Hoosier Sweethearts: Steph and Ben

Steph Colasante, junior. Ben Parchem, senior.

Relationship status: Together two years.

HCIU: How did you meet?

Ben: We met at the Nearly Naked Mile. My friend was friends with a girl who was in Steph’s group, and we just started talking when we were there. Then we ended up hanging out later that weekend.


HCIU: Where did you go on your first date?

Steph: The first time we hung out after the Nearly Naked Mile was when we went to Hoosier Hysteria together, and then later that week we went to the Homecoming football game. Our first real date was when he took me out to Malibu Grill for my birthday.


HCIU: What’s your favorite date spot on campus?

Ben: Showalter Fountain, when it’s nice out. 

Steph: We used to meet there between classes, the year we first started dating. Ben and I would buy lunch at Ballentine or Read and bring it to the fountain, and we would eat lunch there together so it became kind of our date spot.

HCIU: How would you describe the dating scene at IU? Is it all just parties and hookups?

Ben: I feel like it’s a good mix. I don’t think it’s all hookups.

Steph: I think if you want to have a serious relationship, you can find someone, but if you don’t then you definitely don’t have to at IU.

Ben: It’s a little bit harder for us, since she’s younger than me.

Steph: Yeah, he’s been twenty-one since last summer and I’m only nineteen. So it’s harder for us to do things together on the weekends. When we do, it’s usually just cooking dinner and hanging out at home because I can’t go out.


HCIU: Do you have any advice for other college-aged couples?

Ben: Don’t be too serious.

Steph: Don’t put too much pressure on the relationship. A lot of people are so fixated on the idea of, “We’re dating in college, so we have to get married! We have to live together; we have to do this and that.” If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. I think we should just enjoy what we have right now. 

Ben: My friends that I think have the best relationships are the ones who weren’t really looking for them – they just kind of happened.

Steph: It’s also important to be open, and not be afraid to tell each other what you want or need in a relationship. A lot of people don't do this because they don't want to seem annoying, but if you don't communicate then you'll always end up mad at each other. If something bothers you – tell them!


HCIU: What’s the hardest part about maintaining a serious relationship at IU?

Steph: I think the hardest part for me is that we don’t see each other all summer. He lives in Indiana and I live in Connecticut. At a school as big as IU, it’s pretty likely that if you meet someone, they could be from somewhere far away from you. Then you have to deal with a long-distance relationship during summers and breaks.

HCIU: What’s the best part about dating in college?

Steph: Being able to see him whenever I want to! In high school, it was always, “No one can be here after ten.”

Ben: There’s a lot more freedom in college. We can do whatever we want, or go wherever we want. We travelled to the Big Ten tournament last year. We can just hop in the car and go; there’s nothing stopping us.

Steph: It’s also nice to be able to meet so many different types of people in college.


HCIU: Are either of you involved in anything on campus?

Steph: I’m a campus tour guide and I work at both of the Rec Centers as a Team Leader.

Ben: I’m a business major, so I don’t really have time for anything else.


HCIU: Do you have a song that describes your relationship?

Steph: “Just to See You Smile,” by Tim McGraw.


HCIU: Is there anything you’ve learned from each other?
Ben: Patience.

Steph: I’ve learned to be more easygoing. I can be pretty high-strung, and he’s taught me to let go and enjoy the moment.