Dear Meghan: How do I date without participating in “hook-up” culture?



Meghan Harmening | Opinion Editor

Dating is difficult in college – especially in a small town. Everybody knows everybody, and sometimes it is hard to truly “date” – to go on dates and not see the person in your everyday life.

To date at Buena Vista University (BVU) is often synonymous with going out to Malarky’s every Saturday night and dancing with random people and bringing them back to your dorm room only to wake up the next morning and find out that you’re sleeping with someone who’s last name you don’t even know.

On the other hand, I have heard some success stories on BVU’s campus from people who have chosen not to go out to Malarky’s each weekend. Here are a couple of things not to forget when looking to date on BVU’s campus.

First, develop a good group of close friends from varying parts of campus. By including people from other residence halls, on-campus organizations, churches, or majors you set yourself up for even more potential acquaintances. For example, if one of your close friends is a part of a different organization on campus, you can then network yourself to others in that organization which allows yourself to meet potential significant others. By opening yourself up to every corner of campus, you greatly increase your chances of meeting someone based on a common intellectual interest or hobby rather than how many drinks you can down in one evening.

Once you find a potential candidate for love, the next step is to start hanging out. A good first step that we all seem to know is the common group date. When making plans for a group date, I suggest doing something fun to loosen up and just get to know each other. While setting up that first group date, make plans for a second date right away that may be a week or two out. By doing this you show the person that you are willing to put effort into the potential relationship and that you are interested in more than a one time “thing”.

Lastly, don’t be ashamed about what you do and don’t want from a relationship. Communicate your expectations about the relationship before either of you are too emotionally invested. If you don’t want a one night stand, tell them. If you don’t want to be too physical before a certain point in the relationship, tell them. If you want someone who is willing to get to know you, tell them.

Of course these tips only break the surface. However, it is a start and I wish you the best of luck in your “non-hook-up” culture relationships.

Do you need advice? Ask your questions here!

Graphic by Aaron Burns