Top Tips to Dating Safely in College

Sydney Stokes and Carly Busfield

Stepping into college life is hard.

You’re young, you’re naive and you are trying to make a name for yourself. Whether or not you realize it, you are making a wide variety of connections, they may be professional, friendly or romantic.

Dating while in college is one of the most common connections being made, as we all are trying to find ourselves. However, there are many precautions to take when it comes to dating, nowadays.

Coming into college you are exposed to a greater variety of people, many of whom are strangers and there is always a potential that someone new may not have the best interests in mind.

Online Dating

It is common to use dating platforms such as Tinder, Bumble or Hinge, in order to meet a potential date. When swiping through one of these apps, make sure to notice if the person you are swiping on is verified or not.

If an account is verified, there typically will be a check mark indicating that the person behind the account is real. It is recommended to verify your account so that other app users feel safe, swiping on real people. To verify your account, slide into the settings menu and do all of the verification steps necessary to keep the environment safe.

First Date Safety

When meeting someone for the first time, regardless of how well you know them, you should exercise caution. Meet up in a public area surrounded by others such as a restaurant or seating area. As well as making sure to tell a third party who you are with and where you are going.

Telling someone you trust where you are going and any other useful details is one of the best things to do when going on a date, regardless of how familiar the two of you are. That way, if something goes wrong, someone will know where you are in order to get you the help that you need.

If you’re planning a first date with someone you’ve never met in person or don’t know well, try going on a double date, instead. Bring a trusted friend and their partner along for a bite to eat, a movie, or even a hangout. Besides this, your partner must like your best friend. That is the code.

Of course, a person wishes to learn more about their date by asking them questions and conversing with them extensively. Knowing someone is a natural part of the first stage of any relationship, but is that special someone telling the whole truth?

Going on a first date at a bar is always a popular choice, but avoiding alcohol is pivotal when meeting someone for the first time, especially if either party has trouble stopping.

Drunkenness or using other intoxicants can lower your barriers, making you more vulnerable to risks you may be unaware of.

If the date does not go well, and you feel as if you are in an unsafe position there are many routes you can take in order to end it.


  • Be direct. Tell your date that it isn’t working out and your feelings toward the situation.
  • Make an excuse. Have a friend give you a call to leave or tell them you aren’t feeling well. Quickly make a decision and follow through
  • GET OUT. Get up and just leave. If you are uncomfortable there is no need to stay in that position.


After an unsafe experience or conversation, make sure to make it clear you do not want to move any further with the connection. Unmatch, block, delete or do anything possible to make sure you are out of the clear from that person.

Post-Date Safety

Following the first date, there is no expectation of sexual intercourse. However, sometimes one thing may lead to the next and an on-going encounter may occur.

The first step to “post-date” safety is always consent. Make sure to cover all of the necessary steps in order to make the situation as safe as possible before consenting fully. Remember, if you say STOP, consent has been withdrawn and all acts should be halted.

Recognize that sexually transmitted diseases are widespread, expensive, and life-altering. Using protection such as condoms, pills, IUDs, and more do not cover all the bases.

There is no shame in getting tested for STDs, regularly. The Bloomsburg University Health Center offers free testing to students, protection and resources. To find out more information on Health Center STD testing, you can call at (570)-389-4451.