Whether single, dating or taken, everyone’s bombarded with messages about love just in time for spring. And of course, the joking posts about love do make everyone feel appreciated; all college students enjoy laughing at relatable jokes about love, whether they are single or dating.
I’m sure many of us are enjoying the reduced pressure to do anything special this year, with how much social interactions, including dating, have been reduced. Now is a good time just to sit back and not overdo Valentines or any dates. To steal a page from singles, remember having fun is part of love!
Below are ten unique date ideas, activities, and tips for dating in college for every type of college relationship out there!
1. Have a spontaneous music-listening session
A major ideal in romantic relationships is being spontaneous, and a close second is being comfortable with the other person. Music choices are a huge part of connecting and getting familiar with a dating partner.
Even if doing so feels cliché, it’s okay to have random dance sessions or sessions where you listen to each other’s favorite playlists. I happen to believe that it’s the best way to just get to know a potential partner’s personality while spending downtime with each other.
Plus, music is always a fun, reliable way to get comfortable or fill in the gaps when spending downtime with your significant other. It can be an icebreaker whether you’re working, playing a game or just lounging around (see numbers 3 and 6 in this list). Musical sessions can help anyone unwind, but should be fun no matter what for a couple.
2. Have a big picnic mukbang together
The idea of a regular picnic can become so much more with some creative effort and can be set up just about anywhere. A special place where it’s peaceful and quiet that can be redecorated into a theme; or somewhere that can be reserved, ensuring privacy.
Picnic dates can be special, especially with a significant other, and can be a more budget-friendly option for college students. They also can be and are more casual than traditional dates. Because not everyone these days likes making a big deal of getting a reservation, getting dressed up then going out. Not on an occasion that’s already nerve-wracking for both people on the date when it’s a new relationship.
3. Have a creative virtual board game date
Everyone loves games, whether they be video games or the more traditional board games. And given how widely virtual communication has spread now, I think having a gaming date together is a really cool date idea.
Virtual games are especially cool for college students who are in long-distance relationships who can’t always make a trip. Animal Crossing and Super Mario Kart, or Super Smash Brothers, a personal favorite, come to mind for date ideas when long distance.
Another idea that comes to mind is easy DIYs for activities usually reserved for going out to do in your own or a reserved space to simply have fun. Any home version of bowling, carnival games, or a movie theater arcade is always more interesting with a partner.
With so many different ways to create and set these up with everyday items so easy to find for these setups on Pinterest or Instagram.
4. Go for a walk in a park, a garden, or anywhere really
This one cannot be emphasized enough. It is really one of the best ways to assess a relationship, especially in the beginning dating stages. Because if this simple activity with a dating partner feels strange, something’s wrong or maybe you guys just don’t click.
This goes back to whether the other person feels right for you; there should be a sense of ease in being able to go outside with a person you want to be with. I know it’s obvious but there shouldn’t be any uneasiness if the relationship is growing.
Dating comes down to getting to know each other where you can go if you can’t travel much in college. And in college, I believe time spent outside together, with no distractions, is one of the best ways to connect with a person without pressure.
5. Do a karaoke night or lip sync battle for a date
This is similar to the first tip and is also a way to just have fun with your date. Learn the other person’s music type, how weird they can be, or if they have any favorite genres or songs.
With a karaoke date, nobody should feel self-conscious or nervous, because it’s a chance to be free of looking embarrassing. For me, this idea is the perfect one where you can blast music and be fun and brave in front of someone else on purpose. Plus, it is a good idea for an inside date, especially during a global pandemic.
It can be so easy to get all the weirdness and dramatic qualities out in front of your partner and build a genuine emotional connection with them. It’s also very budget-friendly, given that YouTube has karaoke covers of almost any song you can think of.
6. Build a fort that you can have the date in
Growing up, everyone always had a blanket or two they wanted to hide under. A blanket fort always helps you feel warm and cozy and safe. Why wouldn’t you want to feel these emotions with your partner or a date?
There’s no rule saying a blanket fort is only for children. You can listen to music, have a karaoke or board game night, or have your mukbang picnic inside the fort. You could also make the building of the fort part of the date itself!
It’s a wonderful way to spend some quality time together. Especially in a cramped college dorm room, and lets you grow closer with the person you’re dating.
7. Have a blind food test
This is one for a later point in the dating stage, once you and your partner are familiar enough with one another that you both know each others likes and dislikes. This may be a more expensive option if you have to go out to buy food, like with the muckbang.
But for most college students it’s easy enough because the fridge is always stocked and it’s unusual for most college students to want to throw away food.
A blind food test is a good activity for when you have been dating on a long-term basis of course. And this is also a new date idea where there can always be a sign of trust and some intimacy.
8. Play Never Have I Ever with twists or a prize
Yet another indoor game for every college student in the process of looking to find a partner. It’s self-explanatory, and you can do it both as an introductory or first date, or later when you’re more comfortable with each other and want to learn more.
I love this game because it gets knowing someone that you might like so much easier. To make it more special, add special twists to the game, such as a certain ’theme’. One that the questions have to be in, or have ‘prizes’ for the first person to answer a certain number of questions.
9. Remember milestones and anniversaries and celebrate them accordingly
Other things that make relationships significant are the anniversaries and milestones of having dated each other. A good habit is to remember to pause and enjoy the little memories with someone you’ve chosen to date.
Celebrate anniversaries with things and events that you both enjoy and find meaningful. This does not need to be a full-blown date idea; sometimes, it’s as simple as a quick gift, a phone call, or a text message.
10. Show each other the room you live in during a virtual date
Bedrooms are a good place to start with for a person you’re on a first date and beyond with if you want to get to know them better. It’s where people who are going on dates keep up with their work and hobbies.
Their bedroom shows you how they live and spend their downtime, shows you whether they are clean or messy, and what interest they have. All of these are important factors to learn about someone, especially if you can see the relationship progressing past college.
Tips for Long-Distance and Virtual Dates
At the end of the day, romantic relationships are based on the stability of having a good friendship. And being flexible, patient and understanding with another’s schedule or life events. Romance for long-distance or virtual dates is not going to be perfect and it’s important to go be patient when life gets in the way. It may create a stressful environment for you or your partner, but you can work together to overcome that stress. One way to overcome this stress is by maintaining easy communication between each party involved. I can’t emphasize the importance of being upfront and honest with your partner.
What To Do When You’re Ready to Start Looking for Romance in College
- Always try being upfront about how you really feel about certain topics or interactions and what you feel comfortable with. Everyone has their areas of what they like or don’t like and your partner should be aware of these. So don’t be afraid to say it upfront. Or end something if there’s a deal-breaker that happens between you two.
- Don’t allow any pressure on yourself to go on a date or show up for an event if you don’t feel like it. The person you’re in a relationship with will understand if they are the right one and be respectful of your choice.
- Make sure to not be overbearing of someone else’s time just because it may be convenient for you. At the time, it may not be much for the other person. Therefore, be considerate of their time and schedule.
- Work on being vulnerable about things you like and couldn’t care less about when it comes to what a significant other is doing. Make sure that’s clear right away and talk about it regularly. Of course, these can change the longer you are in a relationship.
- Last, but most important of all, make sure others respect your boundary’s even when you are in an official relationship or just getting out looking for a partner. Everyone who meets up for a romantic interaction needs to feel comfortable. The second that aspect goes away is the second that things don’t work out.
That’s a wrap!
This article was all about dating in college. At the end of the day, romantic college relationships and friendships are flexible and should not create a stressful environment for you or your partner or significant other. So, just have fun!
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