What do you believe is the most challenging part of dating or seeking a relationship is?


The Daily Campus conducts an annual Valentine’s Day survey of UConn students. These are some of the things people identified as the most challenging parts of relationships.

Communication is key

  • Learning to communicate and work together, especially in the beginning
  • Finding someone you click with 
  • Compromise and communicating clearly
  • Communicating with your partner
  • Maintaining it
  • Being able to communicate efficiently without projecting
  • People not being honest with their intentions and everyone giving the same excuse that they are “focusing on themselves.” Yet, they are okay with hooking up, but not seeking something that is real.
  • Someone who is genuine still after a while (10 months) of dating. Communication is a big factor. 
  • Communicating effectively
  • Communication/building the trust 
  • Communicating feelings, being vulnerable 
  • Open communication
  • Communication
  • I think communication is always something that’s challenging in any (including non-romantic) relationships, I think communicating intentions, wants, needs, and feelings is always hard, especially when it calls on you to be vulnerable. 
  • Being able to communicate, finding someone that is on the same page as you 
  • Communication

…and so are compatibility and a connection

  • Compatibility
  • Reciprocating love
  • Finding someone who likes you back
  • Establishing mutual interest in a relationship
  • Trying to find someone you’re compatible with
  • Constantly being on the same wavelength with someone, seeing eye to eye 
  • Being on the same page 
  • Finding someone compatible 
  • Finding the right person.
  • Finding a quality woman who shares the same values and is emotionally mature and healthy.
  • Finding someone who is actually right for you
  • Establishing a connection
  • Compromise
  • Staying connected when only 1 of you is in college
  • Connecting with people 
  • Speaking the other person’s love language and not your own
  • Finding someone who gets you and wants the same things as you.
  • Finding someone who wants the same things as you
  • Making sure the other person feels the same way about the relationship
  • Finding someone who has the same values as you and who you are not bored with.
  • Finding someone truly compatible with you
  • Meeting someone compatible. Lots of people are cool or hot, but it’s so hard to meet someone that truly understands you 
  • Finding the right person, you have to know before you commit 
  • Being vulnerable in sex and in looking to connect with someone 
  • Finding someone that had the same intentions as you do
  • Finding someone you actually connect with on an emotional level.
  • Not wanting the same thing
  • Finding someone who aligns with your personal beliefs and sense of humor.
  • Consistency
  • Keeping things exciting

Or is it different dating expectations and standards?

  • The approach and weird standards when it comes to dating — guys being expected to make the first move, different standards of attractiveness for both genders, etc
  • Expecting yourself out of people 
  • Meeting people who have the same expectations and relationship goals
  • People have different definitions for dating 
  • Finding someone with the same mindset as you (in relation to dating)
  • High (or even low) expectations not being met by potential partners around you
  • Finding someone with similar intentions (wanting a relationship vs not)
  • I think that people are not taught about how to have a healthy relationship. 
  • Holding onto your standards
  • Hookup culture  
  • Hookup culture
  • Making sure they don’t want to just hookup
  • Finding someone who will actually stay/isn’t using you for sex

But also keeping the love alive

  • Keeping the excitement alive after it first starts.
  • Staying committed to spending quality time together when life gets busy and not letting the relationship devolve into just sex and eating takeout. 
  • Trying to break from a routine. Between school and work, dating can often feel monotonous/repetitive 
  • Personally, staying interested. I lose interest pretty fast because the smallest thing can throw me off and i’m gone in a heartbeat 

Balancing time, effort and emotion

  • Boundaries
  • Maintaining personal boundaries

Balancing recognizing someone else’s feelings without letting them take over your life

