The Pre-College Cuffing Stigma Couldn't Be More Wrong, I'm Happy I'm Not Single

The Pre-College Cuffing Stigma Couldn't Be More Wrong, I'm Happy I'm Not Single

If it's true love, your partner will not hold you back from having a good time because your happiness will bring them joy.

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To my surprise, I was asked well over five times if my boyfriend and I would continue being together when I went off to college. Without a thought, I replied "Of course" every time and would see their dumbfounded expression shortly after. The question felt bothersome and uncomfortable every time, but I was aware of why they were asking: teenagers entering college are often advised not to begin college "tied down" because for some reason, being in a relationship equates to a lack of fun in their minds.

Being that my boyfriend is six months younger than I am, he would be starting his senior year of high school as I entered my freshman year of college. The college I would attend, Stony Brook University, is an hour or so from his house, but can very well be more than two hours on a bad traffic day.

The commute is much too far for me to live at home, so we wouldn't be able to see each other every day like we were used to. Although this was a sad and scary thought, I never had a doubt that we'd be able to make it work.

I still cannot wrap my head around the misconception that having a boyfriend prevents me from having fun in college because I have my most enjoyable moments when he comes to visit me or when I read his cute texts throughout the day. Even if a certain event doesn't involve him, I still have a great time with my girlfriends who provide me with endless laughter and smiles.

If it's true love, your partner will not hold you back from having a good time because your happiness will bring them joy.

The only reason people say you can't have fun in college if you're in a committed relationship is that you can't hook up with other people. Many people feel as though that's what college is for, but newsflash, it's actually to receive an education. Everyone is different, but personally, I would much rather have one person in my life to devote my love to than wasting time on a bunch of little flings.

My boyfriend and I were very quickly able to find an effective way of making time for each other both in person and when we couldn't physically be together. I made a schedule to come home every other weekend, if possible, and if he is able, he visits me one day on the weekends that I don't come home.

Although I still miss my family very much on those weekends that I stay at college, his presence provides me with a sense of comfort and we always have a fun time to distract me from my homesickness. Throughout the week, we call each other every night over FaceTime to see each other's face and hear each other's voice.

Many of the friends I've made at college I was able to bond with because we missed our boyfriends back home. One of my good friends has created the exact same schedule that I have of going home every other weekend and seeing her boyfriend at school when she doesn't go home. My other friend suffers through the long train rides to go home and see her boyfriend every weekend. Although sometimes it takes sacrifices to see our significant others, we wouldn't want it any other way.

I don't know how I would've gotten through this semester without my boyfriend. He was my shoulder to cry on when I didn't do well on a test or had a fight with a friend. When I didn't think I could finish my homework because it was just "too hard," he would motivate me in various ways so that I'd get it done. Every time that I cried because I wanted to go home, he'd remind me that I'd soon be surrounded by all of the people that I love.

The idea that "distance makes the heart grow fonder" is proved to me every day as I FaceTime my boyfriend and yearn to launch through the screen so I can hug him. I never feel as though my relationship is a burden in any way, but I consider it to be one of the best things that's ever happened to me.

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An Open Letter To My Boyfriend's Mom

A simple thank you is not enough.
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Your son and I have been dating a while now and I just wanted to thank you for everything.

Wow, where do I start? Ever since the day your son brought me into your home you have shown me nothing but kindness. I have not one negative thought about you and I am truly thankful for that. I first and foremost want to thank you for welcoming me with open arms. There are horror stories of mothers resenting their son's girlfriends and I am blessed there is no resentment or harsh feelings.

Thank you for treating me like one of your children, with so much love but knowing exactly when to tease me.

Thank you for sticking up for me when your son teases me, even though I know it’s all in good fun it's always comforting knowing you have someone by your side.

Thank you for raising a man who respects women and knows how to take responsibility of mistakes and not a boy who is immature and doesn’t take responsibility.

Thank you for always including me in family affairs, I may not be blood family but you do everything you can to make sure I feel like I am.

Thank you for letting me make memories with your family.

There is nothing I value more in this world then memories with friends and family and I am thankful you want and are willing to include me in yours. I have so much to thank you for my thoughts keep running together.

The most important thing I have to thank you for is for trusting me with your son. I know how precious and valuable he is and I won't break his heart. I will do everything I can to make him happy. This means more than you could ever imagine and I promise I will never break your trust.

The second most important thing I must thank you for is for accepting me for who I am. Never have you ever wished I looked like another girl or acted like another girl. You simply love and care for me and that’s all I could ever ask. Every person in this world is a unique different person and understanding that means a lot.

