For whatever reason, judging those who choose to spend time in college with a significant other has become extremely popular.

Friends, family, and sometimes even strangers known as your Instagram followers love to go on and on about the dangers and restrictions of college dating.

Whether the relationship is a long distance one or a campus romance, we’ve all received negative comments from those around us, and frankly, it needs to stop.

Those who are single during college love to tell those who are not single during college that their relationship will prohibit them from truly living and enjoying the “best four years of your life.”

This could not be more incorrect.

Having a significant other does not mean you cannot go out on the weekends. It does not mean you can only hang out with your partner. It does not mean you have to stop meeting new people and it definitely doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying yourself. There’s absolutely nothing wrong or less fun about going to college parties with your SO by your side, and having a SO doesn’t mean you have to stop going out with other people as well.

Of course, college isn’t just about the parties and bars. You’re in school to receive an education and to prepare for the future. There is this completely false misconception that being in a college relationship will stop you from focusing on your schoolwork and enhancing your resume.

Wrong, wrong, and more wrong.

If you’re a hard worker, a relationship is not going to change that. If you have dreams and career goals, a relationship is not going to change them. If you’re dedicated to what you’re studying, a relationship won’t change that no matter what. If anything, being in a relationship during college years can serve as a form of motivation.

An SO should be someone you can freely share your goals and aspirations with. In response, they respect these goals and push you towards them.

They also help you find motivation when you need it and help you calm down when times get stressful. A significant other is not someone who is trying to compete with you; they want to see you thrive and they are your biggest fan.

College relationships should stop being viewed as roadblocks to success, and should start being viewed as positive feedback loops.

Another obnoxious comment that those of us in college relationships are unfortunately very used to hearing is “keep your options open in college! You could be missing out on meeting someone better.”

My question to the many people who have made this comment to me is: why don’t you believe in valuing others? The kind of person who drops someone from their life on the hunt for someone “better” is not the kind of person I am interested in becoming.

I value the people in my life, and my SO is included in that. And how exactly would you define “better?” Obviously, if I chose to involve myself in a relationship with someone, I believe that they have a good heart and that they acquire the traits I believe are vital to a healthy relationship.

So then, what is “better?"

Is it dating someone with more money? Is it dating someone with a more “impressive” major in a STEM field? Is it dating someone who lives closer to you?

Because if so, that’s an incredibly shallow mindset.

Additionally, dating in college is fun! Having a reliable side kick to tackle new adventures with is really special. In a college relationship, I've seen and experienced many new things and tried new foods and I have been having the time of my life.

The bottom line here is, if someone is happy, let them be happy! Spending time judging and critiquing how someone else chooses to spend their college days is time consuming and negative. Don’t comment or look down upon someone else’s situation and decisions unless you fully understand where they are coming from. It works in everyone’s favor.