From Liz, With Love: Dating in university is a three-part recipe

The key to a successful love life is to challenge yourself and put yourself out there

Liz shares her tips for dating in university.

Whether you’re starting your first year of undergrad thinking about how to make a move on your lecture crush or in your PhD looking to potentially settle down, the idea of dating in university can be incredibly daunting.

Despite this, I have some good news—a successful university dating experience can be concocted with only three ingredients. However, just like learning how to bake, dating in university takes some trial and error and might not come naturally at first. It’s especially difficult to find time to socialize between classes, extracurriculars, and other commitments. Effort is necessary to make a dent in your dating record.

To get started you can find your first two ingredients at home. Getting into dating depends on stregnthening your relationship with yourself. I’m not going to tell you to love yourself—Justin Bieber did a decent job already—but I’ll suggest developing higher standards  and to take better care of yourself.

I’m a strong believer there’s a right person for everyone and we shouldn’t be as complacent to compromise our wants and needs, and settling for “less” isn’t necessary to date successfully.

Despite this, we’ve become too harsh in synonymizing standards with icks. If you want to make a meaningful connection, you shouldn’t be leaving it up to whether he likes to wear open-toed shoes, or she likes to quote Taylor Swift lyrics.

Instead of letting pre-judgement get in the way of your dating experience, aim for a potential partner that shares common morals, ambitions, and treats both you and others well instead of writing someone off for their unique quirks. There’s always a chance their niche interest in whale watching will lead you to a memorable trip up the coast of BC.

You’ll need to be upfront with yourself and with others on what you’re looking for. While some people will just want to hook up—we’re all on different journeys and can handle different levels of commitment throughout periods of our lives—it’s important to make this clear in the early stages when getting to know someone.

If you start to get to know someone, and they tell you they’re looking for something casual, thank them for their honesty and move on if you don’t share the same interest. Honesty is much better than being in a “situationship” and wondering three months in, why they only introduce you as a friend, and only text you after 11 p.m.

The second ingredient of the university dating recipe involves self-care. This means shower, deodorize, wear crisp clothes, brush your teeth, scrape your tongue, and clean the dirt under your nails. While I’m not asking you to change anything about yourself, I am suggesting that you make yourself approachable and tolerable to be around.

This also means taking care of yourself intellectually. Listen to podcasts, read books or essays, diversify your hobbies and find out what you’re passionate about. This is the kind of knowledge and experience that will later help you hold a conversation. Because after all, how much an assignment sucks or what your major is will only get you so far.

The third ingredient—arguably the most crucial one—involves meeting potential partners. This isn’t an easy undertaking, and requires action from your side to both send out your own signals and pick up on other people’s subtle hints.

The best method I’ve found to catch someone’s attention—and this goes for making friends too—is to compliment them and be attentive. If you compliment their cool graphic tee, follow up by asking where they got it. If they’re on your team for trivia night, ask them if they’re coming to the next one and if they’d like to be on the same team. These are the kinds of interactions that make you memorable.

The best way to put yourself out there and initiate these kinds of interactions is by being in environments with people who share your interests. Try going to a club (and not the Saturday night, blackout drinking kind), your classes, events hosted by your department, or even the gym. If finding yourself in these spaces alone is intimidating, brining a friend might make it easier.

You don’t have to date in university—I can confidently say it gets less messy after undergrad—but if you do, always be safe and kind. Don’t take rejection personally and remember that what’s meant to be yours will always find its way to (or back to) you.

And if you’re ever struggling with your dating life, remember to send in your anonymous questions to who will forward the piece to me. Remember, all submissions are anonymous, and I’ll be back soon to answer all your burning questions.

With love,



Advice, Column, Dating, From Liz, with love

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Queen's Journal

© All rights reserved.

Back to Top
Skip to content