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The 7 Stages of Dating in College


It’s been a while since your last relationship, and you’re ready to put yourself back out in the dating world again.

The only problem is, you can’t find yourself a boyfriend in a day – getting to know a guy takes some time! As much as you’d love to run into a cute guy and have him immediately realize that you’re the woman of his dreams, most of the time you go through a few stages before he gets to that point.

Here are the seven stages of talking to a new guy in college:

Stage One: The Awkward Class Conversations

When the super hot guy in your English class decides to sit behind you, you’re going to try to find every possible excuse to talk to him. You’re not even in first-date-conversation territory yet - any tiny homework question or comment about the weather will do!

You try to play it cool whenever you two talk in class, but little does he know you’re totally freaking out on the inside. You ask him if you can borrow a pencil or offer him a stick of gum way too many times.

Whenever you see his beautiful face as you walk into class, you know you’re in for an entire hour of word vomit à la Cady Heron.

Stage Two: Serious Flirting

After a week or two of subtle flirting, you guys exchange numbers “just in case you have questions about the homework.” When he finally texts you, you’re like…

Over time, you find out that you guys actually have a lot of things in common (who would have thought that you BOTH liked Chipotle!?) and your crush continues to grow the more you guys converse through a never-ending stream of winky faces.

The only problem is you’re left with a ton of text-related questions: Am I texting him too often? Am I not texting him often enough? Should I text him first? I sent too many emojis in that last text, didn’t I? How many “hahas” should I use to respond to his last joke? It says he read my text five minutes ago, so why hasn’t he texted me back yet?!

Since you’re not totally sure if he’s into you quite yet, you overanalyze every little text message. What did his compliment text really mean?!

Stage Three: Running Into Him at a Party

After a few weeks of some serious flirt-texting, you pray that you’ll run into him at a party on the weekend. Your daytime classroom flirting and over-the-phone messages can only get you so far – it’s time to graduate from the kissing-face emoji and move on to the real thing!

When you finally see him at a party, your stomach fills with butterflies and you know this is the moment things are really going to start happening between you two. Without the restriction of a classroom or your professor’s watchful eye, you can finally get a little extra flirty and truly let him know that you’re into him.

After a little bit of flirting and a little bit of dancing you decide that, okay, you REALLY like this guy. Your hopes and dreams for the weekend are fulfilled when you go back to his place at the end of the night.

Stage Four: More Awkward Class Conversations

After your weekend hook-up, it may seem like things have gone back to square one. You don’t really know where you two stand after your party escapade, and things are more than a little awkward when you get to class on Monday.

And in class on Wednesday…

And Friday…

You might take his awkward indifference and his lack of text messages as a sign that he’s not really that into you anymore, but then again, he could be searching for the right way to break the tension, just like you.

Stage Five: Friends With Benefits

Despite the awkward tension you felt in class all week, when the weekend rolls around, you guys pick up right where you left off. And before you know it, you guys start hooking up EVERY weekend. At this point, you’re not really sure where you two stand. Are you exclusive? Is this going anywhere? Are you guys just fooling around?

You might be reluctant to define the relationship right now because you don’t want to scare him off, but you’re anxious to know if this is going to turn into anything real or not.

Things start getting way less awkward in class, you start texting more regularly, trips to the dining hall together after class become the norm and you start to really get to know each other. You leave him casual hints about your ever-apparent status as a single woman, but of course, he’s totally oblivious to your subtly persistent ways.

Stage Six: The DTR Talk

When casual trips to the dining hall turn into restaurant dinners, staying over at his place on the weekends is almost a given and you find yourself with more than a few of his sweatshirts stockpiled in your closet, you know that it’s time to define the relationship. Most of your friends already associate you guys with each other anyways; that’s when you know it’s definitely time to DTR. You take it upon yourself to initiate “The Talk” even though you’re pretty nervous and you already know what you’re going to say if he shoots you down…

You decide to just bring it up and hope for the best. It turns out, he was just as nervous as you were to talk about it! Thank goodness!

Stage Seven: Romantic Bliss

After weeks and weeks of hook-ups, flirt-texting and hanging out, you guys finally make the leap and decide to be exclusive, which leaves you plenty of time to ask the question…

So maybe there’s no one easy step that can help you land the guy of your dreams. If you wait it out a few weeks and go through all the stages, your English-class crush could turn into the boyfriend you’ve been waiting for! 

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