/How to not be a dating statistic

How to not be a dating statistic

Though Valentine’s Day has come and gone, we see them on television shows, in books and even on our own campus — young lovers and hopeless romantics going through their college years striving to balance their time for education with their significant other. The public displays of affection, cheap pizza dinner dates (the only thing some of us can afford) and the universal lovestruck gleam in all of their eyes makes one wonder how they are able to separate their personal lives from participation in the classroom.

Graphic by Hannah Stein
Graphic by Hannah Stein

Sadly, many college students can’t keep up the barrier between these parts of their lives, which results in a slow or speedy drop to once again being single, varying on the couple.

According to Campus Explorer, a company whose goal is to keep track of all educational and personal statistics of the “college experience,” there are some important facts that every college student and couple should know.

First, “most college students prefer short-term, casual relationships over long-term relationships.” This preference by college students is mainly because many undergraduates are more interested in focusing on their current education and career goals.

Second, according to the Pew Research Center, an American-based information system on public opinion and social issues, 15.5% of college relationships last through college. With an average enrollment of 3,100 students at the University of Montevallo, 65 percent female (2,015 ladies) and 35 percent male (1,085 gentleman), and excluding long distance relationships and sexual orientation, then with the extremely large assumption of matching 1,085 males and females and an estimated 543 relationships, only 84 of these relationships are likely to make it past graduation.

So how may you and your significant other survive these low statistics?

Shelly Sowell, a licensed mental health counselor and integrative wellness practitioner of the Los Angeles, Ca., area, has worked with up to 2,500 students and their emotional and/or social issues. When asked what she had to say about college dating, she was more than happy to share her experiences.

“Most relationships in college that I have come across have never worked out. Young adults nowadays can feel pressured into relationships or are too eager to gain experience without realizing what they are getting into.”

So how can a couple be considered a dating statistic? Sowell says that “many couple’s mistakes are that they want to spend too much time together when they first begin dating. This begins to become difficult over time because they have to balance out their romance and education.”

Are there any tips to beat the dating statistic? Sowell believes that there are many variables that can cause the downfall of a young romance. “A big factor is the belief of how a romance should be. Many young adults have the idea of ‘making it past college,’ but really this is just setting them up for compromise and distress.”

Sowell said a college couple should enjoy the time shared and learn from one another to make themselves better.

“The last, and one of the most important things to know, is that no one is perfect, including your partner. You cannot rely on one person alone to be everything that you need,” Sowell concluded.

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