I’ll never forget the day. The day I decided to ask my high school sweetheart to be my girlfriend. There was so much to look forward to, and it seemed as though nothing could bring us down. Being that I was a junior and she was a sophomore, the only worry on our mind was graduating and making the most of high school (which we both certainly did).
Fast forward a year, and I am getting ready to graduate. As both my girlfriend and I found out, time really does fly. However, the question that was drawing nearer and nearer like dark clouds rolling in to spoil a sunny summers day, was “how can we make this relationship work in college?”. We had both heard numerous horror stories of inseparable high school sweetheart’s relationships going down the toilet as soon as they moved off to college, but we remained convinced that we would be different. Three years later (with almost two years of college under my belt, and almost one year for her), we are still going strong. But how did we do it?
As with any other major endeavor in life, relationships take time. Even though we do see each other on the weekends, experiencing college for the first time can be very life changing. You are surrounded by hundreds of new people that you have never met, you meet new people, and you discover new things about yourself. Every one of these new experiences can cause a couple to grow apart, no matter how in love they were before college. This leads us into a brief list of tips that we utilized to help make our relationship last, even as we moved on to college.
Tip Number One- Communicate Often.
Communication is crucial to maintain a relationship. This doesn’t mean you constantly need to be talking with your significant other twenty four seven, this simply entails that regular communication has personally helped us in maintaining our relationship. A few good examples would be a phone call goodnight, Skype calls, or even a simple text message letting your partner know how your day went, how you did on an exam, etc. For us personally, utilizing these methods helped us not only feel closer and more connected, but helped ease our nerves and tensions about starting college.
Tip Number Two- Stay Loyal and Be Honest.
Relationships are built upon two basic components: Trust and Loyalty. While attending college, as mentioned earlier, you will be meeting a lot of new people. Staying loyal to your significant other is crucial for maintaining a relationship in college. While it may be relatively easy or tempting to want to flirt with all of the new people that you are meeting, the long term consequences are detrimental to the relationship you already have. In short, if you truly care about and love your significant other, this shouldn’t even be an issue. The best way to avoid these situations is by ensuring you aren’t putting yourself in situations in which your loyalty will be tested. Avoid heavy drinking at parties where your judgement capabilities will be impaired, and avoid situations in which you will be alone with a member of the sex you are attracted to (and yes, that means rejecting the cute girl from Chem101’s offer to study in her dorm). The next aspect of tip number two is to be honest with your girlfriend or boyfriend. I like to think honesty is like the foundation of any serious relationship. Just as a building without a solid foundation will crumple to the ground, a relationship without trust will fall apart in a similar way. Being honest and transparent with your significant other not only will strengthen the foundation of the relationship, but it will also prevent potentially relationship ending arguments further down the road in which you have to explain why you lied in a given situation. Through personal experience, it is almost always easier to tell the truth up front and deal with the temporary tension, than keep it hidden until it eventually reveals itself.
Tip Number Three- Just Give it Time!
As I was finishing up my time in high school, a close friend of mine informed me that he and his girlfriend would be breaking up before they moved off to college. They had been dating for quite some time, and it honestly bothered me to see them just throw it away and not even give it a chance. What I am trying to get at, is, you’ll never really know how your relationship will turn out unless you give it a try. Consider college to be the ultimate test of your relationship: if it is meant to be, then things will work out, and you will find ways to make it work. It is important to not force the relationship out of desperation or fear of losing the person you love. People change, and sometimes it is impossible to prevent that from happening. However, for those who utilize these tips and try to make your relationship work, power to you. It isn’t easy, but if the person you are with is the one for you, then you will sail through college and grow and mature, both individually and as a couple, more than you can imagine. Plus, you’ll have a hell of a story to tell your friends about how you and your partner were high school sweethearts.
Have you had a high school relationship last through college? What did YOU do to make it last? Leave a comment and join the discussion!