Dating after college is hard! If you’re not careful it becomes a string of boring dinners with people you have nothing in common with. People that get fewer and further between as you become increasingly resentful of the human species until you’re resigned to dying alone with your cats…
Misery loves company, so if you’re struggling with your post-college dating life it should be at least somewhat comforting to know that you’re not alone. More adults are single than ever before, and the rest of them are getting married much later in life than we’ve seen in previous decades.
The reasons for these statistics are varied, and range from the rise of ‘hookup culture’ and the avalanche of apps like Tinder and Grindr that followed, to the increased independence and economic status of women (who are now focusing on their careers and friendships before starting a family and getting married).
However, some of us are pushing 30 and are ready to start looking for a relationship. And whether you’re looking to date for marriage or even casually (hey, a girl’s gotta eat, right?) it can feel like the dating opportunities just dried up after graduating from college.
Luckily, there is literally One Simple Trick to dating after college, and it is so ridiculously obvious that you should be ashamed of yourself for not figuring it out on your own.
The (very obvious when you think about it) trick to dating after college
If you’re wondering how to date after college, the trick is to go outside. That’s it – that’s all the advice.
As a millennial myself, I understand that those two words strike fear into the deepest regions of your heart, but it’s true. Let me explain why.
After college, there are two camps of people. Those who successfully date after college, and those who do not. The difference between those two groups of people is that one group has cultivated a life that supports dating while the other group hasn’t.
A life that supports meeting people to date involves meeting other people. (Rocket science, I know – I’m waiting on that Nobel Prize any day now.)
The one thing those who don’t have a problem finding dates as fully fledged adults all have in common is that they have a hobby or an interest that they actively participate in and that requires them to leave their house. Ideally, this interest also involves meeting up with a group of likeminded people. (Which after all, is a lot like college, where you join societies and take classes in the things you’re interested in.)
Why you don’t have success dating after college
The internet is a dark, dark place – saturated with articles about where to “find” women after college. As if women are rare pokemon and some hacker has the inside scoop on which tuft of long grass we’re hiding in.
That isn’t to say that “how to meet women after college” isn’t an honest enough question, it’s just that the answer isn’t as mysterious as you might think.
Women are people. We do people things, in people places, with other people. Perhaps there’s even a few women who are into whatever niche hobby you have, too. (Hint: There definitely are.) But the truth is, you’re not going to meet any of them if you’re not an active participant in that group yourself.
Those of us looking to meet women for romantic relationships (and I mean both heterosexual men and lesbians) should focus first on enjoying ourselves and making friends. When you have a healthy social circle, the good dating life comes naturally.
Dating after college: There’s an app for that
There is an app that will help you meet someone perfect for you, and it isn’t Tinder. It isn’t even Bumble, nor Grindr.
It’s MeetUp. The app for social groups and meet-ups for every single interest and activity you could possibly think of. If you don’t have it, or something similar, download it now. If you think your interests are too niche, you’d be wrong.
Here’s a group of 4,338 single people in Seattle who love animals.
Here’s a world map of every single Meetup group for people who like board games. Go flirt over scrabble, if that’s your jam.
Are you a lesbian in London who loves culture? At night time? Well you’re in luck because there are OVER 4000 OTHER LESBIANS who feel the same way. Don’t tell me you don’t want to date any of them?
Shout out to the 6,000+ people in Philadelphia who are out-and-proud erotic literature fans too!
Want to learn a new language? Fancy some gay tango lessons? Thinking of starting to write a novel? Social groups aren’t just for book clubs and sports teams (although of course you can join them too), there is literally a group for everyone, and they’d love for you to join them. This isn’t college, we’ve grown up and put cliques aside.
You’ll have so much fun throwing yourself into your new social group that you won’t even be thinking about starting to date any of your new friends until you click with someone and it stops you dead in your tracks.
Relationships after college are out there
Next time you want to say you “can’t” meet anyone, ask yourself if the actual issue is that you haven’t tried to meet anyone. The love of your life isn’t going to come and knock on your door out of the blue.
At the crux of it, that’s the real difference between dating at college and dating after college – at college, you’re thrown together with a bunch of people and forced to interact. We weren’t warned we’d have to do that for ourselves once we’d graduated.
What’s more, is that people with hobbies are sexy AF. There’s not a guy or girl out there that doesn’t love watching someone talk about something they’re passionate about. Finding an interest and taking an active role in it (especially one you share with your future partner) means you’ll never run out of things to talk about, and you’ll have plenty of material for your first date. Plus, you won’t come off as boring. As much as we might do it, none of us want to binge-watch Netflix every night, right?
Once you’ve found your new group of friends, you’ll wonder how anyone could have a hard time dating after college. We’re adults now, we can go wherever we like, and do whatever we want. If you’re not feeling ready to go out and mingle, or still need a helpful push in the right direction, you can always rely on us to be there with the dating advice and a shoulder to cry on.