How mature is our idea of dating and romance, as college students? Have our notions of love changed over the years? By comparing the views of college students regarding relationships with that of my eight-year-old cousin Helen Schnibbe, the answer becomes clear.
Because she currently identifies as heterosexual, most of this article will regard expectations regarding boyfriends.
Most women tend to look for seven traits in a man, according to College Times: Humour, style, ambition, confidence, height, body and affection. Three of these seven traits focus on physical appearance, which means over half of what women want in a college boyfriend has to do with personality. Schnibbe seemed less concerned about that and completely focused on looks.
“Well, in my life he [her boyfriend] would have to be handsome, strong and have abs!” Schnibbe exclaimed.
In fact, while she affirmed that she likes boys, she clarified that it comes down to more than just their personality.
“It depends on what kind of boy it is,” Schnibbe said. “There’s like 10 boys in second grade who are still ugly. They’re not beautiful.”
Her other motivation to get a boyfriend may be familiar to many of us: A fear of third-wheeling.
“When my friends have a boyfriend then I’ll have a boyfriend, too,” Schnibbe said.
Ideally she would like to have a boyfriend by the time she turns 12, otherwise she feels she will “be lonely with 17 cats.” Being that 35 percent of Tinder users are 18 to 24 year-olds, it seems that many students believe they should at least be dating during college, if not sooner.
While many college students try to plan dates that are affordable, fun and allow for you and your date to talk, such as picnics, going for a walk or going to a drive in movie, Schnibbe only wanted one kind of date.
“If he [her boyfriend] brought me to a movie, cause I love movies,” Schnibbe said. “But it has to be a certain movie. ‘Greatest Showman!’”
While seven percent of students get married in college, the average age of marriage for women is 27.4 years old and the average age for men is 29.5 years old. Oddly enough, Schnibbe was right on par with her ideal age for marriage: 30. In addition to this, 26 percent of college students have kids in college and the average number of kids they’ll have is 2.4. Schnibbe strayed from this average with her ideal “three or 12” kids. She also gave insight in how she would know it is time to marry her boyfriend.
“If he still has abs when I wanna marry him [at 30], then I guess I’ll marry him,” Schnibbe said.
Crushes can run rampant in college with the sudden increase in population and options, including the random hot people in your class, at the gym and across the dining hall. While her options are more limited in her “ugly” second grade class, Schnibbe currently has a crush and has been the recipient of someone else’s affections.
“I held hands with a boy who has a crush on me in first grade,” Schnibbe said.
For those looking for a boyfriend, most college-aged women offer the advice of be yourself, avoid talking about your ex and try not to ramble during the date. Schnibbe offered some sage advice of her own.
“Before you ask him on a date, make sure you love him,” Schnibbe said.
If you have any questions or need any dating advice, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m positive other people are facing the same romantic problems as you, and would love to hear an answer.
Rebecca Maher is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.