You’re Going to Go on Actual Dates.
Here’s how dating works in college: You meet someone, you like them, you hang out a bunch because you conveniently live no further than across campus and share a cafeteria and only have class once or twice a day, you hook up, and then, boom, you’re dating.
Annoyingly, adult schedules really don’t allow for that kind of romantic simplicity. People have jobs, schedules, and apartments across the city, which makes a casual hang-out situation hard to come by.
In other words: you’re gonna have to go on dates.
The idea of going on a date – even ASKING someone out on a date – probably seems pretty foreign, and maybe a little old-fashioned. (I certainly had never gone on a date date until after college graduation.) But asking someone out on a date is actually great, because,in the Real World, your chances of running into them again aren’t always as high as when you used to share a cafeteria with everyone on campus.
A date can be a movie, a drink, a cup of coffee, a trip to see that cool exhibit at the art museum you’d been talking about, a quick trip to the Food Trucks during your lunch hour, a long walk. And if you like each other, you plan for a second one. And a third, and a fourth…
You’re Going to Be Broke.
You thought you were broke in college, and maybe you were – except you probably also had a nice enough dorm room, an all-you-can-eat cafeteria, and a social life consisting mostly of free parties and campus events.
Now, you have an adult job, but also rent to pay, groceries to buy, and bar tabs to settle. And most, if not all, of your friends are in the same boat.
When it comes to dating, the early-twenties are a tricky time. Guys may be used to the idea of paying for their dates’ meals and drinks and tickets, but it’s possible that the guys you date after college literally cannot afford to be chivalrous. Which is fine, because it’s 2013, and you’re more than able to step up to the plate.
If you’re seeing someone, alternate on splitting the bill – one day he gets it, and one day you get it. Stick to cheaper restaurants (falafel can be romantic!), pre-game when you’re going out (sharing a flask can be romantic!) and be on the lookout for free events, like book readings, free museum days, gallery opens, etc. (Frugality can be romantic!)
Having A Job Changes Your Dating Life.
You met a guy and he asked you out and took you to a restaurant and the conversation was great and after the meal you took a walk and he took your face in his hands and you kissed and it was SO magical and you keep kissing and you keep kissing and then you both looked at your phones and it was 11 pm and he has to be at work at 7 and you live an hour away and still have a report to finish so you both sort of figure it’s time to say goodnight. You’ll see him on the weekend.