Wednesday, 15 October 2008

The Lure of the ‘Young, Free and Single’: University and Long-Term Relationships

Image thanks to aWee

University life is, let’s face it, largely hyped up to be about the single life. It’s about being selfish (not necessarily negatively, it’s just a time when your main concern is you!) It’s also about new experiences and having a good time. This can often be construed as having new sexual experiences or having good sexual times, but this isn’t part and parcel of university life because, unless you’re very desperate, I don’t think you’re paying upwards of £6,000 a year just to have lots of sex are you?

Whilst the 'young, free and single' thing is all well and good, and for many is a beneficial life experience, don’t fall into the trap of thinking it is all university is about; thinking that it’s the only way to be; or considering it an amazing ‘greener-grass’ lifestyle. It’s not. I’m here to convince you that being at uni and being in a long-term relationship can work, and even better, it can be wonderful.

When we are totally immersed into a culture like student life, it can be hard not to start subconsciously agreeing with and acting like those around us. Well of course, we want to fit in don’t we? We don’t want to appear like the stick in the mud that isn’t up for a laugh, but it's crucial to realise the difference between actually believing in and enjoying what we're doing over just going along with the crowd. Don’t give in to one over-emphasized student tradition at the cost of your integrity (or relationship).

If you are currently in a long-term relationship that you are questioning because of the ideas surrounding the student lifestyle, you need to seriously figure out your own thoughts and needs before taking any action. If you are genuinely tempted by the idea of ‘no strings attached’ then you should recognise this as a product of feeling held back in your relationship. This is never healthy and could mean ending what you have going on is a sure-fire safe bet. A boyfriend or girlfriend, although often asking for a little compromise, should be an amazing asset in your life, not somebody that fences you in.

If you’ve ever been single for a substantial amount of time you may already know that it’s not all it can be cracked up to be. It’s often a lonely, unrewarding, underappreciated existence – NOT that this means you should enter or stay in a relationship for the avoidance of these things alone. Single life can be brilliant, it really can, if it’s what you want; all I’m saying is figure out your own preference without being swayed by the habits of other students.

It is true that lots of relationships started at school can have been founded very immaturely, even ‘just for the sake of it.’ You may well have changed as a person and want to move on to bigger and better things, just be sure not to completely close yourself off to the possibility of an ongoing relationship at uni: it can happen with the right person!

Don’t assume you need to be single at uni, you shouldn’t deny yourself a potentially sublime and fulfilling relationship at any stage in life. If your current relationship is actively holding you back then yes, maybe you do need to be single just now, but if your partner is loving and supportive you WON’T miss out on anything, apart from maybe a couple of cringe-worthy walks of shame!

Having a strong relationship whilst at university can be a major confidence boost, it gives you someone to turn to in a crisis, someone to share all your many plans and ideas with, and the knowledge that you are loved (who doesn't want that?)

You’ll notice I haven’t touched on the delicacies of long-distance relationships. I’m saving the subject for an article all of its own!

What’s your opinion on university and long-term relationships?


Pop Culture Gal said...

I'm normally all about the single life but you have a great point here. So many college students cruise through school with an anti- relationship mentality, often overlooking love or a fun, romantic possibility. I do think that everyone should spend some time being single during the college years though

Voila Megan said...

Awesome and constructive comment there 'pop culture gal.'Thank you for sharing it!

Adoration x

seawolf said...

Hey -
I've just been pointed here and love most of your posts -- just wanted to say thanks and keep going! I particularly like your feature articles because that's what I'm like (the personal stuff I tend to skip - sorry!) but the subjects and content of the posts is great!

So just wanted to say youv'e one more subscriber! I think there is nothing better about student life than sharing it and talking about it with people :)

Much love x

Tessa said...

I have to agree with you on this one, after just finishing my first year of university I can't help but notice the amout of parties catering to help us young ones enjoy the single life! However, I have a man who I am completely in love, and who all my new university friends love as well. I think it's so comforting to be going through this massive period in your life and having someone that loves you there to support you, just like you said! :)

Voila Megan said...

'seawolf' - Lovely to have you as a subscriber! I will certainly keep going and if you ever have any requests for the type of articles you'd like to see here then don't forget to drop me an email:

'tessa' - Good for you! Thanks for offering up a perfect, real-life example :)

Adoration x

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