Relationship Status: College.
So many people are thinking about it, but it feels like nobody's talking about it. Significant others in college. That's how I felt anyway. Depending on who you are, the concept can be a dream or a nightmare. Or somewhere in between. These are just a few relationship scenarios you may encounter and/or experience yourself in your college career.
Long-distance love story 1: My best friend came to college with a long-distance boyfriend. They’d been dating for about four years before she ended up breaking up with him sophomore year. She simply felt amicably toward him, nothing more. Maybe it was the distance; maybe it was their personalities growing apart. Doesn’t matter. However, she does still make comments about how much gas and time she spent travelling to see him. She realizes that all that time set her back socially in college. I wouldn’t say she regrets having wasted her time with him or anything dramatic like that, but I do think some part of her may feel like she missed out on something freshman year. There's hope for you hopeless romantics yet.
Long-distance love story 2: My sister and her high school sweetheart had only been dating seven months before their relationship went long distance. She told me that learning to communicate with someone you love from afar ended up making the time they could share together that much more special and the communication that much more seamless. Because she hadn’t really dated anyone before him, she broke up with him for a month to make sure that she wasn’t settling or anything like that. He gave her the space she needed and loved her regardless. They’ve now been together for 12 years and married for 5. So if you want to make it work with your sweetheart, communicate. Be honest and open with your significant other. Make sure you give each other space to have your own lives. Trust one another. And communicate! That process looks different in every relationship, so know what your process looks like and be true to it. It may change. You may change. They may change. Be flexible. Know that there’s a bigger picture, and life has a funny way of working out.
Same college sweethearts: My very first roommate came to college with her boyfriend. It seemed like they were together all the time, unless school/schoolwork interfered. Maybe that’s why we never reached a point where I felt like we were really friends. So I don’t know her experience from any perspective but my own. I started out sympathetic because I understood the whole high school sweetheart thing and I didn’t want to rain on their parade. Honestly, he made me anxious and uncomfortable in my own room. I’ll feel bad if either of them stumbles upon this post, but it’s important to know that this kind of stuff happens. And whether you’re the singleton or the couple, you need to talk about boundaries with your roommate(s). Not just once. It needs to be an ongoing conversation. I probably told her everything was ok at first. But at some point, it really wasn’t ok and I didn’t know how to bring it up with her. I even talked to my RA about it. She gave me great advice and turned out to be a great outlet. It took me way too long to come out and tell my roomie that I couldn’t deal with her bf staying over 4 or 5 nights out of every week. Anyway, from my outsider point of view, they were way too up in each other’s business and it felt like a moderately unhealthy relationship. However, I believe they’re still together and happy. So, what do I know? Just be respectful of those around you. And of one other’s space. Can’t hurt. Also-couples baby talk. I get it. That’s fine. But please, not in front of roommates.
All my single ladies (and gents): I had a boyfriend the last two years of high school. We’d talk about how we were special, so unlike all the other high school sweet hearts. More or less, we were wrong. Yes, we loved one another and what we had was special and remains special to this day, but he felt it was best that we break up before going off to college. I was in denial about that fact from the first time we discussed it until about halfway through freshman year. We said goodbye the night before I drove to Austin and, just like that, it was over. Despite the teenage heartache, I am so grateful for that decision. I was able to get to know myself as an independent young woman and really enjoy my time being truly present in a city that I love with people that I love. Since then, boys have pretty much been on the backburner. I did snag myself one boyfriend near the end of sophomore year. After about six months, I decided to end it because the relationship wasn’t consistent with who I was or who I wanted to be. Of course I felt bad about it, but I had learned to put myself first. Now I’ve been a single lady for a year and a half and have again had ample amounts of time to date myself, if you will. People (and parents) ask "so, any boys?" My answer is pretty much always "ain't nobody got time for that." I've got so much time and so many emotions invested elsewhere right now, I doubt I could be any sort of a proper girlfriend. And I'm really ok with that.
So, whether or not you date people in college, I highly recommend making time to date yourself. As Carrie Bradshaw taught us, "the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous."
Let me know what you think. Feel free to ask me questions or post them here as commments. You can give a fake name too, if that makes you more comfortable. Haha. I'm glad to help out my fellow lovers of love! [: