Should You Stay With Your High School Boyfriend/Girlfriend?

Going into college, numerous people told me it would be beneficial to ditch my high school boyfriend and start over in college. They said that I wouldn’t get the “full college experience” and would feel left out, held back, and aggravated about the distance situation. My boyfriend and I had just started dating right before graduation, which made even more people roll their eyes. At the time I had zero intentions of getting attached to anyone, but I finally met someone who treated me with respect, which is honestly hard to come by nowadays. He seemed too good to be true and breaking up with him never seemed like a reasonable option. Of course the hour distance is annoying sometimes and can be a total pain, but at the end of the day I’m more than happy I didn’t let other people’s opinions influence me. So here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t break up with your high school boyfriend/girlfriend just because you’re going away to college.

1.) Distance is hard but not impossible. – I’m lucky because we are only an hour away from one another, but there are some times that we can’t see each other for a couple of weeks. It can get lonely and it totally sucks, especially when your schedules are busy and it’s hard to text/call/Facetime, but just try not to get too upset over it (especially the first two weeks). The distance isn’t permanent and you’ll adjust to the schedule. After a month or two it’ll feel like nothing changed.

2.) You can still have fun. – Everyone’s main concern about me staying with my boyfriend would be that “I’m missing out and not having fun”. However, I can still go out and meet people and have a blast. I dance, I talk to other people, and I have a great time. Having a boyfriend does not change anything; it just means you have someone who cares about you back at home. I do not let the fact that I have a boyfriend ‘hold me back’ or make me ‘miserable’. I do not stay in my room and mourn the distance. Instead, I enjoy my quality time with friends. I take opportunities to meet new people and talk to them. I can be a functional human without seeing my boyfriend and have a great time.

3.) You will still meet other people. – Apparently by rooming with my best friend from high school AND staying with my high school boyfriend, I am committing some sort of college sin. I am ‘playing it safe’ and ‘setting myself up for failure’ and am supposedly going to hate these people by time my freshman year is over. My college life is over and I’m never going to meet new people because I’m not going to feel the need to. Let the almighty college gods forgive me for my wrongdoing.

Listen. If this is your concern, especially at a place like Rutgers where there are 40,000 people to stumble your way, this should be the least of your worries. I’ve made plenty of friends and met so many people. Surrounding myself and maintaining relationships with genuine people who care about me does not mean I’m ‘playing it safe’, ‘settling’, or ‘holding myself back’. Instead I simply value the relationships I’ve created with these people and don’t see the point in distancing myself from those who care about me.

4.) You can dress them up in your school’s merchandise. – So far I have only bought my boyfriend a Rutgers hat but I am determined to  continue finding him things and overall making him a walking billboard for Rutgers as long as we are dating. To me it’s a silly way to make light of the distance situation. For my family and friends I’m probably going to do the same thing and buy them Rutgers clothing as well. I love wearing my school and I guess I just like to spread the spirit.

5.) There are new places to go on dates. – Back at home the same old places get tiring. But now you’ve got an entire new college town to explore. That means a change of scenery, different places to go out and eat, and different things to do. I love finding new places with my college friends, and when my boyfriend comes up I love to share the experiences with him as well. For example, explaining to your boyfriend the beauty of a fat sandwich is totally different than buying him one. Telling him about the football games is totally different than making him go to one. Complaining to him about the Rutgers bussing system is totally different than sitting next to him and making him experience it with you so that he can feel bad for you in the future the next time you say the A bus is crowded and you can feel another person breathing on you. Doing the same thing at our home town can get boring, so if anything I think the college town has made things even more exciting because there are fun, different experiences we can do together.

Moral of the story: don’t listen to what everyone else tells you. People would tell me I was making a (and I quote) “HUGE MISTAKE”, which I believe is completely false. If you find somebody who treats you well, cares about you, and is willing to make the hour drive up just to spend a couple hours in a day with you, then I don’t think that is something you should give up so easily. You will not be missing out by staying with your boyfriend or girlfriend. The way I look at it is that I made new friends in college, but that doesn’t stop me from being best friends with my girls back at home.Why should the same thing apply? Of course I’m lucky because the distance is not far at all, but sometimes it gets pretty hard. However, I cannot agree with people’s previous misconceptions that I’d be miserable and unhappy by staying with my boyfriend. If you find yourself in the same situation I was and have people telling you that you are making the worst mistake of your life, try to block them out. Plenty of people have broken up with their high school significant others because of college and already gotten back together with them this early in the school year. Think about how you really feel and listen to that.