Should I Stay or Should I Go: What to do with that Romance at the End of College

geralt / Pixabay
geralt / Pixabay

All throughout my years in college, I made a valiant effort to avoid getting into any kind of serious relationship. I wanted to have absolutely no attachments during college so I would be able to leave for New York – like I had always planned to – at the end of college. Unfortunately, love hit me straight upside my head the last six months of college, and there was no way around it; I was crazy in love.

When I first met my college boyfriend, I didn’t plan on the relationship lasting very long. We were both seniors in college and neither of us was looking for anything too serious. Yet before we knew it, we were head over heels in love with each other. You can imagine the level of my anger and anxiety when it came time for me to decide to leave for New York or not.

What did I do, you ask? Well, I ended up sticking around with my boyfriend to see if we were meant to be. About eight months later I found out we weren’t and eventually left for New York to take the job of my dreams.

I sometimes wonder how other college students must feel when they are faced with the same decision I had to make: to breakup with their boyfriend or girlfriend, or give the romance a real shot. For those of you who are in a post-college relationship and are wondering whether to stay in it or move on, here are three key things to consider.

Are they the one?

The beginning of a relationship is always exhilarating. You’re filled with so much excitement that you can’t imagine life without your partner. Yet somewhere in your better judgment, you probably have an inkling as to whether or not the person might be the one.

College relationships are a wonderful thing during the four to five years we are at school, but they usually fizzle when the school experience is over. Should you be in a relationship at the end of college and don’t know whether to stay in it or move on, ask yourself whether or not the person you’re with might be the one. It might be hard to know in the moment, but somewhere inside you, you already know if that person is worth committing to.

If you aren’t sure, I’d say consider breaking up. You are going to meet many potential partners in your life, and the last thing you want to do is stay with someone simply because you were afraid of the unknown or the unfamiliar.

Is your fear of losing a relationship really a fear of the unknown?

Many people like to think of the end of college as this thrilling experience. However, what many individuals fail to mention is how stressful graduating college truly can be. Not only are college graduates pressed with having to find a job – they also have to embrace this new, unfamiliar stage of adulthood.

Numerous psychological studies show that people will hold on to people and habits they feel safest with – even if they are unhealthy – to feel a sense comfort and support. If you are desperately clinging to a college relationship, ask yourself if it’s because you’re truly happy or if it’s that you are afraid of having to face the fears of the unknown?

If you’re uncertain, try writing down a list of all the anxieties you have about graduating college and gauge whether or not those anxieties are causing you to retreat to other things, such as your relationship, to keep your mind off of them.

Is your love strong enough to survive long distance?

Let’s say you decide to stay in your college romance and give a long-distance relationship a shot. That’s great, but before you dive in too deep, maybe it’s a smart idea to try and figure out if your relationship will survive the distance apart. A long-distance relationship is a very challenging thing to go through, even for the strongest of couples.

If you are uncertain that your college relationship is going to survive miles away, try talking with your partner. Express your doubts and worries and see how your partner feels about them too. Having those open discussions with each other will help both of you decide whether or not your relationship is worth staying in.

Not everybody is excited about the end of college. It can be stressful to realize that you have some tough decisions to make about your life, but taking the time to decide whether or not you want to stay in your college relationship will help you transition into making those bigger life decisions. No matter what decision you make, know that you’ll make it through the difficult process and be on your way to adulthood in no time!

Karen Smith is a freelance writer and business blogger whose primary goal is to inform her readers about pursuing a business degree online. She also enjoys writing about small business trends, Internet marketing, personal development, and sustainable living.

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