On Campus Dating: The do's and don’ts
By Gareth Johnson from Gaydar.net - the online-dating specialists for LGBTQ people & Hannah Beck- SU Equity and Diversity Coordinator
One of the great things about university life is that it automatically brings you into contact with lots of new people. You’re instantly surrounded by people that are around your age and who are probably interested in the same kind of stuff that you are. When it comes to dating, that means your options for romance or just a bit of fun have been exponentially expanded. But, as with everything in life, actions can have consequences. No matter your gender or sexual orientation, dating can be confusing. Let’s take a look at some of the do's and don’ts when it comes to on-campus dating.
You’ve seen someone you like and want to get their attention:
- Look for opportunities to talk to them
- See if they appear on whatever dating apps you’re using - One of the benefits of online dating is that it’s impossible to get the wrong idea about someone’s sexuality.
- Join your LGBT+ society/community and visit your local LGBT+ venues! This may be a great way to bump into them in a safe setting.
- Stalk their social media.
- Fade into the background and wait for them to notice you.
- Be offended/upset if they're just not that into you. There are PLENTY more fish in the sea.
You’ve had a date with someone and you’re interested in taking it further
- Let them know - send them a message or make contact to suggest a second date.
- Respect their wishes if they’ve made it clear that they’re not that keen.
- Ensure anything you do has complete consent from the other person.
- Assume that you know what the other person is thinking and wants.
- Hassle them. If they’re not returning your messages, then it’s probably time to stop messaging them.
- Ask their friends and extended networks about it. Sadly, not everyone in the LGBT+ community can be completely out. It’s not impossible that you might meet someone who is only out to a few people.
You’ve had a date with someone and you’re not interested in taking it further
- Let them know in a polite and respectful way.
- Answer any questions they might have about your decision.
- Treat them with respect and dignity when you see them around campus.
- Ghost them.
- Feel pressured into seeing them again because you don’t want to hurt their feelings.
- Avoid them or alienate them around campus.
You’ve had sex with someone and you’d like to see them again
- Let them know - be proactive and make it clear that you had a good time.
- Be prepared that they may not wish to carry on the relationship. Not all sexual encounters lead to something more.
- Ensure you are practicing safe sex and are ensuring you get consent.
- Sit around waiting for their call. If you’re not sure where things stand between you, try to get clarity. However, not everyone is a good communicator. If they're not giving you clarity, done wait for it, move on.
- Pressure them into anything. If you’re keen for sex but they’re not, it’s time to move on.
- Assume they will want to see you again, or feel the same as you.
You’ve had sex with someone and you don’t want to see them again
- Be honest and up-front. It’s okay to tell someone that you don't wish to have sex with them again. Be polite, not cruel.
- If you've had unprotected sex, make sure you get tested for any potential STI's/STD's
- Be respectful to them if you see them on campus.
- Try and avoid them - there’s lots of people on campus but it’s inevitable that you’ll run into people that you’d prefer not to.
- Feel any kind of obligation to have sex with someone just because you said yes last time. Who you have sex with and when is totally your call.
- Share details about the encounter with people who may gossip and not be respectful.
You’ve had an encounter with someone and it’s left you feeling upset, hurt, or unsafe
- Talk about it. Find a trusted friend or speak with the Student Union Hate Crime Advisor (Details at the bottom of the article) . Articulate how you’re feeling and get some advice.
- If something has happened that you haven’t consented to, or if you’ve been assaulted in any way, it’s important to take the appropriate steps to report the incident, such as speaking with the Police. They are there to help. This helps you take control of the situation, but also helps to protect other students.
- Access counselling and mental health support if you need it.
- Try and ignore it. Bottling up your feelings and emotions is not the right way to deal with anything.
- Assume that you should have done something differently to avoid the situation. You have the right to assume that everyone on campus is going to treat you with respect.
- Feel powerless. Whatever it was that made you feel this way, you’re in charge of what happens next. Articulate your emotions, get advice, take action.
Find out how to access Coventry Univeristy Counselling and Mental Health Support HERE
Contact our Hate Crime Case Manager Amber Taroni if you would like to report any case of sexual violence/harassment: Call: 07544931415 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Report a Hate Crime or Harrassment online HERE
If you are in immediate danger contact:
The Police: If you are in immediate danger, call the Police on 999.
The Protection Service(Coventry campus): If you don’t feel safe, try to find somewhere you feel more secure and call the Protection Service on 024 7765 8555(5555 on internal phones).
Brought to you by Coventry University Students Union LGBT+ Student Community