Dating After College: It's Different, It's Fancier, & It's Way More Serious

Photographed by Savana Ogburn.
If you recently graduated college, a whole lot of things are about to change: you might start working full-time. Dorm living is no longer an option. Friendships will work differently. And yes, dating will change, too.
How much dating will change after graduation will depend on a lot of things: the age you graduated college, if you’re moving somewhere new after graduating, if you lived on campus or at home, if you attended college full-time, or if you’re starting a new job. For me, dating after college was a whole new world — but I had attended college full-time, lived on or near campus all four years, and attended college from ages 17 to 21. In the first six months after graduating, I got my first full-time job, moved from Boston to New York, started going to bars that weren’t full of college students, and got on dating apps. Suddenly, my dating pool got much bigger — and much older. But there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to how graduating will change your dating life.
In fact, the only rule when it comes to dating after college is that there are no rules. Dawoon Kang, co-founder and co-CEO of the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, tells Refinery29, "I wish I'd known that there are no rules in dating. That I didn't have to wait for a guy to ask for my phone number. That I didn't have to hold hands, kiss, or sleep with someone by a certain number of dates. I didn't have to wait for the right time to say, ‘I like you — and can we be exclusive?’ Dating is personal and it's just about figuring out what feels right for me and sticking to that."
We talked to five people about what they wish they’d known about dating after college.

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