Love Life After Uni

Emma Tonny kicks off her brand new column with a hilarious insight into what dating after uni is really like. From the wine you buy to the people you go for… everything changes, and she doesn’t hold back on telling us how.

So, the truth is, you finish uni and things all go a little tits up. Especially your love life! University is a place where there is an endless supply of intelligent, attractive people; all of whom are equally lost, confused and looking for a good time. If you want a decent love life at uni it requires no more effort than picking the laciest of the maxi pack of M&S underwear your mum got you five years ago and the most reduced bottle of white wine, you can find in Tesco. (Neither company is yet sponsoring this column, but I have high hopes for the future.)

The terrible truth, however, is that you leave university with thousands of pounds of debt, a piece of paper you will promptly lose at the bottom of a drawer and a lasting fear of tequila. You can no longer saunter into the union bar at one in the morning and meet the person who will revolutionise your interpretation of Camus. Most people don’t care and haven’t heard of him. You have to leave uni and talk about the weather and what capitalist cog you currently are and would like to go on to be.

It’s no longer socially acceptable to buy the cheapest bottle of white; you have to buy the most expensive because everyone knows what it costs and it validates your success, social worth and fuckability. You’ll drink more prosecco than you could bloody imagine, and you won’t even be celebrating anything. You’ll find yourself in bed with people called Greg because quite frankly you respect the fact that he took the risk of nipping out for a quick fag. To be totally honest, it’s all rather bleak.

So, here’s the sad truth of my first year of trauma post uni. It began with a man who I could only date by taking on thousands of years of cultural and political history, through to a man I dated for a grand total of three weeks before he moved to a different continent. The fact that many of my friends see these as prime examples of dating success tells you how very baffling sex and love lives post university can be.

In the last twelve months I have been rejected by a man who rejected me once before… over a decade ago. Trust me, no one should be repeating these mistakes. I have met two men in quick succession who it turns out had girlfriends. Classic. And I have broken up with three men in as many months. The ratio is too high, trust me. These experiences were brought on by a combination of alcohol, online dating, terrible/ brilliant friends (depending on your perspective) and a sheer determination to continue living my life post university.

Over the coming weeks I will be sharing with you the dating disasters endured in my first year out of university… every excruciating, hilarious, embarrassing detail.

Don’t: compare your love lives to those who met their spouse at uni. They’re dicks anyway, no one likes them.

Do: make outrageously bad decisions.

What I learnt: meeting someone after uni is really bloody hard but not impossible. Keep making an arse of yourself and you’ll probably get there at some point.