College is a place for you to make mistakes, evolve as a person and grow in your career. It’s a place for you to make friends and strengthen how you view yourself. It’s a time to live independently and become solely reliant on one person: yourself. Seriously dating someone in college can sometimes lead to the opposite.
I’ve seen how people start dating someone pretty seriously within the first year or two of college, and they become so engrossed in their significant other that they are unable to form good relationships outside of it.
Those in serious relationships cut themselves off from experiencing college as an independent person, and they end up becoming so reliant on their significant other for everything — company, a night out, their identity, physical touch and more. I believe this trend is popular here at PLNU because there is such a push for you to meet your soulmate within the first week of college.
At Homecoming, we hear all of these stories of couples who met during their freshman year at PLNU. They got married during their four years here or right after graduation, but they are so in love and are now living happily ever after even outside of college.
What they don’t show is the ugly reality of the relationships that didn’t pass the test and ended up in separation or divorce. According to a Pew Research Center report, 14% of individuals within the Church of the Nazarene are divorced, which is one of the higher percentages among different religious groups. This is higher than the percentage of people divorced in the U.S., which is 13% of adults.
But what is surprising is how the overall divorce rate has decreased over the last few years, especially among millennials, according to a study done by Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland. But this isn’t because millennials finally found the secret to a beautiful marriage. It’s because they are waiting to get married. Cohen’s study shows the age of people getting married is increasing as rates of divorce are decreasing.
So if our future of marriage looks the way it does right now, why do we have to rush into these “serious” relationships? Maybe I’m so skeptical because I’ve seen how my grandparents met in college and married shortly after, but divorced a year after my mother was born. They both remarried twice and got divorced once again. Now my grandpa is remarried to his third wife and is doing really well. My grandma is dating a man who lives in her 50-and-older community in Palm Springs but has no intention of marrying him. But guess what? She’s doing great.
Now, I’m not saying, “Don’t go on dates in college, ever!” After all, I have a date this Thursday with someone. I’m just saying to be careful about who you attach yourself to during college because you are in a time of your life where you have little to no responsibilities: no college loans to pay off, you are within walking distance of your significant other, and you live in a freaking paradise. The real world is a b … ig wake up call. Who are you without your significant other? If you don’t know the answer, then I suggest you go figure it out.