still there and you are better people now. Right? Well, maybe. We’ll have to stick around for next season to find out, and even then one of you might end up leaving the show.
4. Your High School Crush
Another blast from the past! Perhaps you’ll bump into one another at Starbucks or a mutual friend’s party. The conversation you always dreamed of having when you were fifteen and first doodled your name with his in your math notebook will take place. “I had this huge crush on you in high school!” Numbers will be exchanged and you’ll spend the next few days waiting for him to call you just like you did back in the day. Only this time he actually has your phone number and not just your AIM username, so you have a way better chance of things actually taking place, and possibly even working out.
5. Your Friend’s College Buddy
Chances are you just made out with him at that party because, like, he was there. But your mutual friends will all latch onto the idea that that drunken make-out sesh that they were all there to witness was the making of a couple. When you hit up the bar with the girl that introduced you and find yourself drunkenly wanting a boy to kiss (or sleep with) at two in the morning she’ll obviously suggest, “Can’t you text [insert name here]?” And you’ll be all, “Um, no, because he’s just your friend that I made out with at a party and that ship is definitely never sailing.” Or maybe it will sail one day, but, like, he has to contact you first. (And 3AM Facebook messages don’t count.)
6. The Older Guy
“I’m an adult,” you will say to yourself as you step out with this fella. “I want to date a man. Not a boy.” But that’s the problem with The Older Guy. Maybe he is a man and you find yourself realizing that you’re just not ready for that: he’s talking about marriage already and you’re just not to settle down. Yikes! Or maybe he makes you realize that men really never do grow up, and the last thing you want on your hands is an oversized boy.
7. The Younger Boy
On the flip side, you will also likely find yourself canoodling with a much younger guy. He laughs at all of your jokes and is blown away by all of your awesome moves in the bedroom. Can it get better than this? But when he invites you to spend the weekend in the dorms or – gasp – reveals he can’t make it out to Happy Hour with your friends since he’s actually not quite twenty-one yet… Well, you’ll be moving on in no time.
While there are so many different types of men to get to know in the dating game, the most important and exciting part of putting yourself out there is getting to know who you really are. Through the process of dating, you get to discover your preferences and learn what it is you really want out of a relationship. So when Mr. Perfect turns out to be Mr. Awful or when your first Tinder date is a dud, recall the good times. Remember that awesome make out session with your ex two months ago, that first kiss from Mr. Unexpected, and that funny joke your new guy sent you just five minutes ago. Dating is fun, so have fun dating!