Establish Ground Rules
Before you start dating in college, establish ground rules for yourself to avoid damage to your self-esteem and self-respect. Decide what you want out of dating, or even a relationship. Regardless of how selfish it may seem, make a list of things you want in a partner. This will help you figure out what you don't want in someone -- a smoker, a drinker, a cheater. Have standards before you go out on of dates. Don't lower your standards for someone that isn't going to respect your wishes and morals. It's important to compromise, but make sure you're getting what you want out of it, too.
Keep It Carefree
In college, people who begin dating generally aren't looking for something serious right off the bat. In fact, it's often acceptable to date a number of people at the same time just for fun and without the goal of establishing a relationship. It's important to keep this in mind. You will come across many people in college who are just looking to have a good time and date frequently. There is nothing wrong with this, but if you're looking for a date to turn into a relationship, scout your options carefully. Many people don't consider settling down during their first year in college.
Take It Slow
Because many people don't know where they're headed during their college years, it's important to be patient in every relationship you build with friends and significant others. Young adulthood is typically when people are just beginning to figure themselves out, and you may be on this road, too. There's nothing wrong with taking dating slowly in college until you figure out what you want. Some people take years to take direction, while others take a matter of months. It's important to find someone who is at the same pace to make the most out of your time together.