Happy Valentine’s Day! What will you be doing this year to celebrate? Maybe you’ve got a great date planned, a girls’ night, an intramural game or a night of lots of studying for midterms – whatever your plans are, there’s no right way to celebrate (except you should probably indulge in some sweet V-Day treats!). Valentine’s Day is undeniably the most popular date night of the year, and whether you are single, taken or somewhere in-between, you’ll probably be thinking a bit about love today.
Although love is sweet, college can be an awkward time for relationships. We are still figuring out who we are, who we want to be, what we want to do and where we want to go. There are many changes throughout college, from semester to semester. A hectic class schedule, raucous party scene, semesters abroad and summers spent at home all put stresses upon college relationships. However, the inclusive community on campus, being surrounded by people who share your interests in your classes and clubs, and the freedom of independent living are all great factors that help create lasting and fulfilling relationships.
Whether you are single or in a relationship, here are some facts about college relationships – the good, the bad and the ugly:
- 25 to 40% of all romantic relationships among college students are in some way long distance.
- 37% of long distance couples split up in the first 3 months compared to 21% of traditional relationships. Although, if a long distance couple lasts the first year, only 8% break up after the first year compared to 25% of traditional relationships, according to the Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships
- The most common time for breakups is around three to five months.
- The one day a a year that has the lowest percent of breakups is Christmas.
- Most couples break up during the summer, spring break, 2 weeks before winter holidays and, shockingly, Valentine’s day.
- 24% of men and 23% of women ages 21-34 are virgins.
- 29 percent of singles, who fell in love with someone they did not initially find attractive, fell in love after becoming best friends.
- A recent report by the National Center for Health Statistics show college students prefer short no-strings attached relationships that are short and sexual rather than more committed, long-term relationships (for some, casual relationships are easier because they want to focus on their own lives and goals with out having to worry about another person. Many students feel like college is a time to have fun and not be in a serious relationship).
- The number one cause of breakups on college campuses is a result of cheating.
- 32% of college students report dating violence by a previous partner and 21% report violence by a current partner
- A study from The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence found that nearly 60% of young women have experienced abuse in a relationship. If you or someone you know is in a abusive relationship call National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233).
While some of the statistics are depressing, every relationship is much more than a statistic, and there are exceptions to every rule. If you’re spending this Valentine’s day alone, you can still enjoy! College is a great place to meet someone, and is a fun and exciting place to be. If you are dealing with a break-up or post break-up remember life goes on, and part of life is learning from experiences, good or bad. As Carrie Bradshaw says “After all, computers crash, people die, relationships fall apart. The best we can do is breathe and reboot.” There are many resources on campus where you can go if the stress of love is taking it’s toll. Most schools offer counseling or support groups, and you can check out this helpful resource from the University of Texas at Austin.
Again, happy Valentine’s day! Here’s wishing you a day spent with someone you love or doing something you love!