10 Men You Dated in College (And Why You Outgrew Them)

College is a time of growth. It’s a time of figuring out who you are, and what you want. It’s also a time when you meet a bunch of different types of people. As you interact with them and learn about them, they seem mysterious and exciting for a while. Dating in college is like eating at an exotic sushi bar: It seems like a good idea, but you don’t always feel great after. Still, dating in college is one of the best ways to figure out the kind of guy you don’t want to live with forever, which can help prepare you for the guy you do want to be with forever. This list of the 10 guys you dated in college will have you remembering the good old days—and also why it’s great that you graduated and moved on with your life.

10.) The Terrible Musician

You know the terrible musician. You met him at orientation, he told you about his band and all the gigs he’s played at and how they’re going to make it big one day. You got him personalized, music-related gifts and chatted with him about underrated indie bands. Then you went to a concert and actually heard him play, and you realized that not only was this guy never going to make it big, but that his delusions of grandeur meant that he had no backup plan. You pictured your life with him entailing a lot Ramen and offering shows of support for a band that was never going anywhere, and you cut your losses quick.

9.) The Guy in Your Major

Early in your college days, you met a guy in your major, and it felt like the stars had aligned. You connected in class, talking about a book you read, and you started dating without getting to know each other more than that. Unfortunately, you should have, because you quickly learned that other than your major, the two of you had nothing in common. Within a week you’d broken up, but every class from then on out you spent stuck with your ex. The good thing? It taught you an important lesson about the dangers of dating coworkers later in life.

8.) The Hippie

And then there was the month in college where you got very into the environment. You dated that vegan guy and went to a bunch of political protests on campus. Right around the time that your new boyfriend gave up showering and decided to hitchhike everywhere to save on gas, it got a little too real for you and you broke up. You assume he’s still wandering around somewhere, barefoot.

7.) The Rich One

Then you dated the guy who was living the dream on Daddy’s dime. It was fun for a while, getting expensive presents from him and ruling campus from a red sports car. But then you realized that never having to work for anything meant that he was never willing to work for anything. You wanted a partner in life, not a giant kid, so you moved on.

6.) The Sensitive One

This is the guy who cried when the two of you went to see the Notebook. He always took your feelings into consideration, and he had a good relationship with his mom. He was the type to cook you dinner and actually listen when you told him about your day, and you were sure you were going to marry him. And then you realized how close he was to his mother. When you realized you could never be more than first-runner-up to his mom, you had to, regretfully, step aside.

5.) The Artsy One

This guy drew fantastic drawings or wrote poetry that could make you cry. He was the sort of artist who actually would make it big one day. Unfortunately, he also knew it. He was the sort to roll his eyes when you tried to talk about art with him. His superiority eventually got the better of you, and you walked away.

4.) The Frat Brother

When you were in a sorority, you dated one of the brothers. It was fun for a time. You partied together, you drank together, you made some stupidly fun memories together. And then you grew up junior or senior year and started clamping down on your studies in preparation for graduation, but he did not. Eventually, your lifestyles became incompatible, and you moved on. Last time you checked Facebook, he still hasn’t.

3.) The Texter

Maybe you met him online, or maybe you started your relationship in class when texting was useful. Whatever the situation, at first, you loved the fact that he was willing to text you at any time of night—that he seemed like he wanted to talk to you all the time. Then you went on an actual date with him and realized that he just couldn’t get his eyes off his phone, non-stop. It wasn’t so romantic when he was in person and wasn’t paying a whit of attention to you, and you soon lost interest.

2.) The Clinger

The clinger was never really a boyfriend: He was a single date that went okay but not great that you planned to walk away from. Unfortunately, walking away wasn’t in his dictionary, and you spend the next several months dodging him all over campus. He did, however, teach you how to woman up and officially tell a guy you weren’t interested.

1.) The Idea Guy

The idea guy is the business major who plans to change the world. Maybe he even will. He’s excited about his ideas, he’s passionate… but he’s also way invested. A work-a-holic in his twenties, it became quickly obvious that he would always prioritize work over family—and that just didn’t work for you.

The value in dating different kinds of guys in college is that you learned what you liked in a relationship, and, just as importantly, what you didn’t like. It might not have landed you the man of your dreams, but it got you into a position where you actually knew what those dreams looked like.