How To Maintain A Healthy Relationship In College
For some people, college means the start of new relationships. For others, it means turbulence and maybe even the end.
Couple, Sabrina Safran and Jimmy Vasil, both attend Rider University and have been dating for two years. You may be asking yourself how two people in college can stay together for that long. With the following eight tips, you may find that it's not at all impossible. Safran and Vasil both gave insight into their relationship and emphasized a few key points from this list.
In college, there are many distractions. Until you learn to cope in a campus environment, you may find yourself in some tough situations… especially with your significant other. Trust is one of the most important characteristics in a relationship, and unfortunately, it doesn’t build overnight. Jealousy can be common when you’re not always around someone, but especially when there are so many other people that are. Whether they’re on the same campus as you or not, you don’t need to track their every move or every person they come in contact with. Trust that they can be out on their own, doing what they please and talking to whomever they’d like without questioning your relationship. Remember - don’t assume or jump to conclusions.
Don’t neglect your friends.
Don’t lose touch with who was there before your significant other. By isolating yourself in your relationship, you’ll lose the opportunity to make new friends. Your friends may be the people you choose to turn to later on, if you hit a few speed bumps. Make time to talk to them and/or hang out with them. Too much time with your significant other isn’t good for you, Jimmy emphasized. “If we saw each other too much, we would become a little sick of each other and not have as good quality time together.”
Don’t neglect your schoolwork.
Although this isn’t what you want to hear, you can’t run from it. You’re in college, so naturally you’ll have work to do. Spending too much time with or worrying about your significant other could put you behind with your schoolwork. Think of it this way- the quicker you get your work done, the more free time you’ll have.
If you get mad, don’t get even.
People aren’t perfect, nor are relationships. If there’s trouble in paradise, don’t lash out or seek revenge. Be careful with your behavior because it can affect you negatively in many ways, whether it’s at that moment or in the near future. This could not only terminate your relationship, but your friendship with that person as well. You’re in college and that means you’re an adult. Act as an adult would (or at least should) and talk it out. “Don't walk away from the other person just because they're upset at you and you don't want to hear it,” Jimmy advised. Sabrina agreed and added, “It may not always be the easiest thing to do but it is ultimately the most effective.” Express your fears, worries, problems, etc. Not only will it help ease your mind, but also it’s a way to further get to know the person you’re dating. Through experiences and learning, comes growth and maturity.
If you’re reading the same book, make sure you’re on the same page.
In other words, if you’re in a relationship, make sure you’re in agreement as to what’s acceptable and what’s not. You don’t want to later realize that you don’t want the same thing out of the relationship. Lay your cards out from the start and be open with one another. Not everyone is on board with the same things and understands or interprets them the same way.
Set time aside for just the two of you.
Conflicting schedules is a common problem amongst friends and significant others alike. It’s all about time management and it gets easier with more practice. Plan out your schedule (leave time for homework) and fit in the things you want to do in your open spaces. Whether it’s a quick 20-minute catch-up to talk about how your day is going or an hour to eat lunch and take a walk, it’s time well spent, appreciated and necessary in relationship. If you attend different schools, find common time and visit one another. If distance doesn't allow for frequent visits, set up times for phone calls or go the old fashion route (although still appreciated today) and write letters. Skype, Facetime and ooVoo are programs with audio and video components that are easy to use and great for staying in touch. Make sure to set aside time for just the two of you. Just like a married couple may need some time away from their kids once in a while, a couple dating also needs time to themselves. You don’t want to forget the reasons you got into a relationship in the first place.
Don’t forget to experience college life.
You’re only in college for a certain number of years and you should take full advantage of them. Not only does this apply to your studies, but also to extracurricular activities, events and socializing. You and your significant other can experience college life together, but it doesn’t mean you have to do every single thing together. College is another stepping-stone in the direction of adulthood and personal growth is essential.
Feel free to step off campus grounds.
Is the dining hall on campus just not cutting it for you? If you have an opportunity, take a trip off campus to a local restaurant or attraction. Sabrina says she and Jimmy “like to go out to dinner to places like Chili's, Applebee’s, Red Lobster, etc.” Just because you're in college, doesn't mean your relationship has to stay on campus grounds. It’s as easy as a walk in the park… literally. “If you're not one to always be indoors, Jimmy and I also love going for walks on really nice days,” Sabrina added. It's nice to get out once in while and I don't just mean outside. A new environment is a breathe of fresh air and gives you two the chance to step outside the usual and partake in other adventures. Just for the record, college house parties don’t usually constitute as good dates. Don’t be afraid to put your creativity to the test. Yes, it’s even possible on a college students’ budget.
In order to be healthy, relationships need a stable base. If you're experiencing some problems in your current relationship or would like to prepare yourself to be in one, these tips are sure to help.