Dating After College: How to Transition to Dating in the Real World

Local bars and coffee shops are a great way to meet other young professionals.
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If you thought dating in college was difficult, wait until you're in the real world where it can be even harder. In college, it was easier to make new friends and meet new people. There was plenty of time for hanging out and dating. In the real world, you're faced with the challenge of expanding your social circle and making time to date. Although it will be different than in college, dating in the real world is possible and provides a great opportunity to meet mature and interesting new people.

1 Balancing Work and Personal Life

After college, work and other adult responsibilities can get in the way of dating. Many young professionals become so consumed by work that their schedule doesn't allow dating or socializing with new people. Even if you are engrossed by your career, you can make time for your love life. Schedule dates on weekends so you don't have to worry about leaving work early or feeling tired the next day. Scheduling dates during lunch hours is also gaining popularity among young professionals.

2 Meeting New People

In college, meeting new people was easy when your schedule was full of frat parties, extracurricular activities and hanging out in hot spots. Meeting new people after college can become a challenge, especially when your life revolves around work. Make time to try different activities when you can socialize with young people like yourself. Join a gym, a sports team, a young professionals organization or a special interest club. The point is that you expand your circle and your dating options.

3 Online Dating

A great option to meet people with similar interests after college is trying out an online dating site. According to Pew Research Center, one in ten Americans has tried online dating. Meeting people online is an excellent way for busy professionals to find people that have similar interests, goals and backgrounds without investing too much time. In her Psychology Today article "Eight Ways to Make Online Dating Sites Work for You," psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. recommends that the key to being successful in online dating is to be honest in the way you present yourself online and to have frequent personal contact with someone that you become interested in to make sure your opinion of the person is accurate.

4 More Pressure

As you get older, there is more pressure to find the right person to date. In college, it was all about chemistry and the attraction between you. As a young adult, you start focusing on the other person's financial situation, future goals and flaws to evaluate if they have long-term potential. Although it's excellent to start looking for a serious relationship, it can add so much pressure that you end up not finding anyone good enough to date. In the Psychology Today "10 Datings Do's and Don'ts From 6 Therapists," psychologists recommend that you keep an open mind when it comes to finding a mate. Don't convince yourself that you have a specific type because you might be depriving yourself of potential partners. Instead, try dating different people until you find someone that's compatible with you.

Lauri Revilla has been writing articles on mental health, wellness, relationships and lifestyle for more than six years. She moved to San Antonio, Texas, from Mexico in 2006. She holds a Master of Science in Psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University.