Image: Shari's Berries / Flickr
Image: Shari's Berries / Flickr

‘But what if you break up?’

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Living with your partner whilst at university is a thorny issue. There is always well-meaning advice from parents and friends – “don’t stay together! What if you break up?” Although it is true that university relationships can be fleeting and, occasionally, built upon a desire for a relationship rather than a proper appreciation of your partner, it seems to me that living together (as long as you’re relatively certain of your relationship) does not seem undesirable even despite all the pressures of university.

To be sure, I’ve heard horror stories of the awkwardness that ensued after couples that lived together broke up. My roommate, an exchange student who has since gone back to Germany, told me about how awkward it was after she broke up with her boyfriend of almost two years. They lived in the same small flat in Germany (imagine having to share a bed with someone you just broke up with!). Yet I also know couples in committed, steady relationships who live together at university and enjoy it.

You see each other in your most natural state. And you learn to love each other more…

I’m not saying that all student couples should jump into renting a house together. As my friends who stay together with their partners tell me, it’s a, forgive the cliché, make-or-break situation. Living together means dealing with things like household chores, different working styles, and schedules. You may realise that your partner likes to leave things around the house, and that you’re a neat freak.

But these things can be overcome, if you are committed to making the relationship work. That seems to be the key in living together at university, or really in any relationship. It wouldn’t hurt to ask your friends for their opinion on whether the two of you will stay together: relationships don’t always work out just because you try to make them work.

Just try to make sure you’re not going to break up two months into your housing contract…

Living with your partner at university though has its perks. You get to do things you can’t do otherwise, like cooking together or waking up in each other’s arms. You learn more about your partner’s quirks and habits than you would otherwise. You see each other in your most natural state. And you learn to love each other more.

There’s really nothing wrong with living with a partner in university, and can indeed be the best decision a person can make. Just try to make sure you’re not going to break up two months into your housing contract – even if you do, at least contracts only last for one academic year. I for one, am excited to move in with my boyfriend when he comes to the UK for university.

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