College couples face some challenges unique to their situation in life. At a time when you are learning about yourself and figuring out what you want, is a relationship a good thing or a bad thing?
College Couples: More Serious than High School
One of the first things you'll notice about being in a college is that your relationships can turn serious-very serious. Some people still marry their high school sweethearts, but most people today don't get married until later in life, such as in college or right after graduation. Knowing that your dating could lead to engagement puts a much different perspective on the whole thing.
Not all Serious
At the same time, college is also a place for casual dating. College exposes you to a much larger group of people than high school, and taking time to meet all the different personalities is also a smart idea.
Which is Better?
Neither option is better. If you find someone that you are really compatible with, then you should go ahead and have a serious relationship with him or her. At the same time, don't feel like you have to be serious. You can be a dating college couple without any plans of getting married.
Life on Campus
Being in college allows you and your partner to spend lots of time together…maybe too much time. This is fun, but don't neglect your other relationships. College is a great time to make deep, long-lasting friendships. Spending all your time with your boyfriend or girlfriend will prevent you from seeking out other types of interactions. If you later breakup, you won't have some great friends to comfort you if you neglect everyone while dating.
College Relationship Challenges
The greatest challenge facing college couples is that your life is in flux. Deciding what to major in and figuring out what you want to do with your life puts a strain on you and all your relationships. Couples that are already set in their locations and their careers can focus entirely on the relationship. In college though, you have to think about yourself more than your relationship. This can be very hard to do, especially when you don't know what you want.
We are in Love…Right?
You may feel in love with your college sweetheart, but should you get really serious with each other?
First, in college you are sharing an intense experience that can bond two people. Talking about life, about classes and professors can make it seem like you have a lot in common. In reality, you may have very little in common outside of your educational pursuits. How can you tell if you have a real love relationship? Examine what you usually talk about. If the majority is college and campus related, you might be a college couple only. Try dating for a while after college to see how you are together before making further plans.
Second, while college brought you together, career may pull you apart. Many students leave town after graduation to take a job, attend graduate school or simply to return home. Do your plans match your partner's plans? Are you willing to give up your plans to follow your sweetheart? These are questions you need to think about.
We Graduated…Now What?
You go through a lot of change in college, but you'll go through further maturing in your first few years after college as you start your career and start living in the real world. For this reason, you may want to postpone marrying your college sweetheart until the two of you are more established.
If you want to continue dating after graduation, try looking for ways to make it work. If neither of you have job offers, consider moving to a city that offers good prospects for both of you. If your partner does have a job offer, consider whether you can follow him or her to the same city.
Hopefully life will allow the two of you to continue on the same path together. However, it might be that you must go your separate ways and start a job or graduate school in different cities. When this happens, you can choose to have a long distance relationship. Some relationships will work out and others won't. Don't give up your plans until you are sure your relationship is more important than anything else.