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College dating tips: The do’s and don’ts of a first date

Dating in college can include a myriad of romantic possibilities. Where some people are looking for a long term relationship, others are just looking for a semester fling. But everyone is trying to avoid committing dating deal breakers. There are some students who might prefer the college dating scene to the one that they have experienced at home. “Dating in college is more fun because you meet new people all the time,” Rachel Petke, a freshman graphic design major, said. With the freedom of choosing where, when, how, and who you want to date comes the pressure of making the right choices. Sometimes, the choices you make in the beginning are the most important. According to a MSNBC survey, the average amount of time to make a first impression is 15 minutes on a man and 1 hour on a woman. Petke added that one of the first things she notices about a guy on a first date is their appearance and scent, as the amount of effort that a person puts into how he or she looks for their date hints at the amount of effort he or she might put into other things. However, she points out that the most important thing on a first date is the conversation. “A good thing would be asking more questions about you, so that a conversation can flow easily,” Petke said. The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Seton Hall agree and recommend looking for a relationship where equality and respect are present. “Partners treat each other like they want to be treated and accept each other’s opinions and interests. They listen to each other,” according to a CAPS handout on good relationships. The fragile nature of a first date with many ways it could go wrong and pressure on it to go right, also calls for good planning. Kyle Finnegan, a junior broadcast and visual media major, said that he hasn’t always had the best planning skills when it comes to dating. “One time I went out with a girl, I promised we would go to this pet store where they let you play with animals. I told her that there would be cats to play with, but when we get there, there were no cats. So we played with this dog and it kept biting her and she started bleeding,” he said. “And then we got crepes.” Nicole Peregrina can be reached at


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