There's No Handbook On How To Fall In Love In College

There's No Handbook On How To Fall In Love In College

So do it how it fits you best.
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I'm at that point in my life where I basically have three different sets of friends. My graduating class is basically split into three parts. There's the half that has a job, a kid or two, and married. Then there's the half that has no interest in a relationship, drinks every night of the week, and constantly complains about being broke and their excessive amount of homework. And then there is the very small portion that falls in between the two. Those maybe still in college, or just graduating, maybe in a relationship but not quite to the point of marriage, and those working an adult job, but maybe not fully transitioned into everything that means being an adult.

Most people seem to handle this phase with grace. I, however, am having a few struggles. You see, I fall in that category of those few in between. I am still in college and will be for six more years (vet school..), but I live with my boyfriend whom I have talked marriage with. I sometimes feel as if I should hold off on marriage, I mean what's the rush? I don't plan on having kids until I am done with school, so why rush to marry? But then again, I have the part of me that wishes the job, marriage, and kids part of life could come a little quicker.

I mean, how am I supposed to do both? I have to live away from my boyfriend during the school year, except on breaks, because I go to school in another city, an hour away. So if we get married right now, how is that supposed to work? Is it okay to be married and live apart? Or should we just wait?

It's an awkward phase for sure, being in between what I feel like is being a true adult, and still being a college kid.

I know I can't be the only one to feel this way.

There's just no handbook on how to do these things. I mean no one seems to wait and do things the old fashioned way, finish school, get married, get a job, have kids. So since the standard is changing, it's confusing to me.

I guess we just take it as we take everything now and interpret it the way it fits best. Go to college or get a job, fall in love and get married on your own timeline, if a kid pops in the picture, handle it the best way possible.

Love is complicated, so this isn't supposed to be easy. That's the true test of knowing if that relationship is gonna work, because you have to deal with life in between.

So, whatever phase you're at in your young adult life, do things how they fit you best and don't worry about the rest.

Cover Image Credit: vvampireeffreakk / Flickr

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Stop Saying 'Love Is Love' And Then Shame Me For Dating A Republican

"How can you date a Republican?!" Quite easily, actually.

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"And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love." Other theater geeks like me probably also remember this quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony acceptance speech in 2016. Now, thanks to Lin-Manuel and his talent for catchy phrases, every time someone says "love is love," all I can think of is Lin-Manuel's emphatic cry for equality.

This cry is one that I support wholeheartedly. I think that you should be allowed to love whomever you choose and that you should do so without fear of hatred or scrutiny. If you are a guy who loves guys, great. If you are a girl who loves girls, great. If you are a girl who loves guys and girls, great. You are born a certain way with certain sexual preferences, and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, if you believe that people should be free to love anyone they choose, then, honey, you better start looking past gender.

Let me tell you a little story.

Recently, I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about my boyfriend of almost 11 months. Somehow (and I'm shocked that this hadn't come up before), my boyfriend's political preferences became the topic of conversation.

The conversation went something like this:

"Wait, so is Tom a Democrat or Republican?"

"He's a Republican."

"WHAT?! Are you serious?"

"Yep."

"How can you date a Republican?"

After that, I basically went on a five-minute rant about how at the end of the day, his political preferences only make up a small fraction of who he is as a person and that I am not so shallow that I would be deterred by something this trivial.

At our cores, Tom and I value the exact same things: compassion, knowledge, kindness, dedication, honesty, respect, and above all else, love. Tom loves me unconditionally and I give him that same love in return; honestly, what else could I ask for?

Tom and I do get in some political arguments from time to time, but we also agree on those issues that are most important to me: female reproductive rights, marriage equality, and support for survivors of sexual assault. All of those things are non-negotiables for me, and Tom understands that and possesses his own list of non-negotiables.

Before you ask, yep, he voted for Trump. Did that take me back at first? Yes. Did I struggle to understand what would compel a person to vote for him? Absolutely. Did that thought kind of terrify me at first? Hell yes.

But you know what? After I just sat and listened to Tom's reasoning as to why he voted for him and watched him delve deep into Trump's policies, I could understand why some would vote for him. And to tell the truth, once I fell in love with Tom, none of that mattered anymore. And what is sad is that people so often fall so deep into their own echo chambers nowadays, that they wouldn't even give someone with different beliefs their ear. Well, I'm damn glad I did because Tom is the most amazing person I've ever met and I fall more in love with him every day.

So to tie this all together with a pretty little bow, if you're going to go around and preach that love is love and that everyone should be free to love whom they choose, then that shouldn't change for me. Maybe you're a Democrat that would never date a Republican or maybe you're a Republican who would never date a Democrat; that's your choice. But we don't get to choose who we fall in love with (much to the dismay of my liberal family and friends). Just keep an open mind and who knows? Maybe you could find some absolutely epic happiness.

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To The Girl Who Previously Hurt My Boyfriend, Your Privilege Is Baffling

I wasn't looking for him and I'm sure he wasn't looking for me. But we found each other and I'm not letting go.

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To the girl he used to love,

What did you do to him?

You thought you deserved better, but actually, he did. You didn't deserve him at all.

I've thought about it for hours, baffled that another girl had the privilege of this amazing guy's love.

Then you hurt him, cheated on him, took advantage of him, and caused him to build a wall. Because of that, he won't let any girl get that close to him again. How dare you.

