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Ponderings of the mind: An outsider’s view of college relationships


Dear College Couples, 

Here is a little sentiment for you:

Roses are red

Violets are Blue

Love stinks 

And so do you

Every day I walk by 

I see couples cuddling, why? 

I wish it can stop

Please make them stop 

For many couples, this is the perspective they may have for single or “It’s complicated” types of people. But in reality, singles are somewhat jealous, fascinated and secretly yearn for such affection. Singles are stereotypically judged for being explicitly jealous and dare I say, lonely. But this is not the case for all single people. I can attest that singleness is not a curse but rather a blessing. Currently being single, I can focus on my individual growth, spend money on myself and be independent. But although singleness is great, there are moments in which I desire companionship as seen on the University of New Haven campus. 

The feeling of companionship can creep in during moments of weakness. Not to say being in a relationship in college is a bad thing, I personally just would not recommend it. 

Let’s take a moment to talk about this seemingly frequent word “relationships.” A relationship is defined as “an emotional and sexual association between two people.” For young adults, dating someone during a student’s time in college is seen as a trend and commonality. However, these types of relationships aren’t lasting but rather of convenience or lack of a better word for pleasure. These relationships may be known as flings, hookups, one-night stands or “friends with benefits.” These temporary relationships as someone who doesn’t engage in them have always been a mystery to me. Why would someone give their body, mind and soul to someone they met for a short period of time? 

Flings are in my opinion a self-destructing time bomb of an individual’s self-esteem, value and personal identity. From friends and classmates I have talked with, these relationships are said to be a transactional exchange. Both parties want an exchange, sex, thus both come out winning. But unfortunately, this type of exchange decreases each time until one or both individuals decide to end it. This temporary relationship if you choose to engage, most importantly make the decision out of intelligence rather than being emotionally driven. 

However, there is always a brighter side to romantic relationships. From observing various couples on campus, I see the sparkle in their eyes, the urge to constantly touch one another and picture-perfect smiles. As if no one else matters, literally no one. For a moment, it may be picturesque but realistically, relationships take actual work. Although this work includes affection, love and feelings, it is not the only component of a relationship. Other components include mutual respect, trust, time management, and so much more. 

I think as young adults, sometimes social media and multimedia platforms such as movies romanticize and create this false image of relationships, especially with young adults. On television, couples are constantly happy, smiling, showing affection. But the media rarely seems to captivate the ugly truth about relationships; the constant effort, validation and fear of a failing relationship. Those are some of the harsh realities of relationships. As cliché as it may sound, your outcome is determined by your input. So some of the successes towards relationships are actively working hard to cultivate and grow as both individuals and companions. 

Relationships should have some course of action or goal in mind. Unfortunately, as young adults in college, we are pressured to know every facet of our career goal, lives and possible courses of action. The question arises, “What do you want to do with your life?” 

Might I ask the same question to couples? 

“What is your future plan for your relationship?” If unsure, or taking things slow, that is a fair answer. But in reality, if you are taking things slow or unsure, would it be a fair conclusion to say there is no action plan? Some may argue that as young adults still figuring out their identities, we shouldn’t have it all figured out. But if that’s the case, would it be better to figure out your own individual identity first, and then align your idealisms to a person who can help develop and grow you as an individual? 

Relationships are a beautiful thing especially when individuals complement one another. But as college is hard work, to have a successful relationship requires compromise and hard work. Especially in the case of college couples, this is extremely difficult. But I am not a pessimist for relationships. I hope one day to attract someone who compliments me and likewise for him. But I acknowledge that as an individual, I am still growing and identifying skills and habits that I want to pursue. So college couples, I wish you the best of luck with one another, and I hope you take my observations as recommendations, not criticisms. 

But although they may not 

That is their choice and decision

May they be precise 

In who they may entice 

Because at the end of the day 

It is they that may reap or forgo anyway 

Please be wise 

And careful of who you decide 

Because your choice has an impact on your life

Wishing you all the best for your current and future relationships,


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