The third most important thing I must thank you is teaching me how to one day in the future treat a potential girlfriend that I may interact with as a mother. I am not a mother, but I one day plan to be. If I ever have a son it is because of how you treated me that I am able to be a humble loving mother to this new face that could one day walk into my door. How you have treated me has taught me how I should one day be in the future and I thank you for that.

This may seem all over the place but that’s how my brain gets when I try and thank you for everything you have done for me. It’s all so much and even the little things are so important so I promise my scattered thoughts are all with good intentions and not meant to bombard you. I just want to get the idea across to you that you are important and special to me and everything you do does not go unnoticed.

Sincerely,

Your Son’s Girlfriend

Cover Image Credit: Christian Images and Quotes

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College Is The Ideal Time To Find Yourself, NOT Your Future Groom

People have become so hopelessly enthralled in love that they placed it at the forefront of their aspirations and neglected their careers and personal health.

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From a young age, the idea of finding your true love is interwoven into our understanding of happiness and success. What starts as listening attentively to stories of princesses finding their princes blossoms into whispered names carried among the giggles of your friends who have just found out about your not-so-secret crush; perhaps a stolen kiss on the cheek from That Boy who makes you laugh and lets you put your head on his shoulder. Pop culture idealizes finding your true love in countless movies and through song lyrics. We are taught to love love. In fact, we become so hopelessly enthralled in it that we place it at the forefront of our aspirations. And, as time passes, our desperation to experience it grows into an insatiable force.

The funny thing about love, well, the two funny things about love, are that one, it can bring the best and the worst out in someone and two, no one can really define it. Trying to fit the concept of love into the restrictive bounds of mere words seems to disgrace its very wonder. Love exists as this magic that can lift someone up to insurmountable heights. People are blinded by it and inspired to write poetry, music and plays all about love. Love gives us the comfort that no matter how bad things may be, we have someone who will be there regardless. It equips us with the strength and confidence to overcome challenges and break boundaries. Isn't it amazing that we can even forgive things we ordinarily hate just because we love someone? This blinding nature, however, is where the danger in love originates.

The problem isn't love, per se. The problem is how strongly people, particularly young adults, desire to have it and, in turn, prioritize it over more important things such as their education or career. I'm sure we've all been discouraged to date by our parents and older relatives who try to convince us that having a significant other is a terrible distraction and honestly, they're right. In many cases, young people lack the emotional and mental maturity to handle a relationship and bite off more than they can chew. They treat even early relationships like they're going to get married. I suppose that's part of the "magic" of young love, but one must also remember to be realistic and level-headed.

When young adults prioritize romantic love, they neglect not only tending to their professional aspirations, but also proper self-care. I can't even tell you how many times I've been told that it's best to find your husband in college because it's much harder to date once you graduate. College students, especially, forget that college is the time for self-discovery, personal growth and preparing yourself for your career. It's your last chance to devote most of your time to making sure you are equipped with the necessary skills to join the workforce. Four years is not as much time as you may think.

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who ditch their friends for their significant other. In the end, the relationships usually end and the friend comes crawling back as if nothing happened. Unfortunately, if you do this enough times, you won't have any friends to go crawling back to. College is the time to not only build your career but also build lasting friendships you can cherish for many years to come. This not only provides social growth but also professional networking opportunities that can come in handy when you need it the most. A healthy relationship should never lead you to neglecting your respective friends and family. Having lives apart from each other is just as important as having lives together.

I believe that relationships should never entail two people "completing" each other. Healthy relationships require two whole parts coming together to make something even greater. College is not the time to stress over finding a husband. It's the time to focus on being the best version of yourself that you can be and laying a strong foundation for your career so that when the time comes, you will have just as much to bring to the table as your significant other. Even then, your motivation shouldn't be reforming to please someone else. Now is the time to be a little selfish and make moves to get it together. Would you rather be known as _____, someone's significant other or _____, that person who actually accomplished something?

People come and go; it's a fact of life. The only thing that you can truly rely on is yourself. This being said, it's incredibly important to be confident and content with you are and what you do. When I was feeling discouraged and sad that I was single, my best friend gave me a pep talk that re-invigorated me to continue being productive. She told me something that I ended up saving so I could reread it whenever I was feeling a little down.

She said, "someone out there is going to be the one for you and no matter what you do, they'll only come when the time is right. And when that happens, it'll be completely worth it so you can only live each day being the happiest you can be, doing what you wanna do and not worrying about when someone will come because they will". Don't try and grow up so fast that you forget to learn from the steps it takes to get there in the first place.

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