  • Finding a balance between spending a lot of time with the person and being your own individual
  • Setting and maintaining Healthy Boundaries/limits, and not settling for less than what I deserve (if he wanted to, he would)
  • Being able to master the balance of falling in between sole independence and codependency. Being confident in yourself and your needs and communicating those effectively with a partner.
  • Balancing your life and goals with your partner and their needs.
  • The most challenging part of building a relationship is to be patient during the process. Relationships that evolve fast, usually end fast. Taking the time to REALLY get to know someone before jumping into anything serious or creating labels is so important. Date as much as you want and keep it casual until you genuinely trust someone. Kind of like building a house, put the bricks in the right places and you’ll end feeling safe & content while you’re living in it. 
  • Making the time for it 
  • Making time for my partner.
  • Finding genuine companionship, romance is very important, but 90% of a relationship is just sharing space with someone and enjoying each other’s company. 
  • When the person cannot make time for you. Life or Covid gets in the way.
  • The most challenging part of dating is making sure both parties are happy and healthy, getting what they need from the relationship and from the rest of their life too 
  • Commitment
  • Our generation is scared of commitment 
  • People wanting commitment
  • Balancing friends and your partner — and dealing with toxic friends of my gf’s! I don’t want to come off as controlling, but when a mutual friend is emotionally hurting my partner, it would be wrong to not say anything about it.
  • Finding time to talk
  • Finding time during the school year
  • The rest of your responsibilities in life getting in the way of finding and/or spending time with a partner.
  • Making time for each other during busy schedules 
  • Compromise 

Feeling comfortable (confident) with yourself and someone else

  • Losing your sense of self respect via toxic hookup culture and the patriarchy lmao
  • Being perceived
  • Not letting my anxieties get in the way 
  • Becoming comfortable around the other person so that you can be yourself
  • I think the most challenging part of dating or seeking a relationship is showing your full self to the other person. That takes a lot of courage.
  • Insecurity in myself
  • Honesty with oneself
  • Being able to open up emotionally to a new person
  • Vulnerability
  • Trust
  • Trust. I get insecure that he isn’t always faithful.
  • Trusting people
  • Finding someone who you can truly trust
  • Being able to fully open up and trust someone new
  • Trusting someone enough to share feelings 
  • Trusting each other
  • Having enough confidence to know what you deserve from a partner/not settling for bare minimum
  • Sharing emotions
  • Being a depressed autist
  • Getting over icks
  • Finding someone who you feel comfy with but also feel like you can grow with.
  • Navigating growing up with your long term SO
  • It’s difficult to understand what I want, or if I even want a relationship at all. I have had essentially no experience and I would like to better understand myself and what feelings I’m able to have.
  • Anxiety about rejection and probably figuring out how to deal with arguments because they happen in every relationship.
  • Integrating new people into your daily life
  • Not being comfortable with your own boundaries or self
  • The most difficult part of dating or seeking a relationship is finding someone who truly loves and accepts you for who you are. It’s easy to find friends that love you and accept you in a friendly way. But when it comes to that love and acception on a deeper level, it is difficult to find someone like that. 
  • Trying to let go of the past

Where do you all find these people?

  • Initially meeting people
  • Meeting people/Initiating a conversation 
  • Finding a connection that isn’t shallow.
  • Finding someone who’s actually funny 
  • Finding a decent person to begin a relationship with
  • Meeting people if you don’t wanna use a dating app.
  • Finding someone who isn’t seeing multiple people at once.
  • Finding guys in college who want to be committed 
  • Meeting new people 
  • Finding someone who genuinely likes you for you and doesn’t try to change you
  • Finding someone who puts in the effort and keeps up.
  • Finding someone you can trust without dating within your friend group.
  • Finding quality guys… where are they all?!
  • Finding someone that is up to my standards
  • Rejection. 
  • I think meeting quality people. You can’t get a vibe on dating apps and it seems like all the hot people at the bars are taken. 
  • Most men cannot respect females. I mean they do not understand how hard being a woman is in the patriarchy world. They are superficial and unable to “see” the strength of women.
  • Finding the right person
  • Everybody is ugly and uncommitted

Oh yeah, we’re living through a pandemic

  • Covid-19
  • Right now, just meeting people. Even if you do meet someone, have fun getting written up thanks to the no guest policy (which is absurd and terrible for mental health)

