You’ve been with your college SO for a while now, possibly since you eyed each other on move-in day. It’s been a good run, but as graduation sneaks up on you (depressing, we know), you may start wondering if your relationship will last after graduation. We talked to Rhonda Ricardo, author of Cherries Over Quicksand, and Scot McKay, dating coach and founder of dating company X & Y Communications, to point out the signs that you should end your college relationship after graduation.
1. You’re in different places in your lives
If your SO won’t give up on frat parties and drinking until he or she pukes, it may be time to end it. The last thing you want is a significant other who’s stuck in college while you’re trying to set foot in the real world.
“If you’re in different years of college (one graduated and other is still there), that’s going to be a long road,” McKay says. “When people graduate from college they move on and have different mindsets.”
There’s no use in postponing your life for someone who isn’t ready to grow up. If your SO is still looking to live off ramen noodles and blow off responsibilities, there won’t be room for your relationship to grow. Find someone who’s in the same mental place as you.
2. It doesn’t feel right
Relationships can sometimes feel off, and this may be a sign that the two of you aren’t meant to be.
“The only way to truly know that something is off or it’s time to move on is to bring up the conversation with your SO,” Ricardo says. “If you or your SO states that they want to break up and pursue brand new career options before committing to a lifetime romance, then you know.”
McKay says that graduating from college can make a relationship feel different. “College relationships are a very specific social situation; you are on campus together,” he says. “Once you get out of the social scenario and get into the real world, the situation is different. You are the same people, but you’re in a different situation, and that can bring awkwardness to the relationship.”
3. You want different things
If you and your SO have different ideas of what life after college will be like, it may be best to move on. It’s not going to work out if your goals aren’t in line.
McKay says that relationships are built around prioritization. “Let’s say both of you are graduating, and one of you is moving to California and one to London,” he says. “You both aren’t prioritizing your relationship. You should admit to each other that your relationship isn’t as important as you think.”
If you truly mean a lot to each other, you can work out the logistics, but finding out what’s best for yourself is the only way to truly tell if you and your SO are meant to be.
4. You don’t see the relationship lasting long-term
If you can’t see yourself spending the rest of your life with this person, it’s time to end it. After graduation, people start to settle down, so you want to make sure you’re with the right person.
“We should be sure that we do not settle because our family wants us to be married or because we just don’t want to be alone when all of our friends are getting engaged in college,” Ricardo says.
McKay says you must have a vision of a future together if you’re going to be in a relationship after college. “If you’re going to be dating someone after college, you’ve got to be thinking about marrying them, and you have to make sure that’s what you want,” he says. Why put in all the effort if he or she isn’t the one?
Sometimes it simply isn’t meant to be. Life after college is much different than life in college, so your relationships could be different, too. Good luck, collegiettes!