College is a unique time in a young woman’s life where she has the opportunity to find out who she is and experience endless, new possibilities. However, it can also be an unparalleled experience to go through this time with someone who truly cares about you (or have funny stories to tell about the loser you dated freshman year). Either way, there are pros and cons to relationships in college. I spoke with some women on FSU’s campus about their experience dating in college and found a few common “types” of relationships.
1) The “Back Home” Boyfriend
Probably the most misjudged (and sometimes very appropriately judged) type of college relationship. I asked Amanda, a freshman at FSU, how she felt her long distance relationship with her high school boyfriend affected her first year. “I think my relationship keeps me grounded to my values. I get the support of a boyfriend while maintaining my independence. I think if I were single I might feel more obligated to do things that I was not really comfortable with just because my friends were. My boyfriend fully expects me to go out and have fun with my friends, but he’s always there when I need someone to call. It can be hard seeing my friends go out on random dates, but I wouldn’t trade my situation for the world (unless he transferred to FSU that is).
2) The “First Guy You Met”
When it comes to first relationships in college some people get lucky and others not so much. Personally, I can say my first college relationship fell (hard) on the not so much lucky side, but for some lucky ladies that is not the case. Mallory has been dating her boyfriend for her entire college career and had this to say about it: “ I met my boyfriend the very first night I got to FSU. It has absolutely affected my college experience in a positive way. It has been wonderful having someone to experience everything with from the beginning. We have helped each other grow a lot. When I first came to college I told myself I did not want a relationship, but when you find someone special there’s really no point in fighting it and I’m so glad I didn’t.”
3) From High School Sweethearts To Collegiette Romance
It is true that most high school relationships do not stand the test of time, but there are exceptions. Alex is a junior and she has been with her boyfriend since high school. “There are definitely pros and cons. He is my best friend and it has been amazing to have him there to support me and try new things with. However, as people grow sometimes they mature in different ways. I am in a sorority and he is not in a fraternity and this dynamic has caused some problems in the past as far as our priorities are concerned, but our relationship is strong and we work through our issues as they come and have never been better.”
4) Moving On Together
Sometimes the cards are just in your favor. For senior Chloe and her boyfriend, things just sort of fell into place for their long distance relationship. “He’s in Gainesville and I’m in Tallahassee so the distance is really manageable and gives us enough space to focus on ourselves at the end of our last year of school. I think senior year has been the perfect time to be in a real, serious relationship. We have both had our bun over the years and feel like we are now mature enough to maintain a solid relationship. It is really comforting to have someone by my side as I go through situation-altering experiences like graduation and job hunting. We both happen to be moving to NYC for separate job opportunities so we are planning to stay together and take this next step forward with our lives and our relationship.”
5) The Fourth Roommate
We all know a girl who spends so much time at her boyfriend’s place that you forget (and sometimes so does she) where she actually lives. Cassi, sophomore, said “I stay over at my boyfriend’s place so often that sometimes I forget I don’t officially live there. I’m so comfortable there that I’ve walked into the kitchen for breakfast several times only to remember that other guys live with him and that they probably don’t appreciate that I’m usually not wearing pants.”
6) The “We’re Just Friends”
As the title of this couple indicates, these two are not good at admitting things so I’ll leave this one anonymous, but I’m sure you readers can fill it in yourselves because EVERYONE knows two people who are totally crazy about each other, but will never admit it. They are always together, have endless inside jokes, and will practically beat the speed of sound to announce that they are in fact “just friends” even if nobody asks.
7) Dating A Gator
Last, but certainly not least, a little story about the other side of relationships from Ashley, a sophomore. “We met at a pool party. Clark and I were in absolute long distance love for about a year and three months. He was everything I had ever dreamed of- he was wildly intelligent, had a sense of humor compatible to my own, and really floppy hair. In other words, he could possibly be a great contribution to the gene pool one day, but unfortunately not with me. He called me semi-randomly and told me, ‘I don’t love you anymore… Blah blah blah… We should break up… Blah blah blah.’ So, we broke up. In an angry fit (with the help of some of my sorority sisters and the internet) I sent him a large amount of elephant sh*t in the mail. To this day, I think he secretly hates me. I also question his intelligence. I give great back massages, who is unintelligent enough to dump me? But, no matter how much time goes by, I will always miss his dog Brownie. The moral of the story is: DON’T DATE A GATOR. THEY BITE. Go noles.”
I will leave you with some wise words for all of you single ladies out there from a junior who has been single, taken, and in-between, learning a lot about herself in the process. I have both dated and lived the single life in college and I think being single is overall the best way to really explore yourself and the world. You are more likely to try new things and take some healthy risks. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some exceptions and more power to all the couples who give each other space to grow, but in order to be in one of those relationships both people must put in the effort.