Written by Meg Susong

Dating in high school is one thing. And college? A whole different game (literally and figuratively). The location is different, the people are different, and ultimately, you end up different.

So, in that sense, is it a good idea to try and stay together with you high school sweetheart? In short answer, yes. Personally, I have tried – and succeeded. In the wide view of things though, it can be and is tough. I know people who have tried and been unsuccessful. Sometimes it’s the distance. Sometimes it’s lack of commitment. And sometimes it’s just for a change of pace.

I also know people who haven’t tried at all. I’ve had friends who broke with their significant other before heading off to their school of choice for various reasons as well.

So what makes me so special and gifted that I can “keep us together”? Well, starting with the notion of it only taking one person to make a relationship, it doesn’t. You can’t hold it together if only one of the two participating parties is interested. Luckily, despite my earliest notions, we were both keen on staying with it. We had also been dating for over a year and a half, so we had already built a good relationship up before putting strain on it by going off to college.

Which is another thing to note: If you have only been dating for the summer or a couple of months, then maybe you should think about just being friends while looking around. As odd at that seems, if it’s meant to be, then it will be. If not, no harm done thus far.

As for distance being a factor, my significant other is also only thirty minutes away (twenty-five if I speed). Despite what you might think, long distance relationships (in the dating sense, marriage and being together for a decent period of time are a different situation) hardly ever work out. Keep in mind that this isn’t due to lack of commitment or deep feelings for one another. If I only got to see them every month or less, I would start to grow apart in a sense. It’s natural, and at times, evitable.

More often than not though, it’s in young relationships, and keep in mind I’m not the adult telling you you’re too young. You’re not. A fair number of people get married in college and soon after. The “too young” card can’t be pulled anymore. However, that does mean the stakes are higher.

With that said though, dating just for the heck of it is not a bad thing either. Ever heard of playing the field?

But should you break up just because you’re going off to college? The answer is a resounding no. College is a big thing in life, and a lot of the time it’s nice to be able to call them and hear them on the other line, telling you everything is going to be okay. And if you can survive the distance – I applaud you.

Instead of simply calling it splitsville when heading off, sit down and think about it. If you both have a relationship worthy (and this is all subjective, case-by-case thing) of hanging on to, hang onto it. And if you have someone worth hanging onto, hang on to him or her for dear life,because one of these days you will need to. If you can compensate and cope with the distance, great.

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