Whether it be Channing Tatum’s split from Jenna Dewan, Jennifer Aniston leaving Justin Theroux, or Johnny Depp dumping Amber Heard, stars always seem to be breaking up. But celebrities aren’t the only ones who have trouble maintaining relationships in today’s faced-past society of instant gratification. Longevity in relationships is especially fragile in environments susceptible to stress and scrutiny. This is why celebrities, high-powered executives, police officers, and students are particularly prone to breakup. Campus dating, however, is further imperilled by the simple fact that both parties are necessarily novices, and are therefore unpractised in handling the vicissitudes entailed in dating and partnership. The fragility of a campus relationship need not foretell its doom, however. The following useful tips can help university students navigate new, intimate terrain while mitigating risk of falling into the chasm of freshman heartbreak.
Being young, the following tip might be difficult, yet it is foundational to a healthy relationship: first find yourself, and then be yourself. Do not waste time on wondering what others might want you to be. It is only when you are genuine that you can have a real and enduring relationship with another. Second, never write someone off quickly. Take time to get to know them, as friends first. Without pressure, you will get to know someone better and see clearly where they fit in your life. Next, always begin gradually. Do not jump into bed with someone, no matter how much they beckon your hormones. Such indiscretion is unlikely to provide the solid base on which a fulfilling relationship can be built. Also, be very careful not to conform to others. They may well be hooking up; or, alternatively, they may also be shaming others for doing so. Never compare your life to others. Always seek to be genuine and follow your own path. This last tip hearkens back to the first, for good reason: this is the ultimate commandment for student dating. It is voiced best by Shakespeare’s Polonius: ‘To your own self be true.’