Whether you’ve been dating your significant other for some time now or if you’ve just started dating recently, you know graduation is coming and you have one question on your mind:
what will happen to the relationship after graduation?
Maybe you have talked about it, maybe you haven’t, but if this is your last semester of school, surely the fate of your relationship has crossed you or your partner’s mind at some point.
Is there an expiration date on your relationship or do you see it lasting even after the college-buzz wears off?
There are many things to consider in this situation: what you want, what your partner wants, and what you both want together.
1. Decide What You Want:
Answer Your Own Questions
I know it’s difficult, but you have to take the time to ask yourself all of the hardest questions: how do you really feel about your partner? Has the time you’ve spent together been worth it? Does he/she make you happy? Does he/she factor into your future plans?
Don’t Be Afraid of the Answers
When you really think about it, how often do the two of you fight? Do you spend a lot of time missing him/her when you are apart or do you cherish the time you have when he/she isn’t around? Things can get murky when emotions are involved and your perspective can be easily skewed, but it is important to be honest with yourself and your partner.
If things are not going well (and they haven’t been for a while), stop trying to make it work now and cut ties with this person. Why spend ANOTHER (not to mention your last) semester with someone who you can’t see yourself with past graduation? You want to enjoy the last bit of time you have at college, not spend it fighting with someone you don’t even want to be with.
Are you planning on moving to California while he/she stays on the East Coast? Did you get a job somewhere far from where your partner will be working? Are your hometowns far from each other? Is a long-distance relationship (LDR) really what you want? Can you trust your partner when you can’t be around him/her 24/7?
Understand that if you are starting a new job in a new location you will be meeting a TON of new people, having all new experiences, and you will have temptations around you all the time. Do you think you will be able to stay committed to your partner?
If you are feeling iffy about your significant other NOW, you can bet that all of those doubts will be magnified when you are presented with new, exciting opportunities.
However, if you feel strongly about making this relationship work, you need to make sure you are not the only one who feels this way. If a LDR is something you are okay with, get clearance from your partner before making any decisions around an assumption that may not be a reality.
2. What Does Your Partner Want?
What Are His/Her Plans
Unless you have had the conversation, try and gauge what he/she wants based on what you talk about and his/her future plans.
If your partner constantly talks about how exciting moving to California is going to be or is pumped to be working in NYC, you may want to take a step back from the situation. Have you been mentioned in the plans?
Have you talked about how you are going to make the relationship work despite the distance? Does he/she comfort you about your relationship when the subject is brought up or does he/she make no mention about the two of you?
If his/her future plans don’t include you, you should walk away now.
Are You Worth It?
Do you believe your partner is committed to your relationship? Are you viewed as an important aspect in his/her life? Are you dating because its convenient or does he/she really care about you?
While this should not be a determining factor, you need to gauge how your partner views you and your relationship. If you are not sure of his/her level of commitment, then how can you make a sound decision regarding the two of you?
Find out how he/she feels about you and your relationship and things may be a bit clearer.
3. What Do You Both Want?
Is It Right?
If things haven’t felt right for a while, don’t continue to lie to yourself or each other. You should use graduation as an opportunity to severe ties with your partner so you both leave on a “good” note; you had a good run, but it just isn’t going to work anymore.
If your relationship has been going swimmingly for a while now, the two of you should start discussing how to make it work after graduation.
Do You Want the Same Things?
There is no point in dating someone who does not share the same relationship views as you do. If you want to get married and have kids, you need to make sure that you are dating someone who feels the same way. While it may not seem like a big deal NOW, if you are going to make the effort toward a relationship, why not put it toward something that will ACTUALLY last?
Opposites DON’T Attract
Relationships that last the longest are between people who are SIMILAR, not different. If the two of you have opposing views on numerous subjects, the probability of your relationship lasting long after college is slim.
If you think it’s cute that you argue over politics, you may not feel the same way a few years down the road. If you have to beg him/her to do with you the things that you love, you will get tired of trying to convince someone else to be involved in your interests. If he/she likes to stay in on the weekends, but you like to go out and meet new people, that could be a problem.
Once you answer all of these questions and really take a hard look at your college relationship, you will be able to gauge whether or not it is something you want for the long-term.