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Real Live College Guy Dale: He Made Things Official, Then Changed His Mind

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We all need a little guidance now and then, so whether you’re stressed about a fling gone wrong, a recently wrecked relationship or how to handle a stage-five clinger, Real Live College Guy Dale is here to help you navigate the college dating scene.

I just recently started college. The first week, I met this guy, and we really hit it off. After a few days of texting and hanging out with our mutual friends, he told me that he liked me. From there, we went on a date and continued to hang out in the group and be in constant contact through the day. After a week of us being a "thing," I was going to go to a party with a friend, so we brought up being exclusive (exclusive, not boyfriend/girlfriend). I was cool with it because I'm not a hook-up girl and I knew it would reassure him that I wasn't going crazy at the party. Then, a few days later, he brought up that we should keep dating and not be exclusive since it is only "fair." 

I don't care that we aren't exclusive since we've only been talking for two weeks. I just don't understand why he would bring it up only to take it back. Why not just let us naturally get to being exclusive over time and then stay there? I'm not sure if his, "let's keep dating but not be exclusive" really means, “I don't want to even date you,” and he just doesn't want to tell me that.

I don't want to be blindsided later down the road. Is he just trying to slow things down because going exclusive is unhealthily fast for us, or does he just not know how to tell me he doesn't like me?–Confused at Carolina

Well, Carolina, welcome to college dating!

Your entire situation depends on whether or not this guy is a freshman as well. If he is, I can understand why he’d want to play the field as opposed to getting chained down during his first semester. Not that I agree with “playing the field,” but as a guy, I understand the desire.

If he isn’t a freshman, I think you need to be wary of his motives. If he’s not a freshman, he’s trying to get you to be one of his late-night booty calls. While there’s nothing particularly wrong with casual sex (be safe, though), I take issue with his predation on more naïve freshman girls.

As far as his statement about fairness, I have no idea what he’s talking about. “Fair” would be him telling you straight up that he doesn’t want to pursue anything serious with you and he just wants to hook up. But, as you said, you’re not a hook-up person – so that would put his deviant little plans on the backburner. It isn’t so much that he doesn’t like you as much as it is that he just doesn’t want to get into anything serious with you.

If you don’t want to be blindsided, I’d offer up this little tidbit of advice: Drop him. It’s college. You’ve got another three years left here, and you have plenty of time to date other people. He’s a drop in the bucket, and you deserve better. Until you find better, however, you need to look at what you want rather than what he wants. Right now it seems like everything depends on what he’s doing, but it’s your life. As selfish as it might sound, what you want and need is more important than what he wants right now.

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