It may not feel like it, but when you walk across that stage to get your diploma and turn your tassel to the left, life is just beginning when As you say goodbye to that college chapter of your life, you become ready for new adventures like landing your dream job, moving to a new city, or exploring the world before settling down. But what if you’re still dating that sweetheart from your alma mater?
The reality is that relationships after graduation rarely last a lifetime.
Most statistics claim that only 1 in 3 people find their “forever person” on their university campus. Why? For starters, people change; nothing stays the same. This is especially true after graduating college, as often our daily lives drastically transform once we have that degree in hand.
For example, I met my ex-boyfriend during my senior year when he discovered a story about my advocacy work. We were young and unaware of where life would take us, but we shared similar interests and loved spending time together. Everything in our relationship was perfect… or so we thought.
Shortly after I graduated, I met lots of new people. I explored new activities and discovered new passions. Though my ex and I stayed together for several years, I found myself always searching for an escape. Our lives moved in completely different directions, especially because my goals had changed. Eventually, my ex just didn’t make me happy. We were cars traveling at different speeds, losing each other in our rear-view mirrors. Drifting apart from each other wasn’t ever what we intended, but it’s just the way life works sometimes.
Eventually, my ex and I had to accept that we weren’t meant to be together forever, and that was perfectly OK.
Even if people don’t “find themselves” after graduation the way I did, couples can physically drift apart as well. The job market is brutal, and sometimes you have to go to the job… even if that means moving across the country. When you are used to picking up Starbucks with your significant other every afternoon and working on assignments, it’s hard to become a long-distance couple. Physical connection and proximity is important. Although there are wonderful technologies like Skype and Face Time, many couples struggle to remain close when the physical distance between them increases.
In fact, 40% of long-distance relationships don’t last more than 4 months.
The reality is that maintaining romantic relationships after graduation is difficult and stressful. No matter how great the romance was in the beginning, sometimes, life complicates relationships, and eventually, those common interests and flirtatious, fun selfies from class fade into the background. If you are worried about how to make things work after you get that diploma, that’s understandable. Just know that your relationship may work out, but it may not, and that’s perfectly fine, too. You’ll find the right person eventually, even if it’s not that sweetheart from school.