Hello everyone!! For this post, I reached out to Ian Wilson and Jaclynn Kelly, two great people that somehow found love during their time at King’s and I figured they’d probably have some great insight into the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of King’s dating! Enjoy!

Hi there! We are pretty hard to fit into a do and don’t list. After all, one of us lives in Alaska and the other in Florida. There are a lot of things we did that were successful that are hard to recommend and frankly a little odd. For example, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend an upstate New York Easter with a massive Italian family (that neither one of you are related to) as the ideal icebreaker/get-to-know-you but it worked for us. Or playing a board game that involves betrayal and lying to the other person, but again it did for us. We also wouldn’t recommend buying a candle for a chamberlain who lives in King’s housing as a way to show your affection (#sexualtension), but we did. Here are a few bigger ideas that helped frame our approach to dating at King’s that we believe anyone could use. So without further ado, here are Jaclynn and Ian’s ten dos and don’ts to King’s dating. 

1. Do your research for any date you plan. You live in New Freaking York! There are like ten-thousand things I can think of to do in just a few minutes and none of them even involve dinner. We went to tacos on the Highline for our first date, but dates also included picnics in the park, Opera (for less than $50 total), Museums, and the best bagels in NYC. Prepare a meaningful date by thinking of a place that is more than dinner but also a warm memory.

2. Do find recreational activities you both enjoy. We loved running in prospect park before class in the mornings. But on the days we felt less ambitious we walked the Brooklyn promenade (where all true love is found), we played soccer and frisbee on the Brooklyn piers, we played cards, and we cooked together! Find old things or new things that help you relax and destress together. 

3. Do communicate and set expectations. If a date is going well, initiate a conversation about what you expect physically and emotionally. Communicate about what the word “relationship” means to you (everyone has a different meaning). Set expectations about the progression of the relationship. We knew that being from opposite sides of the world meant we would face long distance in the summer. We both brought a high level of intentionality from the beginning about our expectations for the relationship. Dr. Pincin talks about the Fed practicing forward guidance. Be the Fed.

4. Do know your values and find someone who shares them. This goes hand in hand with #3 about intentionality. Have those conversations about what church means to you, how your relationship is with your family, and if you have a commitment to not having sex before marriage. Get it all out there and make sure this is someone that you won’t have to sacrifice your core values for. 

5. Do seek to understand the other person as deeply as possible. Knowing (asking is a great place to start!) what the other person likes helps you make the relationship more personal. Often the success of dates, gifts, or sweet words of love is directly correlated to your understanding of the other person. We gave each other wildflowers, maps, and art but only because we knew the other person would love that. We didn’t just buy things or give things out of a sense of obligation or because corporate America told us to. We found meaning in what we loved and tried to turn it into action. Empty compliments (because that is what you should say) mean less than taking the time to understand before you speak. 

6. Don’t let someone milk the cow before they buy it. This is universal dating advice for guys, girls, and other cool cats. This comes from the idiom “Why buy a cow when you can get the milk for free?” This is most often associated with sex, but we saw it happen with other physical actions, with time, and with emotions. Don’t let people benefit from you unless they are also willing to invest and commit to you. Value yourself, your time, and your emotions! 

7. Don’t disrespect your roommates. You may want to spend every waking moment with the person you love, but your roommates probably feel differently. Respect is cool and your roommates deserve it. Think of their classes, their personal space needs, and the fact that they may not feel like they can fully relax if someone else is in the apartment. There really isn’t an excuse for being a trashy roommate. You should never be making out if anyone else is in the room (no one wants to see that).

8. Don’t blame the ratio/King’s culture. King’s may not be the reason you haven’t been asked out, you may be the problem. There is a lot of pressure to meet “THE ONE” in college. But it often seems to come when you least expect it. We each thought King’s was not a place we wanted to date when we met and fell in love. Whether your special person ends up being at King’s or somewhere else, practice self-reflection and make sure you are in a healthy place before you date. If you have issues, dating only magnifies them.

9. Don’t assume that just because you are hanging out with someone they are interested; guys and girls can be friends. Don’t use the student union, classes, the library, or the Lion’s den as a place to vet potential dates or go on ”pseudo-dates” before you go out. If you like someone, tell them! But also respect someone’s choice not to pursue you. NEWSFLASH: they may just not like you or see compatibility issues that you don’t. That’s fine! No hard feelings, get back to crying over macro. 

10. Don’t only talk about King’s related things and classes. Get to know the person based on who they were before college, what their hopes and dreams for the future are, why they want to run that Airbnb by the ocean, or how that one piece of art at the Met makes them feel. Especially don’t build a relationship on a foundation of negativity (e.g. complaining about classes, family, professors, interregnum, etc.). If you do, then your connection over that will only last as long as the problem does (max four years), and then you will be dating a stranger in the next stage of your life.

I hope this helped you to get some more insight to set you up for success in your dating experience at King’s! Obviously every relationship will be different, but I hope that you’ve learned something you could take into any future relationship (whether King’s related or not)!! Thanks to Ian and Jaclynn for all of these tips!!

-Mickey <3

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