Will Your College Relationship Survive Post-Grad?

Everyone dreams of the perfect love story. When people ask how you and your S.O. met, you want to be able to say, “We were high school sweethearts,” or “ We were college sweethearts.” No matter how strong the relationship or how long a couple has been dating, all college couples wonder the same thing: “Will our relationship work post-grad?” Post-grad can send you and your S.O. anywhere. Maybe you want to get out of the state you both live in, maybe their dream job requires them to travel a lot, maybe you want to continue your education by going to either graduate, medical or law school. Post-grad has so many maybes it can take a toll on your relationship. Many people would choose to break-up so that they would not get in the way of one another chasing their goals and feel like the other person is sacrificing their goals for them. This allows them to not have to think about factoring somebody else’s life when making choices about their own. Their mantra is: “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be."  

But not every couple is like that. Most couple choose to stay with their S.O. and achieve their career goals together. It’s not easy work, and it takes a lot of communication and planning. Here are few questions you and your S.O. should ask yourselves when trying to figure out if staying together post-grad is best for y'all (and hear from real women about their experiences):

Are you both in the same place in life?  

“I think being in the same stage of life plays a big role. Since we both graduated at the same time and started new jobs around the same time, we understood what each other was going through and could offer advice/consolation during the hard days (and celebrate during the good ones as well).”

- Andrea, 22

Are you and the person willing to rearrange your timeline of when you want to achieve your goals?

“He wants to be a veterinarian, and I want to be a professor one day, so it took a lot of planning and working with one another so that we can both accomplish our goals (and attend our dream schools!) while being together. He decided to let me pursue my graduate studies first and then he will pursue his after I’m done. We both recognize that a relationship takes acknowledging the other’s goals and being willing to adjust your timelines to support one another. We believe that you don’t have to sacrifice your goals for a relationship, things just may happen in a different order. You have to be flexible, driven, and loving toward one another to make it work.”

- Charlotte, 21

Would you or your S.O. feel like they are scarfing their goals or dreams for the other person? 

“We are both very well qualified individuals in our respective fields, so we feel we can get jobs anywhere. Therefore, it won't be a sacrifice of dreams per se. We’ll choose a city based on the best opportunities for us combined. We do agree on where we’d ideally want to be, so it's even easier!”

- Anonymous, 22

Is living in different states a problem? 

“I plan on going to vet school somewhere in the South and he plans on attending PA school in the South as well. Depending on how close our schools are would determine if we lived together. We would definitely visit each other though! Even if we live in different states we will still be together. After vet and PA school, we would definitely live together in Georgia.”

 - Jala, 20 

Which is a little more important: your relationship or going for something outside your comfort zone?

“I think for me initially I wanted to start off finding a job internationally if I could, but because of wanting to stay together I chose to start in Atlanta instead.”

- Melody, 20

There are many things to consider in a post-grad relationship. I truly believe that when you find the one that you are meant to be with, breaking up post-grad will not even be an option. Communicating your plans up-front is the key to all things in relationships in your 20s. You and your S.O.'s plans will come together whether it means you both happen to work two-blocks away from each other or that you are okay with rearranging the order that you want to achieve your goals. Or, if you both decide to part ways, the saying goes: “If you love something, let it go free. If it doesn’t come back, you never had it. If it comes back, love it forever.”  True love will prevail.