“Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind. It is a learned application without reason or motive except that it is God. “ –Toni Morrison, Paradise
Love is one of the most powerful emotions in the world. No matter how hard we as human beings try to alter or change this emotion, this intense feeling is something that cannot be destroyed or erased. Love is pure. Love is unconditional.
For many young men and women in a world in a generation where love is less existent, love can be similar to a battlefield, especially while being a college student.
With so many options that roam within the college dating scene such as hooking up with eligible bachelors/bachelorettes during parties, having “friends with benefits” or simply choosing to remain single for the sake of trying to avoid falling in love on campus, these are some of many reasons why most students can’t fathom a long-term relationship in college.
A relationship, defined as “the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected (Oxford Dictionaries),” is not for everyone in college. So many are trying to embrace their lives independently as both a student and adult, one wouldn’t expect for everyone to be holding hands blissfully living “happily ever after” so quickly. On top of that, it can be difficult trying to maintain good grades in class, participate in extra-curricular activities and figuring out how to stay sane all at the same time while trying to sustain a stable relationship.
But for all the hopeless romantics in college out there that have been trying to find that special someone that will not only fall in love with you, but also commit to you, being in a long-term relationship is indeed possible.
First, one must understand commitment. Commitment is defined as “an act of committing to a charge or trust (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).” In other words, know what you are getting into with your partner, which is a promise to love them and only them. It can be easily tempting to break this trust while being in college because there are so many other potentials that at the blink of an eye, can tempt you to cheat on your partner. Making a serious relationship work in college requires trust, an important trait right next to love. So, be sure to know what you are getting into before taking that big leap.
Second, know both you and your partner’s priorities in college. Both of your first priorities should be to become college graduates. No questions about it. You can make a long-term relationship work in college if knowing that you both are a team and are aware that you are still college students. If neither of you graduate nor walk across that stage with that glorious diploma in your hand, then there should be a reconsideration of really why you both are together. If it means to prioritize each other’s time, such as completing daily homework assignments or studying for those final exams before spending quality time together, then you both need to work as a team to ensure that you both accomplish the goal of being college graduates. Not only will this help strengthen the relationship working together, but will absolutely make the progress in the relationship better in life with crisp diplomas in your hands. A couple that works together, sticks together.
Third, have communication and quality time with each other. This is extremely important in college because the fact is that there is a lot to do in college with trying to obtain a degree and a lot of activities to partake outside of classes. Developing the relationship requires talking with each other, getting to know each other and spending personal time with one another. There are some instances where personal space is required so that both are able to still enjoy college life aside from the relationship such as spending time with friends, going out by yourself and still experiencing the college life itself, but having open communication in a relationship should be vital to achieving a long-term connection. Also, definitely be spontaneous and never too comfortable within the relationship. Some relationships in college end up short lived because both people are way too comfortable where they are and not trying to have the relationship actually grow. Surprise your partner with doing activities or things that are not traditional, such as going on a cruise during winter break, road tripping away from campus or simply a weekend vacation in another place (all if you can afford it of course). Even the simple things such as a jazz dinner, attending a spoken word event or movie dates away from campus mean the world to someone, especially while being in college.
Commitment, priorities, communication and quality time are some of the key traits that will make a long-term relationship work in college. There are many more traits one could list, but these are what I believe are important in terms of maintaining love while being at an institution. Being a young man in a two-year relationship myself while being at college has indeed been a challenge. Most of what I’ve stated are what I have personally learned over the years and I am still continuing to learn with each day passing by. There is no age limit on when and where to find love. One can find love when they are young and one can find love when they are old. Love is timeless. As love ages, it becomes more beautiful, more pure and more unconditional. It is an infinite journey that takes both partners on an infinite path, but only if both want to travel infinitely. One thing is for certain: Love is pure. Love is unconditional. Love is infinite.
“We love because it’s the only true adventure.” -Langston Hughes