College relationships can honestly teach you so much about yourself and what you value in a partner. If you’ve ever found yourself asking if college relationships can last past graduation, you’re definitely not alone. The truth is, according to Facebook Data Sciences, that some of them do. In fact, Facebook Data Sciences reports that 28 percent of married college graduates attended the same school. So, yeah, college sweetheart relationships can definitely work out!
Going through a breakup in college or seeing your friends’ relationships end can definitely make even the most romantic person feel jaded about finding love in college. However, just remember that some couples do make it. These partnerships can start off like any other college courtship, but what makes them different from the relationships that fade out? It’s different for everyone. When you think about it, dating in college can be a serious challenge! You already have a lot on your plate when it comes to navigating classes, a job, a social life, organizations and anything else life throws at you.
Elite Daily spoke to six people whose relationships have made it through college, graduation, and beyond. If you’re feeling discouraged about love on campus, these stories might help lift your spirits. The following stories also provide insight into how these couples’ specific commitments have worked. A common thread throughout each story was the mutual support of each partner through whatever life throws their way.
Lauren & Austin
My husband and I started dating in high school after we had each independently decided to go to BSU. We made it through college together. Through all of the $7 paychecks, midnight pizza slices, subpar college living quarters, and finally, graduation. It took a lot of growing, understanding, and celebrating. It took nights of staying in and being there for each other over crazy nights out with friends. It took sacrificing selfish desires for selfless caring for each other. It took loyalty, trust, and love. We got to celebrate so many crucial milestones together, and he even proposed at our school’s Dance Marathon which was the organization that meant the most to my college experience.
My friends adored and respected him, and he was always there for my people in their times of need or hardship. Now we are married and expecting our first baby. When I look back I am grateful that we experienced so many of life’s precious memories together in those fast four years as 20-something college students. While we were four hours away from home, we leaned on each other, and we held each other up when the wind grew too strong to stand alone.
— Lauren, 24
Steph & Alex
My partner and I actually met because we were in the same organization at school. For the first year of school, I liked her so much, but she had a girlfriend and I wasn’t sure if I was queer or not. I actually started to wonder about my sexuality partly because when she would walk into the room I wanted to faint. The next year, I came back from summer with a boyfriend and she was single. One night, it was actually Halloween, we talked at a party and I ended up kissing her! I didn’t end up ending things with my boyfriend for a few weeks. I still had this inner crush on Alex but felt guilty about the cheating and nervous about defining my sexuality — so I avoided her.
It wasn’t until senior year that we finally started spending time together and ended up falling super in love. We now live together and are engaged … I think I really had to figure out more about myself. I was more understanding of my bisexuality senior year and had come out to my family during the previous summer. That cleared up a lot of confusion and anxiety I had. When I came back with a clearer head about who I was, I knew Alex was who I wanted in my life. I am so lucky she felt the same way. It was definitely slow at first because she didn’t want to get hurt and I like that we started off as friends with a sort-of-blank slate. By the time the holidays rolled around, though, I think we both knew we were in love with each other.
— Steph*, 25
Beth & Kyle
My boyfriend and I have been dating since February 2016. We had a pretty serious conversation during our senior year about whether or not we had a future after graduation and the answer was a resounding yes. We decided that we would both look for jobs wherever we wanted and that we would move to the location of the first accepted job offer.
We were very direct with conversations on how we would make things work in a prolonged future — living together, moving, jobs in our respective fields, and other long-term goals (like puppies). Thankfully, we were both pretty open to living almost anywhere! In 2017, after graduation, I accepted a job in North Carolina and he moved with me. We have lived together for about a year now and love North Carolina.
— Beth, 23
Jillian & Chase
I did an early start program at Ball State and met my (future) boyfriend’s roommate through that. When I was hanging out with his roommate and some other friends in his room, Chase walked in with all of his stuff to move in … we exchanged numbers. For the next couple months we flirted and I tried to see if he was the right guy for me. On October 11, 2014, we started dating and have been together ever since. We now live together in a cute townhouse in Indianapolis with our beautiful dog, CJ.
This was the first serious relationship either of us had been in so we had a lot of learning to do. There had to be a lot of communication, especially at the beginning, about what we both desired out of a relationship. For me, I started talking about the potential of marriage after the first month of dating. I wanted to make sure he was serious before I got too attached. For him, he wanted to focus on the present and enjoy where we were at versus planning for the future.
The pressures of college definitely affected our relationship for the better. I was extremely involved and busy throughout college, so it was important for me to have a boyfriend who would support me in all of my endeavors and take my mind off the stress. I think meeting right when he moved in to college and staying together through graduation into early adulthood makes this unique. College is a time in life where many people truly discover who they are. I was lucky enough to be able to not only discover who I was as a person, but also who I was in a relationship. We had many cute couple moments over the years at college, from being nominated for homecoming court to me being sweetheart of his fraternity. I think what helped us succeed the most were those moments alone in the dorms or his fraternity house or my college apartments where we were just able to talk about life and grow .
— Jillian, 22
Lucy & Daniel
I started long-distance with my current boyfriend near the end of college while he already lived in New York City. I think the only reason long-distance worked out for us was because I knew there was an end date to it. I knew I was going to graduate and move to NYC for my career, regardless of who I was dating. Daniel being there only made me that much more comfortable with such a big life decision … I will say, I think our relationship is better because we started as long-distance. I think it forced us to get to know each other on an emotional level before it allowed us to get to know each other on a physical level, and while both are important in a relationship, long-distance let us build something that we wouldn’t have built if we had been closer for the whole time. So all in all, I’m grateful to have met him when and where I did!
— Lucy, 23
Jessica & Logan
Dating my husband in college was great because I got to experience that part of my life with him. We helped each other get through school and it made it easier for each other. I don’t think my college experience would have been as good as it was if I didn’t have him. We definitely experienced a lot of hardships during that period, but it made us stronger. Now that we’ve graduated, and are married, we get to basically start off life together both in our marriage and our careers.
— Jessica, 24
And there we have it. Six couples that persevered through their college years together. It’s clear that the learning and growing doesn’t stop when you’re in a relationship and, if you’re in the right one, you even help each other grow exponentially.
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