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Why Your Relationship Won't Survive Beyond College

Updated on January 31, 2016

The Fun About College Dating

Everyone knows how fun college life is. There is the wild partying and the drinking, then the dating, if you are into that sort of thing. Most college students are usually just interested in temporarily hooking up, without the pressure of committing to someone, no wonder the surge in the friends with benefits relationships.

There is nothing wrong with college dating. The hopeless romantics love it. You have all the time in the world to spend with your spouse, unless you are some book devotee who has their mind fixated on their future career and does not find dating necessary. There is no denying that it is better to be in a committed relationship than randomly hooking up with every other person you meet. However, you should not bank all your hopes on that relationship. Most college couples tend to focus so much on each other that they hardly have the time to meet other people. Of course when you date someone for a long time, you are bound to convince yourself that you were destined to be together; that nothing can ever get in between you. You spend all your weekends together; you even get a place together and cohabit.

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Truth is, you are too busy building your perfect little fairytale to realize it is just a botched plan waiting to fail immediately you leave college. College life is nothing like life on the outside. In college, life affords you so much comfort and pleasure. Most of your needs are usually taken care of by your parents. The part-time job you have earns you money you can spend whichever way you see fit, be it taking your girlfriend on a romantic date or investing in an expensive stereo system to blast up your room. Girls mostly spend the money on shopping expeditions and lavish manicure and pedicure treatments with their girlfriends.

College dating is easy because there aren’t any tests constantly trying to tear up your relationship. There will obviously be the occasional relationship drama, petty issues and accusations of other students trying to ‘steal’ your girlfriend or boyfriend or suspicions of infidelity. You get so used to the perfect relationship that you can hardly imagine being in a different kind of relationship. You get the notion that relationships are all bliss and happiness. You get used to being with the same person that you never even imagine what dating someone else feels like.

After college, however, you realize life is not some juicy fairytale and that your life was doomed from the relationship. You are fresh out of college, with no job, no money and no one to support you. You are always chasing leads for jobs. By then you are so consumed with stress, you start forgetting about your college boyfriend or girlfriend. The pressure of the real world is only just revealing itself to you. The insurmountable amount of bills only keeps adding up and you have to pay your student loans yet you do not have a job yet.

Communication begins to break slowly. You get yourself a job finally but the damage is already done. Your partner is infuriated at this point. In their mind, you are probably cheating on them because you hardly speak to each other. They are constantly trying to reach out to you but all the while you are unavailable, because you are deeply consumed by the demands of the real world. You and your partner are used to being together but the dynamics have now shifted; you live on different ends of the country, in different cities. You realize how difficult it is to sustain a long-distance relationship. Your boss is probably a demanding maniac, so flying out on weekends to spend time with your partner is out of the question.

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You slowly begin to accept the facts of the world as they unravel. You start accepting that it is over and that it is time you moved on. Your eyes begin opening up. When you were dating you never took the chance to get to know other people. Someone soon catches your attention at your work. They are cute and available, unlike your partner who is miles away. They soon start drawing you in with their charm. An innocent lunch soon turns into a dinner and before you know it, you are spending nights together. You wonder why you ever stayed with your partner for so long in college, because you are thrilled by the new and interesting experience. Everyone at work knows you are an item. They gossip about you in the corridors and in the bathroom but they will never say it to your face. You start falling in love with that new person and finally gather enough

Do you think college relationships can survive in the outside world?

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    • Gloria Lihavi profile image
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      Gloria Lihavi Aradi 22 months ago from Kenya

      Thank you dashingscorpio for your comment. I find everything you have just said true and quite sensible. I especially love the point that most people around the 21 age range do not know what they really want out of life. This is true about most young people.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 22 months ago

      Life is a (personal) journey.

      When it comes to love and relationships most of us (fail our way) to success. If this were not the case we'd all be married to our high school sweethearts!

      The reality is our high school and college relationships are the "cocoon years" of love. We're young, immature, naïve, and unrealistic about how things work in the world. And although our parents and other adults advised us to focus on our education and establishing a career path over finding a loving relationship the majority of us ignored them.

      In fact we resented the notion that "our love" was "puppy love". Some of us went as far as to believe our parents didn't know what "real love" was!

      When you become older and look back on it you see how remote the odds are that someone is going to find their "soul-mate" at age 18, 19, or even 21. The fact of the matter most people have not figured out who they are let alone what they want and need in a mate for life!

      You have a valid point: "College dating is easy because there aren’t any tests constantly trying to tear up your relationship."

      It's not just about the lack of tests but also the lack of stress!

      It's like being on the TV show "The Bachelor". You stick any couple on an exotic romantic island for 30 days in a mansion with maid service, all meals provided, various fun excursions, and starlight nights of holding hands while walking along the shore and I bet you most people would fall "in love"! However when you return back to "the real world" where there is a demanding boss, office politics, car notes, mortgage/rent, and a ton of other responsibilities that's when you're learn if you are with the right person. There are over 2 million weddings that take place in the U.S. every year. Cleary most people eventually learn how to "balance" the demands of life outside of the "cocoon".

      We accept the fact that the intense one on one love we had in college cannot be replicated except on weekend getaways or vacations.

      Mature/adult love is about learning to compartmentalize our lives and having a list of priorities.

      Your article essentially addresses couples who leave college and go their separate directions/home towns. Long distance relationships are tough to maintain especially during our youth. In fact there were many high school sweethearts who unrealistically thought they would maintain their relationships while away at different colleges for 4-6 years.

      Generally speaking by the middle of the second semester those relationships conclude. It was unrealistic for a 18 year old to believe they were just going to go to classes, eat, study in their room, and sleep for the next 4 years! At some point one makes friends, maybe pledges a sorority or fraternity, attend sporting events, and go to dances on campus. Eventually one desires to invest their time with people who are actually on campus (with) them! The key to maintaining a LDR is the couple has to have a realistic "light at the end of the tunnel".

      There has to be a date they can mark on the calendar.

      It's the counting down the months, weeks, and days until one is done with the inconvenience of a long distance relationship that keeps it strong. This is true of all LDRs whether fresh out of college or having met while on vacation somewhere. The goal is to be with the one you love!

      Lastly it's important to note that our youth is a period of evolving and learning about ourselves. What makes for an "ideal mate" at age 21 may not be what one wants at 28 or 30. Couples either "grow together" or "grow apart".

      Most guys in their 20s are in no hurry to become their parents! They want to party with friends, watch sports, play video games, and get laid.

      The thought of marriage, signing a 30 year mortgage, and raising a family in their 20s is like watching their lives flash before their eyes!

      Men didn't grow up dreaming about their wedding day, pushing strollers with baby dolls, or decorating Ken & Barbie's dollhouse. Most guys don't serious consider marriage until around age 30 or beyond.

      Not accepting this gender difference causes many women to experience heartache.