Break up or Stay Together: Advice for Relationships in College
Going to college with a boyfriend. Some people would say, “High school sweethearts? That’s adorable,” while others might say, “Break up, don’t let him hold you back, you’re in college now!” The transition from high school to college can be anything but easy. New city, new friends- practically a new life. So how do you manage to bring something old into this new life? Surprisingly, break-ups aren’t inevitable, and it is actually possible to maintain your relationship as you embark on a new journey:
If You’re at the Same School: Be aware- college relationships tend to progress at a much faster rate than high school ones. Think about it, at home, you had parents, long school days, and extra-curricular’s to worry about- there wasn’t much going out on weekdays or sleepovers. Then you hit college- dorm rooms, classes only a few times a day/week, and lots of free time… to spend with your sweetie. Some people tend to dive head first into their relationship- sleepovers nightly, mealtimes, gym times, study times- everything can be together without anyone to stop you. Be warned, while this excessive time together may work for some couples, for others it may be a bit too… well… excessive. And if that’s the case, when you first start having doubts, call it quits. Do not force things to work; it will only be the beginning of the end. The most important thing if you break up, however, is try and remain as friendly as possible; remember, just as you shared things before, you still share the same library, gym, classrooms, etc.
Long Distance: They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but in some cases, it seems that the separating mileage can be nothing but damaging. Cue the worries of what the other is doing (Who are they out with? Who is that girl they were tagged in a photo with? Why isn’t he answering my texts? Etc. etc. the list only goes on and on and on). Cue the feelings of loneliness (Why are there couples EVERYWHERE! I wish my boyfriend were here…). Then cue temptation. Adam and Eve proved it best; temptation can indeed be the root of all evil. But honestly, all your relationship needs to survive is one word: trust. Sure it may sound cliché and way more easily said than done, but in order to be in a distant relationship (may it be 10 minutes or 10 hours), or really any type of relationship, you have to trust each other. Luckily, with communication and vacation being within easy each, it’s simple to plan trips to visit each other or schedule Skype times. With dedication and commitment, maintaining a healthy relationship will seem like a breeze.
College, and life in general, will bring many obstacles in terms of relationships (both friendly and romantic). Stick to your instincts. If it doesn’t seem to be working out, don’t stress, it probably isn’t. Don’t force yourself into anything that doesn’t feel comfortable, and remember that your happiness always comes first.
— By Erin Cunningham, George Washington University
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