Your College Relationship Isn’t Healthy And This Is Why
College brings a lot of exciting opportunities to our 18 year old selves. You can eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can take a class where all you do is talk about sex in movies. You can start drinking at 8 in the morning and nobody will judge you.
While there are tons of pretty amazing things that you can do in college, having a healthy relationship doesn’t always seem to be one of those things.
I’m not saying you can’t be in a relationship in college. Of course you can. Thousands of college kids have girlfriends, boyfriends, boo thangs, and crushes. Hell, plenty of college kids are in love. But, I retract back to the word “healthy” in my previous statement.
What is a healthy relationship? I’m no expert. So naturally, I asked Google. The first thing that came up, from UW Medicine’s Hall Health center is:
“A healthy relationship is when two people develop a connection based on: Mutual respect. Trust. Honesty.”
Sounds simple right? Three little things, it can’t be that hard to have a relationship. But, the college relationships that I’ve seen and been involved in have always lacked at least one if not more of these things.
To summarize, these are the types of things I have seen in my three years of college:
1. A girl who stops going out with her friends because her boyfriend gets jealous and worried when she drinks without him.
2. A guy who puts a girl’s name as “Larry” in his phone so that is girlfriend won’t suspect he’s cheating.
3. A girl who goes through her boyfriend’s phone at 4 am once he falls asleep, drunk.
4. A guy who gets drunk and pushes his girlfriend to the floor, smashes her TV, and has to be escorted out by campus police.
5. A girl who has a “boyfriend at home” but sleeps with someone new on campus every week.
6. A guy who decides to be “the good guy” and take the drunk girl home, only to have sex with her.
7. A girl and a boy who are crazy about each other, but can only express their feelings to each other when they’re hammered.
I could go on and on, but I think anyone can see that these situations don’t involve mutual respect, trust, or honesty.
Our generation has been taught to be opportunistic, that we are special, and that it’s okay to be selfish. While some of this advice may have helped us in our college education or our career opportunities, it has harmed our relationships.
We’re extremely hypocritical in our expectations for our relationships. We’re always looking for the next best thing (or person, specifically) to excite us. We care more about our social media image than our actual character.
This doesn’t make us bad people. This is what we’re supposed to be doing in college, figuring it all out. It’s nice to have someone to care for you, whether they’re your boyfriend or not. What isn’t okay is not owning up to your own flaws and taking your frustrations out on that other person.
When you’re mature and stable and you find that person that you want to spend your life with, you’re going to have to work on things when they get tough. However, before you spend months arguing with your on-again-off-again boyfriend, realize that you may not see him ever again once you graduate. Don’t waste the best years of your life in a mediocre relationship that makes you frustrated more than it makes you happy.
If your friends don’t like your boyfriend, listen to them. If you don’t know what a good relationship is supposed to feel like, try to learn. Disney may have given us false expectations for love, but there’s no way in hell you should ever feel like you’re settling for somebody who doesn’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated – as long as you’re treating them well in return.
You have four years to soak it all in. Not just what you’re learning in the classroom, but what you’re learning about the world, relationships, and yourself. One day you’re probably going to settle down with someone that makes you the happiest girl in the world, but until then, try to live in the now.