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SEX AND THE UNIVERSITY: Graduation breakups

By Imaani Cain
On April 15, 2014

A few of my friends have found themselves in relationships, only to realize that the end of the year-and graduation-is nearly upon them. It's then that they realize that they have to re-evaluate their relationships and decided whether or not they want to stay together. More often than not, it's a case of an upperclassman dating an underclassman; although their partners might only be a year apart, it could change up the entirety of the relationship. Graduation is quite a big step, one that consists of catapulting you into the "real world" that consists of hunting for careers and paying bills. Your partner, as someone who is still in college, is still swaddled in the layer of protection that the university can afford them. You'll be at entirely different stages of life.
What you need to do is have "the talk." The concept itself makes it seem far more ominous than it actually is: communication is key in any sort of relationship, be it romantic or platonic. It's best to have this discussion as soon as possible. As April begins to end, you should talk to your significant other about staying together after graduation comes. Moreover, you should ask yourself whether or not you want to stay in the relationship. I don't think there's any point in halfheartedly
dating someone, as it's both a waste of your time and theirs.
If your career is going to take you somewhere that's miles away from your partner, I would suggest doing some introspection. Are you the type of person who can maintain a healthy, happy relationship even if you're out of state, or out of the country? Will you make time for your partner or are you the type to get swamped in work? If you know for sure that you're going to be quite a distance from them, consider breaking up, tabling the relationship or making your relationship a more "open" one as so to avoid possibilities of heartbreak and infidelity. Really think about how much you like this person and how attached to them you are-and most importantly, don't fudge the truth to yourself.
This is not, of course, to say that it's impossible to retain a relationship with someone after graduation. It just takes more work, and you need to examine yourself to see if that's an effort you're willing to put in. Your partner needs to do some soul-searching here as well.
This is what I want to sink in, above all else: don't hold on to your partner because you think that you somehow owe it to them. That's a surefire way to cause a nasty breakup, with very little chance of reconciliation. A role model of mine reminded me that it's very unwise to base your future around another person. Relationships come and go, the world will not end when you break up and you'll find romance with other people. Remind yourself of this, believe it, and do what you need to do.

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