Other external factors

  • Stuff that can’t really be helped/fixed
  • I’m in a long distance relationship. My boyfriend goes to Clemson in South Carolina. It’s hard but worth it. 
  • Long distance
  • Not being able to be in one in the first place bc of my parents 
  • It’s no longer normal to do most of your flirting in person/ we live so much of our lives through the internet
  • I believe right now, especially for me, having a long distance relationship is extremely difficult. I used to be able to just bring my boyfriend to my dorm room, but with the guest policies and restrictions, it makes it hard to even see him. It has definitely put a strain on our relationship.
  • Not seeing them for long periods of times 

Getting it going

  • The beginning stages
  • The first step. As in making the effort to get to know someone and actually take time to really hang out with them.
  • The pressure to be deep into the relationship early on. Relationships take time to develop and even if you’re dating, that doesn’t mean all the cute and intimate stuff happens all right away. Things take time.
  • Falling for someone in the first place🤠
  • Making the first move 
  • Getting the confidence to ask someone out and going on the first date
  • Having the courage to talk to someone in-person.
  • Navigating the beginning/it’s complicated stages
  • Taking initiative or asking someone out
  • Very difficult to meet new people
  • Meeting people
  • Finding one 🙁
  • Getting over the hump of the consequences of opening up and telling someone how you feel
  • Having the courage to ask out someone you really like
  • Taking the leap of faith that they like you too. 
  • Making the first move

The heteronormativity and heterosexuality of it all

  • Being open about (the struggle with) gender identity 
  • Just finding a guy, as a gay person it is insanely more difficult to find someone than most straight people realize, especially since most guys that you find on the apps and Grindr are only interested in fwb or sex. We need love and affection and intimacy!!!
  • Since I’m gay, the pool is a lot smaller and it’s pretty hard to find someone I like that I’m also compatible with.
  • Finding other gay people that are looking for a relationship and just hookups
  • I am also somewhere on the gray romantic spectrum so I simply don’t catch feels. I wouldn’t be opposed to a queerplatonic relationship, but I never hear it being talked about and I’m rather introverted anyway
  • Finding someone who’s also polyamorous
  • As a queer woman, finding partners is a struggle. I’ve had sex with men due to compulsory heterosexuality and have hated it every time. But men are simple to get with. Women take so much longer to develop a connection with, and it often fizzles out before anything comes of it. I have tried LGBT dating apps, but most people on those apps live out of state. I wish there were more ways for queer women or women aligned people to meet on campus. 
  • I’m honestly just really shy so it’s hard for me to date. I also find it hard to find other lesbians on campus, I’m sure they’re out there but I haven’t found one yet. 
  • A lot of the LGBGQ+ tends to have this reputation that relationships don’t last. Or that it’s all about sex, when there’s more to it. 

Maybe it’s the little things

  • Not being bored of small talk
  • Learning to get past little things that we disagree about 

Or maybe a combination of challenges

  • Getting over past traumas around communicating. I thought I was doing really well with my trust issues before dating my current partner, but it’s still so hard. It really is difficult to push through the days where I just want to shut down and not talk to anyone, but getting there and talking to her and being able to open up in a safe space is so important.
  • Communication and LDR
  • Finding time and communicating
  • The talking stage, trying to decide if a relationship is really worth it or if you are better just friends. Also, hookup culture makes actual dating 10x harder.
  • Finding someone in the same phase of life as you, especially at this age as college students. Some students may only be looking for casual relationships while others may be looking for something more long term. Opening up and communicating honestly is the most difficult part of dating or seeking a relationship.
  • I have very high expectations and take any imperfections or differences as a sign that we wouldn’t work out — also there are more beautiful women than there are beautiful men.
  • The fact that you never really know a person — Trust. Also finding someone you mix well with when there’s so many people.

How do you know…someone likes you? Or the other way around?

  • I always have struggled with if I like a close friend I never want to act on it because I’m afraid of losing that friend. It’s hard to meet genuine people that aren’t just looking to hook up anymore
  • I generally need to get to know a person as friends before I can become romantically interested in them, and it’s so frustrating to not only figure out if they would reciprocate my feelings, but also just navigating the friendship as though nothing changed emotionally during that crush period :/
  • Knowing if you like the person or if you just like being liked
  • Dating multiple women and picking one. Multiple dates and meetings set up in the same day.


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