Make a Long Term Relationship Work in College
Long term relationship – three little words that can be scary to some! Lots of you may think that you’ll be bachelors forever & college is the time to spread your wings and enjoy yourself. However, you may be surprised at the fact that some guys really like the idea of being with just one girl – without the games involved in the single life! Whether she’s your high school sweetheart or the freshman you met at orientation, college can provide the background for a really great relationship – if you do it right! Here are some tips on how to make a relationship survive despite the obstacles you may face along the way.
Whether you go to different schools, or live in the same dorm building, it’s safe to say that a little bit of distance is healthy. If you go to the same school, do yourself a favor and register for different classes. It may be ok to share one or two classes, but don’t make your schedules identical. I can tell you from experience that you’ll get tired of that REAL quick. Odds are, at first, you’ll be thrilled to spend so much time with your hunny. But, what happens when you have an argument? Or when you start slacking? She’s isn’t going to be too happy with the fact that she’s doing all the work and you’re just coasting along.
You each have your own individual interests. Does she want to join a sorority, while you’re more interested in student government? Understand that you have to do your own thing – explore your own individual interests, and be encouraging to your girl. Keep in mind the fact that you both need to support each others’ interests, whether or not you agree with them. Don’t like the fact that she’s pledging? Let her know (in a nice way) that you’re unhappy with the situation, and talk to her about it. Help her see the situation from your point of view, but NEVER tell her that she can’t do something, or that she’s forbidden to join any particular group. As long as she isn’t getting hurt or arrested, she’s free to do what she wants. Tell her she can’t and she’ll absolutely resent you. Embrace your curiosities and let her explore hers.
Ok, so you’re doing your thing in class – making friends, hanging out. You’ve gotten involved with the activities that you both find interesting and rewarding. Remember that you’re still dating! While you each want the other to meet your friends and hang out as one big happy group, make sure you still make time for each other. Go out on a date, spend a Sunday in your dorm catching up on movies you wanted to watch. Both of you love a certain TV show? Have a standing “date” every week – a time where you guys get together and chill while sharing something you both enjoy.
If it’s worth it to you, you’ll do what it takes to make it work. It’s going to be difficult at times, but in the end, you’ll be glad you went for it. You’ve got a built in support system there – even when things get a little rough, you know that you’ll always have someone on your side! You’ve made memories together. You understand each other’s highs and lows & you’re comfortable.
But what if it’s just too hard? If it’s just too much, it may be better in the long run for you to end on good terms and just enjoy your college life. It’s a tough situation to deal with, but trust me, it’ll get easier over time. Who knows? Maybe a little time apart will help you understand what really makes you happy.
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About Cliff Englewood Cliff goes to MSU and is TSB Magazine resident "College Life" contributor with tips and advice to get the most out of your time in college.