What College Has Taught Me About Relationships
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What College Has Taught Me About Relationships

What has college taught you about love?

What College Has Taught Me About Relationships

College has many avenues of adventures in which many of us travel. We go to classes, we participate on campus, we hang out with our friends, we go out and explore the city in which we college. The years we spend in high school are what create the clay in which college will mold. Our time in college is what creates our character and forms the clay in the being we are. It is through our adventures that the clay itself is molded. One part of that clay are the relationships we go through. I’ve personally come to notice a few things college has taught me about love and relationships.

1. We’re mortals, not gods.

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There’s no way I found the perfect girl. There is no such a thing as the perfect being. All of us have imperfections and flaws. We have scars. The imperfections are what make us human. We can search all we want but we will not find the perfect person. Even if we say we found the perfect person, we don’t love them because they’re perfect, because they’re not. We love them because their imperfections are what we love.

2. Never forget the little things.

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Big gestures are good and all and definitely encouraged in any relationship. But same goes for the little things. Little things like their favorite kind of pizza or the first song you both said you liked and bonded over. Maybe just getting some ice cream and staying in or playing her favorite song and dancing to it in your living room. Big gestures, grand gestures, are all well and good. But the little things, the simple things, also matter.

3. Love is a four letter word no dictionary in any language, on any planet, in any universe, could define.

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Love is a word not definable by any language or culture. It can’t be seen or touched. It can only be felt. In my course of college years, I’m pretty I said “I love…” to thousands of things; pizza, apple juice, ice cream, Beyoncé, dancing, the good looking accounting professors that give me curves, and the list on goes on. However besides close friends and family, I’ve only said I love you to one person. I believe I’ve only ever said to one person in my 23 years because I was ready to risk. Risk being hurt, risk being open, risk getting hurt. In my case, I said it but my significant other never said it back. But that’s what many young adults misinterpret. It’s never required that the other person say it back. If you say it, you got it mean it. I said it because I mean it and I felt it being with that person. My significant other didn’t say it because she wasn’t feeling it or maybe she wasn’t ready. It’s different for everyone and love is never something you can rush.

4. Distance is just numbers.

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If I wasn’t working in NYC, I’d be about two and half hours away from my girlfriend. But even then, I’ve come to notice that still wouldn’t be a factor. Relationships aren’t about being with each other at all times. We have to be able to do our own thing without the company of our significant other. It’s all well and good when we’re together with them but it also should be well and good that we can be comfortable by ourselves as well. As the saying goes, “distance makes the heart grow fonder”.

5. Vulnerability is human.

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No relationship can progress if we keep to ourselves. Communication is key. Love, relationships, it’s all a risk. We have to risk our hearts. College has taught me that being open with my significant other is what establishes bonds. Vulnerability, weakness, these are both important. Like I stated before, it’s the imperfections we grow love, the weaknesses in him/her. For it to be love, we need to keep our weaknesses safe with them as well. We need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. In college culture, it’s developed that no relation can happen without sex. False. Don’t let college ruin the beauty of emotion, the ability to feel.

6. Men lie. Women lie. Everyone lies.

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There’s no dodging it. Like the famous diagnostician Gregory House states, “Everybody lies”. Don’t take it to heart, it’s human nature. We can’t always predict every situation. College especially, the amount of lies almost triples. Sometimes things just come out of our mouths without thinking.

7. Break-ups are hard.

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It’s a given that unless you turn yourself into an emotionless, cold being, break ups aren’t easy. We go through the motions and it affects us, physically and emotionally. Pain, you just have to ride it out, hope it goes away on its own, hope the wound that caused it heals. There are no solutions, no easy answers. You just breathe deep and wait for it to subside. Most of the time pain can be managed, but sometimes the pain gets you when you least expect it, hits way below the belt and doesn't let up. Pain, you just have to fight through, because the truth is you can't outrun it, and life always makes more. Personally I’ve been through the worst of my break ups while in college. And I actually learned something about myself during that break up. I was looking for my ex within any girl that wanted to come into my life after her. I was looking for her looks or behavior or character, whatever it was that made me fall for her. But that’s not what relationships should be, looking for the past in your future. In the college culture I’ve witnessed one too many times how peers move onto the next individual to get over a bad relationship. Although this is the most used answer, this is not necessarily the right answer. Technically there is no right answer on how to deal with a break up. But what I’ve learned is that we need to give ourselves time to heal, time to reflect, and most importantly, time to forgive ourselves for risking our hearts, risking our love.

8. If it were based solely on looks, only celebrities would be in relationships.

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Attraction shouldn’t come from looks, not completely at least. And that’s hard. Relationships should come from sparks of mutual interest. Deep conversations, inspirational music, common interests. These should ignite the sparks of a person’s eyes when they start to like you. And within the college environment, everyone’s different. Get to know someone, not based on looks, but on who they are.

9. Learn, grow, challenge.

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Personal development is key in any relationship. We should learn from them and they should learn from us. Through learning, we grow as individuals and as couples. We grow our relationships. And as we grow, we challenge each other. Not in ways of combat or wit, but to become the best version of ourselves. We push each other while supporting each other to grow and become the best of us.

10. Relationship is a coin with two sides, a home and an adventure.

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There’s no way a relationship can be fun 24/7 and if it is, that’s destructive! The true relationship is one that of two types. One, being a home. And what is a home? It is a haven, a safe place, a refuge, something that keeps us grounded, an anchor. But at the same time, a relationship is also an adventure. Be spontaneous, think outside the box. Some nights will call for staying in and watching tv. Other nights will call for adventures, selfies, and embarrassing moments in public. Dates are for the older generations, our generation is al about adventures. Whatever it may be, relationships are not meant to love, they are meant to last.

11. Above all else, happiness is key. Your happiness.

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In any relationship, happiness is important, not hers, not his, but yours. We can be head over heels for our significant other, but we ourselves need to be happy too. I’ve definitely gone through the motions and emotions of any average college student. And when I’m in relationships I noticed how I could tell I was happy in the relationship. I would unknowingly smile. I could be looking up at the night sky trying to find constellations, I could be at work looking at endless spreadsheets, or I could even be in organization meeting on campus and I’d be smiling and I wouldn’t even notice that I am. And then someone would ask me “hey what’s up, why are you smiling?”. That is when I realize, I’m happy, she makes me happy.

Not all relationships in college will last. But they all teach us something. Something about ourselves, something about what we should improve on, something on what we've grown in. I know for me when I look back into past relationships in college, I can definitely see how I've grown as a person, how much I've changed since entering college and through college the relationships I've been in. I can only hope that as college goes on I continue to grow as a person and make myself into the best I can be for my significant other.

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