By Aoife Burke
When it comes to relationships, there are always two sides to every story. I’m sure those that are in relationships would have a different mindset than myself on certain issues regarding being in a relationship. I am going to write this from a single person’s perspective.
Yes, I do believe relationships in college work, as I have seen it happen. However, it is often also true that many relationships that start in college do not last. I think avoid is a strong word. I believe, instead, you should seek out relationships with people that are healthy and worthwhile and with people who share your interests. A relationship based on constant drinking is not a relationship, but the conditions of that association are between the two people. As a single person, I can’t see myself committing right now. College tends to take up most of my time; between lectures, writing, and studying, I simply don’t have the time.
A long-term relationship is worth saving, but it requires leeway from both people. It requires the attention of a 9-5 job. So how does one handle a relationship in college?
– Live close to each other, or at least, live in the same country. I have seen relationships where phone contact is frequent and I think that is lovely when it works.
-Cheating just because your partner is away is unacceptable. Just because you are not getting the attention you want all the time, does not mean it is okay to go behind your partners back. If you want to see other people, it is important to communicate with your partner and possibly establish an agreement with having an open-relationship, or end it altogether.
– A change in lifestyle. Limited money, dodgy accommodation, can make or break a relationship. Many come to college to get a degree, however, I have been told college changes you. You start hanging around new people and think differently. You are officially middle class and its okay to drift away and start a new social circle.
This, however, needs to be a balanced piece of writing. Having an on-campus partner is a source of support. Some people choose to hook-up, while others look for long-term relationships. For those who choose a long-term relationship, it does steady the mind, similar to getting married. However, it can be stressful and eat into your study time. Emotional stress can be exhausting, for example, if you have a fight with your partner. I would suggest getting to know a person before jumping into anything. It is possible to combine study with dating. After all, there is nothing worse than the jungle of singletons. You’re out there faced with weeding out the good from the bad and dodging the undateables, such as the Lotharios that nobody wants.
How can you recognize an unhealthy relationship? For example, if you feel controlled, frequently humiliated, you have to walk on eggshells, struggle to maintain boundaries and don’t trust each other. You should be happy with your partner – not constantly worrying. If you are happy and there is no financial abuse or any kind of abuse going on (this includes emotional abuse), stick it out. Ultimately, it is your decision. Don’t compromise your degree for the sake of something temporary. If they are right for you, you will know. Education is always worth it. I do believe in having common ground somewhere that can be the glue that holds you together.