The desire to have a boyfriend in college is strong. I distinctly remember going through my freshman year and saying on multiple occasions, “I don’t need a man, but boy do I want one,” which many of my friends would agree with. According to Rachel DiBisceglie, there are definite benefits to having a boyfriend (or any significant other at all) in college — some people even claim that having a boyfriend can help your GPA. But you also need to consider the commitments that you’re about to make.
My best friend and her boyfriend play-fighting on my bed. I kicked them out promptly after.
- The Time Commitment
A wise person once said “a relationship is like taking a four-credit class,” and I’ve never heard a better analogy for it. You already have to make time for your classes, your homework, your extracurricular activities, and the friends you already have, and now you have to also spend one-on-one time with your significant other. Of course it’s something that you want to do, but it definitely takes up time.
- The Compromise Commitment
People tend to take for granted the complete autonomy you get when you’re single. Make no mistake, your significant other shouldn’t control you in any way, but you need to make certain compromises when you’re in a relationship. You might think that it’s okay to party six nights a week, but if it makes your partner uncomfortable then you need to find a compromise between the two of you.
- The Communication Commitment
I’ve learned during my time in college that most young people don’t handle confrontation or communication well. And it makes sense! We’re young and we’re just beginning to learn how to maturely relate to others.
But being in a relationship means that you need to learn how really fast, or your relationship won’t be healthy. You can’t just ignore your significant other when you’re mad at them, because they can’t read your mind. If you want something or you need for your partner to make a change, you have to speak up for yourself and communicate.
- The Regular Commitment
It probably goes without saying, but you need to make a commitment to be with that person and to be loyal to them. I absolutely hate this saying, but we’re young, and sometimes we just don’t need to be tied down. If you know that you’re not in a place to be faithful to one person, don’t couple up with someone and just end up hurting their feelings.
In other words, make sure that you’re ready to “settle down”, at least for a little while. If there’s even a chance you’ll cheat, just don’t get into a relationship.
This isn’t all meant to stop anyone in college from getting into a relationship. Like I said, there are upsides to being in a relationship in college. I’ve seen plenty of successful relationships that happened during the couple’s college years, and I definitely had fun when I was in my relationship. But I was also really stressed out, and in the end, it ended. I didn’t take enough time to consider if it was truly what I wanted, or what I really needed at that time.
So feel free to go out and date. But don’t forget that relationships aren’t easy, and that you should do a fair amount of thinking before you dive into one.