I bet you don't quite understand that you stole his future to be happy with another girl. He puts on a front and seems tough but you're still in the back of his mind. I can see right through him. He claims he's "not a nice guy" to keep girls from wanting to be with him. That's part of the wall he has built to keep me from getting too close to him (or more importantly, to keep himself from getting too close to me). Why would he risk being hurt by another girl after what you did?

I've laid awake at night thinking about this: Him and you.

I'm curious as to what it feels like to be loved by him. That's a feeling only you would know and you ruined it. I wonder how he acts around someone he loves and how he looks at them. I wonder if it's similar to how he acts with me. I want to know what it feels like to look into his eyes and know that he loves me or what it's like to have him be excited to see me.

I know I should probably hate you for hurting him and taking him to some dark places in his life, but I don't.

I actually want to thank you for hurting him so that I can show him how he should be treated. Without you, he would never have learned such a valuable life lesson. I'm glad he learned it the hard way. You made him so much stronger than before. Thank you for walking out of his life and opening the door for someone else... (Me.) Thank you for giving me the chance to love him and show him how love should really feel. Thank you for failing him and not being everything that he needed.

You threw a diamond away for a rock.

This man is one of the sweetest that I've ever met and it's such a privilege to be in his life. Someone like him only comes around once in a lifetime–that's why I'm so glad that you didn't see in him what I do. That's why I'm so glad that you let him go–so that he could be a part of my life. He never fails to make me happy and treats me how I should be treated. At first, it was a hard thing for him to do. He tried to push me away because he didn't want to hurt me, but I didn't give up on him. Even on the days that were extremely tough, I stuck by him because I see amazing potential in him. That's something you didn't see. I built him up so he could love again because that's all he wanted.

Now he knows that I'm content with where I am and that I'm not going to leave him.

It was hard to break him of you, but it was completely worth the wait. It took months and a lot of effort, but the way I feel about him and the way he feels about me is hard to find. I'm not trying to replace you or make him forget about you, but just know that my plan is to treat him better than you did. I've come to terms that he's loved before me and that there's nothing I can do about that.

I have also loved before, and believe it or not, I've been hurt… just like you hurt him. That's why we are so perfect for each other. I know that seeing us together might make you jealous, but you're the one who left.

Hear me out: We both were extremely heartbroken and we somehow found each other.

I believe it's to help each other recover. He's so incredibly handsome. He completely understands me and I understand him. When we first met, I didn't know how it was even possible that he wasn't in a relationship, but now I know. We both were hurt–extremely hurt–and I think that's what will make our love stronger. We're both building ourselves up together. We had a brief discussion about our pasts. Honestly, I feel bad for you. You let something this amazing go... And for what? You'll realize the mistake you made but it'll be too late.

You gave up the best thing that could ever happen to you and I thank you.

Because now, he's the best thing to ever happen to me. I will try my best not to cause him any pain, for it hurts me to see him upset. I will do all of the things that you failed to do as his partner. I will be there for him when he feels alone. I will prioritize him so he doesn't just feel like an option or the last resort. I will give him time and affection, even when he feels like he doesn't need it or deserve it. I will take care of the man that you failed to appreciate. I will care for the man that was taken for granted. I will support all of his hopes and dreams–even the crazy ones. I will love him for all that he is and for everything he inspires to be. I won't let him lose his friends–I want him to have a guys' night out.

I will go on random adventures with him when he feels like driving.

I won't expect him to spend money on me and take me to fancy dinners–I'm happy just to be with him. Even in the hardest of times, I won't give up on him as you did. I will help him grow and see the light that was burned out for so long. I won't push him to be someone else. I will only help him be true to who he really is.

I will love him for all of his flaws because, to me, they aren't imperfections.

I will not judge him for his past because it made him into the man he is today. I will see him for what he truly is and I will help him see himself the way I do. He will never feel the pain you caused him again.

I will be the woman he needs. I will give him happiness and a life full of laughter. I will make sure he has a smile on his face every day because damn, is it a handsome smile. I will never doubt him. I will respect him and trust him, just as he respects and trusts me.

I will be the person that he can vent to and tell all of his problems. I will thank him for caring for me and being the man I've always dreamed of. I will not only be his partner but his best friend.

I can never thank you enough. I'm glad that I'm not like you.

I'm so glad that I know how to show love to someone that deserves it. And that's the difference between me and you. I have fought for him and I will continue to fight for him because that's what you do for the people you care about. I'm not going to try to change him and I'm not going to try to make him love me because frankly, that's impossible. What I will do is to continue to be here for him when he needs me.

I will continue to show him that girls can be loyal and that he has a purpose.

I will show him that he has the ability to make another girl happy and to keep her around. I know you're thinking that he just doesn't like me and that I look desperate. I'm here to tell you that you're wrong. I know for a fact that he likes me and enjoys being around me. When I first met him, things were so good. I honestly thought we were going to have this really great relationship, but then something happened. Something went off in his brain that told him to back down; Otherwise, he might get hurt again. It was kind of like a survival instinct and it's nothing that he can help.

The girl that is finally able to win him over after what you've done is going to be extremely lucky. The truth is that it probably won't be me and that's OK. I just want him to be happy because that's what good girls want for the ones they love.

Sincerely,

The girl who loves him now.

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