Wed06282017

Last updateWed, 28 Jun 2017 1am

Lifestyles

How to Keep Your Relationship Alive During College

College is a time of self-discovery, new experiences, and of course, fun. However, you may not want to give up your relationship during your time at school. With balancing class, activities, social life, and a romantic partnership, you may feel overwhelmed, but there are ways to keep your relationship alive while you’re at school, as long as you’re willing to try.

The most important thing in any relationship is communication. Without it, there are always hidden feelings and miscommunications that can turn into something much worse. Whenever you’re feeling a certain way about an issue, whether it be good or bad, let the other person know. If they did something for you that you appreciate, let them know. If you are concerned about something, tell them. It’s always vital to let the person who cares about you know how you feel so you can work on disagreements together.

Chair of the psychology department, Dr. Gary Lewandowski, co-wrote an article, “Relationships 101: Having Healthy Relationships in Your First Year of College.”

In the article he said, “Good communication is important especially when discussing problems. Many people (mistakenly) believe that disagreements are destructive in relationships. However, you should be secure enough in your relationship to discuss the small issues that inevitably arise so that they don’t turn into major drama.”

Make sure to designate a chunk of your time to being with your significant other. Life as a college student can get hectic, which in turn causes you to forget about the things and people that mean the most to you. Don’t let your relationship slip away because other factors get in the way. One way to do this is to set aside one day and time of the week where you can be with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Use this time to get something to eat, visit one of your favorite places, or just relax. This will allow you to feel more connected. If you don’t go to school together, set aside time to Skype or Facetime because it’s more personal and interactive than talking on the phone.

Junior history and education major Brianna Mahoney keeps her relationship alive even though her boyfriend attends another school. “We make a conscious effort to video chat often, talk every day, and schedule specific visits,” she said.

When together, try getting rid of all forms of technology. Put the cellphones, tablets, and laptops away so that you’re not distracted by the lure of social media. This will allow you to focus on each other instead of following what everyone else is doing in that moment.

Even though spending time together is great, you should also spend time apart. Being together constantly can put a strain on your relationship. As the well-known saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. When you spend some time away from each other, the reunion will be that much better.

Also, make sure that you don’t neglect your friends. Many relationships cause people to be too caught up with each other, which in turn makes individuals shut out other people in their lives. Always remember that your friends are just as important as your romantic relationship, and that you should try to spend as much time with them as possible too.

Forming a relationship between your friends and your boyfriend or girlfriend is also a great way to create a tightknit group. This way you can go out to dinner with both your significant other and your friends, which shows that you want to spend time with both.

Lastly, don’t forget about your college life. Although it’s important to be loyal and trustworthy in a relationship, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on chances to have fun. Your college years only come once and you should take advantage of them. Through trust, communication, and understanding, you can build a relationship that allows you to do so. Just make sure you’re making smart decisions along the way.

Professor of sociology and gender studies, Alan Foster, had a different opinion on college relationships. “College is for learning about new things, some educational, some not.  It’s a time for meeting new people, developing original ideas, encountering problems and solving them yourself. To do this you will have to develop a new relationship with someone else every semester. You take different classes with different instructors each semester, right?  So do the same thing with relationships,” he said.

Although some people have doubts, it’s true that you can maintain a healthy relationship during college. If you choose to be in one, you have to handle it in a way that works for you and your significant other. Communication and trust are the most important factors of building any relationship, especially in college. Make sure you manage your time so that you can get the most out of both your relationship and your college experience. By making the right decisions, it is possible to have both.

PHOTO TAKEN from thestorkmagazine.com

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