Sunday, March 18, 2012

Relationship Myths and the College Student

Sometimes college students struggle with beliefs they have formed about how, when and with whom they should form a romantic relationship. Many students feel the need or urge to act on impressions they have formed from popular media and friends about relationships, and many times this leads to frustration and disappointment. So, we all may need a relationship reality check from time-to-time.

Here is a list of some common myths:

  • There is one and only one right person in the world for you to commit to or marry
  • Until a person finds the perfect person to commit to, he or she should not be satisfied
  • You should feel totally competent as a future spouse or partner before you decide to marry or commit
  • Fighting or arguing means the relationship won't work
  • You can be happy with anyone you choose to commit to if you try hard enough
  • You won't be desirable to men or women unless you have sex with them
  • You should choose someone to commit to whose personal characteristics are opposite from or similar to your own
  • Being in love with someone is sufficient reason to commit to that person
  • Your partner should just understand you without you having to communicate to him or her
  • Choosing someone to commit to is a “decision of the heart”
  • Living together will prepare you for marriage and improve your chances of being happily married
  • Choosing a mate should be easy
  • There is nothing more you can do to find a mate
  • Preparing for commitment or marriage “just comes naturally”
  • We know practically nothing about what predicts a happy partnership or marriage, so just take your chances

Actually, experience and research indicate otherwise.  I have worked with many students whose path of misery began with one or more of these beliefs, often not entirely within their consciousness.  If you are laboring under these or other myths and would like assistance, call your campus counseling service.  Working through relationship issues is a big part of college life, and college mental health professionals are quite adept at quickly assisting students with such concerns.