With Valentine’s day around the corner, it’s only fitting to do some v-day themed posts. One of my friends actually asked me to do a post about how I’ve ‘transitioned’ my relationship from university to work, which I thought would be quite interesting to divulge a little into, as it was something I occasionally thought before I graduated; also, I know it is generally an assumption/a tale/a worry for many that many university relationships will not survive the working world…
First thing’s first – relationships in university are unrepresentative of the real world. Let me tell you about my university relationship – my boyfriend and I would spend almost every single day of the week together, for almost every single hour of the day, only separated if one of us had a lecture or a class – and that’s a maximum of two hours. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. We would spend a good 5-6 days together all day, every day, on average – however if I was meeting a friend, he was having a boys night, we both had respective extra curriculars to do etc, we obviously would separate for more hours. Basically if life got in the way, we could very easily do our own thing. But on average if you go to the same university as your other half, you will probably end up spending an incredibly (unrealistically) large amount of time with them just because it’s so easy to do. I mean, what do you really do in uni? You chill, you club, you study in the library, and this can all be done with your other half that probably lives around the corner from you since you go to the same uni – so, you do it.
The first time my boyfriend and I spent a considerable amount of time apart (2 weeks *cough*), was when he went on a family holiday. I kid you not, I woke up the next morning feeling like my heart actually hurt. It was that deep. I spent the next couple of days constantly surrounded by either family, friends, or colleagues (I was interning at the time), and when I was alone I’d just sleep because I wasn’t quite sure what else to do. I realised very quick that I had completely forgotten how to even go about my life when I was alone, and I very quickly had to slap sense back into myself and change that.
How about the smooth ‘transition’? The prospect of starting work and having to spend longer periods than I was ever used to away from my other half was definitely not one I was looking forward to. It also took a little while for us to get used to the unreliable hours (never knowing when you’re going to leave the office), and just not having as much control over our time together as we used to.
How do we make time for each other? – This question reminds me of when people ask me how I make time to blog. If you want to – you will. Hence, the key in my opinion is simply being willing to make the effort. Seeing each other in uni is a lot easier when you’re both always going to be on campus anyway, but when you’re working, a lot more effort goes into actually getting up to go and meet up – as now you’re both doing different things. Provided working hours aren’t too silly (which I’d say is getting out anytime before 8.30ish, and will happen at least twice a week, often more), we meet up, cook dinner together, and spend the evening chilling. I typically spend a lot of time on the weekends at his, and we’re generally just quite flexible and go with the flow when it comes to who’s flat we chill at.
My friend asked me how we make time for date nights. But my boyfriend and I are both so lazy when it comes to that stuff that ‘date nights’ are rare and reserved for the few special occasions (such as birthdays, anniversaries, valentine’s day, etc…) We do tend to sporadically go out for dinners on Fridays or Saturdays, but I’m not quite sure if I’m consider stuffing myself with burgers in GBK, wearing ripped jeans, a date night. Again, if this is something you worry about, refer to the above. Even if you only get one day off a week – but date nights are what you prioritise, trust me, you’ll make it happen.
How work can be better for your university relationship…
I actually feel that in some ways, work can be better for your relationship. Provided your hours aren’t too crazy (for example you have some evenings and also your weekends). At the end of the day, it is not realistic to spend 140 hours a week side by side with your other half. My parents have been married for over 25 years, they’ve lived together all this time, and even they don’t spend that much time side by side! It’s easy to fall into this at university because you’re always in the same place anyway, which is probably the library or some type of event (for e.g. we were both part of ACS society) – but work forces you to be apart. On the other hand, not spending time together is probably harder to do than vice versa when you study at the same uni. Spending a few hours apart during the day and reconvening in the evening I think gets you to appreciate your other half more. You get to experience that feeling of actually missing them, which is probably something you never feel at uni and if you do, you feel it at its extreme end (like what happened to me, it’s almost like you’ve overdosed on a drug).
The prospect of leaving uni and entering a zone where a number of relationships supposedly start to fail can be quite daunting, but if you want to make your relationship work and spend time with your other half, you’ll find its actually quite an effortless transition to make – and that there are a lot more things you could be worry about! So in conclusion – it’s not that deep!
I’ll be putting up another Valentine’s themed post next week, then back to the usual scheduling. 😉 If there’s anything in particular you want to know about, let me know!