Love at First Sight? Practical Dating Tips for College Students

love at first sightLove at first sight might seem like a wonderful thing. One glorious summer day as you walk the hallowed halls of your college campus, a particular hunk or angel catches your eye, tickles your fancy and traps your soul. The feeling stays with you for days, sustaining you in the absence of appetite and sleep. Suddenly it dawns upon you – this is the one.

[showmyads] Approximately 60% of Americans believe in love at first sight and over 50% say they have experienced it (Buri, 2010). Reality, however, is often far removed from the scenes of the typical chick flick. But what does a person actually “see” during these moments of igniting affection?

Psychologist John Buri describes the phenomenon as a 2-step screening process:

Step 1: We scan the environment. With physical attractiveness as the major criterion, we eliminate unsuitable persons from further consideration. Persons who did not make the cut essentially become invisible.

Step 2: Those who did make the cut continue to be evaluated for further attention and possible selection.

How effective is initial attraction in predicting long term, stable and happy relationships? Not very. Instead of taking advice from a Hollywood movie, why not try taking a few tips from persons who have been there and done that. You might already know some of these tips and that’s perfectly fine. After all, there’s no need to fix something that isn’t broken.

Here are a few helpful suggestions on how to get that crucial first date:

  • Arrange a group outing and ensure that your prospect is included.

While you may not know your prospect personally, someone you do know will likely have made first contact with him or her. Set up a group outing and make sure that you invite your crush (through your mutual friend) to the event. While enjoying the outing, approach your crush with light conversation and see how he/she reacts to you. If you find the chemistry compelling enough and continue to work on it, you might find yourselves heading towards biology.

  • Ask for his/her help

Find out what your crush is good at and seek his/her help and advice. People love when their egos are tickled and this can be the easiest and most effective route of approach.

  • Get together at a campus lunch

You need not stalk a person to have a meal with them. Sooner or later you might notice that your crush has lunch at the same time as you do, a couple days per week. Use this chance to meet and introduce yourself. If he/she is eating alone, offer your company. Gauge their reaction to see if your crush is interested in you.

Ok, now that you have concluded with certainty that your prospect might be eager to go out on a date, it is time to ask him/her out. There is no easy way of doing this so just go right ahead and ask. Most people are flattered to be asked out on a date and will oblige even if just to stroke their ego or spare you further embarrassment. Then again, he/she might actually like you.

Whatever the case might be, use this one time opportunity to make the date special for him/her. Make it something to remember. Obviously, this is the part where guys need to pay special attention, as girls have the advantage of taking a backseat here. Consider a few tips on how to make your college date special:

  • Get some flowers for your girl. They never go out of fashion and a bouquet is a perfect charmer’s weapon. Furthermore, friends or roomies of your crush will love you for the gentleman that you are.
  • Invite her out to dinner. This might sound cliché but it is an extremely effective first date strategy. Since you are both in college, do not hesitate to pull out a dinner coupon. On the other hand, if you are a decent enough cook, then invite her to your place and cook a gourmet meal. This will leave a great impression and you can score major points here.
  • Arrange a trip to an amusement park or a picnic. This has the advantage of being out of the ordinary and, if your girl loves the outdoors, she will certainly appreciate your efforts. Being around other people and actively participating in fun activities will also help to soothe those awkward moments when you can’t think of anything to say.

Many people consider romantic love and sexual desire as going hand in hand. But according to University of Utah development psychologist Lisa Diamond, it’s not that simple. After a series of follow-up interviews with a group of women over the course of a decade, Diamond stated “most females identified themselves as non-heterosexual, but several reported falling in love with, and developing sexual desire for, individual men in their lives” (Munsey, 2007). In other words, these women were not initially interested in heterosexual relations, but this did not prevent them from eventually falling in love with men. The bottom line is this, having love for a person is not the same as wanting to have sex with said person. Love is not skin deep.

While the above tips are helpful for most guys and girls, you may have to study your prospect for a while before deciding on the perfect way to impress him/her. Please note, we are not suggesting that you stalk anyone. That’s creepy. But the more you know about a person, the better your decision will be as to whether or not you will be compatible with him/her. Issues such as personality, lifestyle, career choice, religion, etc. are all vitally important in establishing a long-term relationship. Love at first sight is a very popular belief,  but that doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to be fooled by fairy tales or romantic Hollywood movies.

In the following essay examples you will find more interesting and valuable advice on how to make the most of your college life.

Buri, J., (2010, February 16). Love at first sight. Love Bytes. Retrieved on February 23, 2012 from, C., (2007). Love’s not sex. Monitor on Psychology, 38(2), 42. Retrieved on February 23, 2012 from