Dating in college holds you back

Practically speaking, a dating relationship goes in two directions: a breakup or marriage. I guess one could argue for dating forever, but that is essentially marriage minus the certificate. Of course, one could also argue that being in a dating relationship is just for fun with no direction toward marriage, but that just makes it a relationship directed toward breakup. Dating is goal-oriented. With that in mind the question becomes meaningful: Why date in college?

College, like dating, is goal-oriented. We are here to get degrees. One can say that a degree is not really the goal, that college is an all-encompassing experience of friendship, extracurricular activities, sports, etc., and dating is part of the college experience. But why pay the estimated $46,590 (scholarship not included) per semester at Samford when one can go for four years to a state school with more diversity and more options for the same cost (in terms of in-state tuition)?

Dating takes a lot of time and a lot of emotional effort. That’s not a bad thing. Dating is a ton of fun. If you are in college, however, that can mean a lot of time and concentration not spent on classes. A significant other can be a very close friend, but does that make dating worth it? We only have so much time, and if one has to divide their time between dating, friendships, schoolwork and extracurricular activities, then choosing to do one will inevitably be choosing it at the expense of others. From a personal betterment standpoint, dating is the most expendable, the least necessary.

Unless a relationship is founded on the conciliatory nature of one or both partners, a couple can find itself stuck in dating. These are our transformative years. The nature of a university education provides flexibility to those who are still trying to figure out their aspirations when first starting out. It also provides pathways for those whose goals change in the course of their college career. It is a one-sided relationship between the university and the student — Samford is more than happy to push us where we want to go (for a small price). Dating, however, is a coequal partnership (To those who disagree, you are wrong, don’t @ me.) It is a partnership between individuals with different personalities, aspirations, goals and future paths, and sometimes these aspects do not align. Dating is not flexible. To demand or expect a partner go along with whatever you want to do is completely and totally selfish. To let a partner hold you back is to deny yourself the realization of your full capabilities. Neither possibility is good, but both happen.

Most students reading this have probably changed their future plan or have not completely decided what that future plan is. It would be a shame to date and deny yourself for the sake of others. Of course, your goal in being here could be just to get married. I personally don’t get it. But hey, more power to you, I guess.

Will Featherston, Columnist

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