How to Balance a Relationship While in University

Whether it was a "strike romance" that's now transitioning into something more serious or someone you just happened to connect with in your Monday morning tutorial, trying to navigate the complexities of a relationship on top of dealing with university can seem like the biggest headache in the world, but it’s not if you take a couple of very key things into consideration. Looking through the lens of love can be a very beautiful thing, but it takes more than two madly-in-love individuals to make a relationship flourish; in short, it takes a lot of effort from both sides.

Planning really is key

While it may seem arbitrary to dating veterans to always plan your dates, or for those who prefer to be more spontaneous, it really doesn't hurt to plan special times together in advance. Depending on where you are in your university journey, you probably know that certain times may be more hectic and overwhelming than others. Once the due dates start hitting, it seems like only then you realize that you've waited until the last minute to write three essays and study for that Italian test. It's incredibly unrealistic to expect to fit your partner somewhere in that whirlwind, almost impossible in fact. So to avoid this mess, one (or both) of you should plan out a day together when you know you will both be free. That way, you can avoid any unexpected hiccups along the way.

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Don’t compare your relationship to others  

It can be really easy to look at your peers who seem to have it all together, and wonder why you and your partner don't look like that. You see pictures on social media of them hanging out all the time and going on elaborate dates while you know there just isn't enough time in the day for you and your partner to be doing that. The important thing to remember is that every relationship is fundamentally different. Obviously, the both of you might find yourselves in pretty unique circumstances (trying to balance a social/romantic life in school being one of them), and the first thing is to accept that how you two go about navigating that journey may look different than what you’re typically used to, and that’s totally okay!

 

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Don't forget about your friendships

It’s very easy, especially at the start of a new relationship, to forget about the friends who were there for you before you even knew your partner existed. You might meet someone who sweeps you off your feet and makes you believe that love at first sight was possible all along. Then what can end up happening is that friends often get pushed aside or neglected because you become intertwined in the life of your new partner, in the “honeymoon” phase as some would call it. Of course this is all completely normal with budding romances, but once that other person starts taking over other parts of your life, you might want to take a step back and think about the concept of balance. You don’t want to push aside those “ride or die” friends, but you also don’t want to neglect your new partner. The key is to just balance your time between both parties. You don't have to be super nit-picky about it, but you want to make sure one isn’t getting all of your time while the other is left in the dust.

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Compromise, compromise, compromise

As if that word couldn’t be said enough. Compromise is extremely important no matter what kind of relationship you're in, romantic or otherwise. With the already limited amount of time you have due to school, there may only be a few opportunities where you get to spend quality time with your partner. That being said, when making plans, don't always make them at times that are only convenient for you, causing the other to bend over backwards to create a free day or two. Also, consider activities you BOTH would enjoy. Just because you may like hiking or perusing your city’s oldest library doesn’t mean your partner will jump with joy when they hear that that’ll be the next date. If an agreement cannot be made, strike a deal. On one date you do an activity one person enjoys, and on the next date, you do an activity the other person enjoys. This way things are fair and equitable, and no one goes home feeling sad.

 

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It can be universally said that relationships are confusing enough on their own without the added stress of university to make things even harder, but as long as you take these very key things into account, it might help alleviate some of the headache.