10 Tips For Surviving College Relationships
Relationships are hard in general. College relationships are really hard, but not impossible. Both of us dealt with our share of short-term and long-term relationships in college, and we learned a lot about what makes them work and what makes them crumble. Here are some of the most important lessons we learned from our personal college relationships:
1. Be Sure This Is What You Want
When it comes to college and relationships it’s amazing how many students stick around with the wrong people and/or at the wrong time in their lives. You need to honestly and objectively look at your college relationship and decide if it’s something you want to continue. If so, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. A relationship in college passes through a gauntlet of trials and tribulations. Make sure you’re at the right place in your life for a relationship, and make sure you’re with the right person.
2. Gain Mutual Trust
This is the lynch pin to any successful college relationship. Without it, your relationship doesn’t stand a chance. You’re both going to encounter situations throughout your college experience in which you have to trust the other to act appropriately. You’re venturing into the unknown here. A lack of trust leads to paranoia, which leads to jealousy, which leads to rocky times. How do you build trust? Simple… honesty. When you start lying, even in seemingly insignificant ways, you start down a relationship-destroying path.
3. Don’t Play The Jealousy Card
Jealousy, typically spawned from a lack of trust, puts you in a position of continually wondering and questioning what your partner is doing… and more times than not, it has you assuming the worst. College relationships won’t last when there’s a current of jealousy running through them. Jealousy thrives on the assumption that your partner will act in a way that’s not conducive to the flourishing of your relationship. Trust eliminates this assumption.
4. Communicate Every Day
This may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. You don’t need to have long, serious conversations every day, although you certainly should once in a while. Send a text, an email, or an e-card… all of which take less than a few minutes. When it comes down to it, a relationship in college is a connection between people. Communication keeps these connections alive. If this feels like too much of a chore, the college relationship may not be worth keeping.
5. Block Time Out For Each Other
Phone calls, text messages and video chatting can only take your college relationships so far. You have to be willing to put in the face time, even if it means leaving your friends behind for the weekend. We know how difficult that can be, but make the sacrifice. Your partner will appreciate that you’re putting in the effort to make the relationship in college work. Also, be sure some of this time is spent one-on-one… not just meeting at bars or college parties.
6. Introduce Them To Your Friends
You started a brand new life in college. You’re meeting tons of new people and making a lot of new friends. While this is new and exciting for you, it can be a big question mark for your partner when it comes to college and relationships. Invite them out with you and introduce them to your new friends, favorite hang-outs, etc. Giving your partner this perspective will bridge the gap between your different lives. It’ll also create new common ground from which you can share stories, and create new ones.
7. Discuss Expectations
If you expect your partner to swing by your place every day, but they’re content with stopping by just once a week, you have different expectations. Having a successful college relationship requires understanding these expectations. Every person is different and will have different ideas of what it takes to keep the relationship alive. It takes communication and compromise to find the balance within your relationship in college, but once you do, it’ll be worth it.
8. Keep The Right Attitude
When it comes to college relationships, approach things with an open mind. There will be fights, bickering, and annoyances. Sacrifices will have to be made and borders will have to be re-drawn. Realize that your partner is dealing with the same issues. Point being… don’t be stubborn or rigid in your ways. Approach college and relationships with the attitude that you’ll allow yourself to be fluid and adapt. Accept that there will be good times, bad times, and everything in between.
9. Have Your Own Lives
While it’s important to spend time together and great to have mutual friends, make sure you each have lives outside of your college relationship. Don’t feel like you need to be together 24/7, and don’t be afraid to meet new people and make new friends on your own. The college experience is a time to make a lot friends, get involved in things that interest you, and learn a ton in the process. Don’t miss out on these unique opportunities because you’re too focused on one person. You may not realize it right away, but this will ultimately strengthen your college relationships as well.
10. Let Each Other Have Fun
Don’t be the guy or girl that doesn’t go out and have a good time because their girlfriend or boyfriend isn’t there. We knew too many people who did that during their relationships in college, and we thought it was ridiculous. In most cases, this leads to resentment and a feeling that your partner is holding you back. At the same time, don’t try to make your partner feel bad or guilty when they want to go out and have a good time, either. When you’re in college relationships, you should be having the best time you possibly can and they should too.