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3 Red (& Green) Flags To Consider Before Bringing Your High School Relationship Into College

Whether you’re in a long-term relationship and you’re gearing up to go off to college or even have a year of LDR-ing under your belt, it might feel like something has changed — you. College is an incredibly formative time that helps you grow into the person you’re meant to be. And, if you’re dating the same person from high school, it might be time to ask yourself if dating your high school partner in college is really a good idea. 

Starting up a long-term relationship during high school can be amazing; it can grow into something beautiful, and some people find life-long partners during their high school years. Sometimes, though, it can be tricky — especially when it’s time for one of you to pack up your things and head off to college. Deciding whether or not you want to bring your high school relationship with you to college can take some time and it requires open communication between you and your partner. Before you make that big of a decision, here are three important red (and green) flags to consider regarding your relationship.

Red Flag: It’s hard to communicate with them unless you’re physically together.

Have you noticed an increase in arguments over text messages, or maybe a change in their attitude if you haven’t spent physical time with them in a while? Keep that in mind: if they can’t keep consistent, clear communication while the two of you are apart, it probably won’t work out if you’re away at school. Of course, they’re allowed to feel how they feel about you leaving (for the most part) but if you notice that they breadcrumb you with text messages and don’t give you the same amount of attention as they usually do when you’re hanging out, make sure you take note of that. To have a lasting relationship transition from high school to college, communication is key!

Green Flag: You and your partner are already in a committed LDR.

If you and your partner have gone a month or so apart from each other before and you’ve come out of it stronger and closer, chances are, the two of you are together for the long haul. Since distance is one of the biggest relationship testers, being able to go through that together and remain committed to each other is a great sign.

Red Flag: There isn’t 100% trust in the relationship.

This one might seem obvious, but it’s so important to evaluate your level of trust with them and between the two of you in the relationship. If they’ve ever given you any reason to not trust them or you have doubts about something, let them know. It doesn’t necessarily make things a dealbreaker; as long as you’re honest and they are too, there’s always the possibility of moving forward — the two of you just have to be all in to do so.

Green Flag: You’ve been together for two or more years.

The reason I say two years is because the first couple years of the relationship consist mostly of getting used to your partner and learning more about them. You become immersed in their life and their world, and vice versa. After that, most couples have gained a better understanding of how to treat each other and what each of them brings to the relationship. If the first few years were fairly smooth, there’s a good chance that the rest of them won’t be too different.

Red Flag: You’ve been thinking about what it would be like to date new people.

No need to feel guilty! We’re all human, and it’s completely normal for us to be attracted to other people and have romantic thoughts follow. It becomes a problem when people act upon those feelings or aren’t honest with their partner. (Wild how everything circles back to honesty and communication, huh?) But if you’ve been noticing recurring romantic thoughts of other people in a way that leaves you wondering how you feel about your partner and the state of your relationship, maybe it’s time to take a step back and evaluate why you feel that way.

While time can always feel like it’s slipping away, it’s important to know that you’re still young and have so many people to meet, experience, and love. It’s completely and 100% valid to end a relationship if you want to give yourself the chance to embrace the new people and opportunities that come your way. With that being said, if you do feel this way, make sure to be as open with your partner as possible. Don’t lead them on if you’ve been thinking about ending the relationship for a few months. The sooner, the better!

Green Flag: The amount of effort being put in by both of you is equal.

Since you’re going away to school, other priorities will start to pile up at the top of your list, along with your partner. Life will get busy and your schedule will change periodically; this is something every college student experiences. As long as the effort between you and your partner remains the same, it shouldn’t get in the way of your relationship. 

If they make time to see you and put effort into scheduling time together, that’s a major green flag. They definitely prioritize you and want to make sure that they’re doing everything they can to hold up their end of the relationship. If this is the case, make sure you are as well. Effort can be shown in so many ways — just be sure your partner knows how much they mean to you!

Alexis is a Wellness Writer for Her Campus and a recent graduate of Bowling Green State University. Her passions include graphic and digital design, her spirituality, content creation, trying new recipes, writing, and inspiring other women. She enjoys writing about womanhood, life as a 20-something, and relationships. She also has her own blog, her glow, that she started in 2021 and has been building ever since.