Is the juice worth the squeeze?

Relationships can have advantages, but it comes with intolerable stress.

Alexa Strouth

Several weeks ago, I was cuddling with my then-fiancé in the living room of my one-bedroom apartment watching our favorite show. We stayed up late, even though I had a pile of dishes in the sink, homework to do and bills to pay. What I lacked was help from the beau, who made claims that he was too tired to wash dishes. We had fought previously, but his failure to help with a minor task was the icing on the cake, so I called it quits. I was the only one contributing to the relationship, and I had sacrificed time I could have spent on friends and homework. The situation got me thinking, as a college student, how do you balance a relationship with other important commitments in your life? There are advantages to being in a relationship as a college student. Michelle Krypel, social worker from Boynton Health Service, said that students, ages 18 to 30 years old, have the chance to figure out what they want in a partner, âÄúThis is an age where young adults tend to figure out intimacy.âÄù Making mistakes in your soul-searching conquest is not always a bad thing, according to Dean Hewes, University of Minnesota communications professor. Mistakes are a critical part of growing up. âÄúYou have to make mistakes and reflect on them in order to figure out what you want,âÄù Hewes said. Mandy Majorowicz, a junior, enjoys sharing intimate secrets with her boyfriend. âÄúI like having someone I can be completely honest with, who will let me be myself.âÄù Junior Brittany Vos also enjoys the trust element of relationships. âÄúWe trust each other, and I love that part about us,âÄù Vos said about her long-distance boyfriend of two years. Relationships do come with a price tag, though. âÄúLove and commitment require a great deal of time,âÄù Hewes said. For this reason, it is important to get to know your partner. Hewes said it is important to discuss each otherâÄôs likes and dislikes, to determine compatibility. Furthermore, many students form habits during relationships that often continue after college. âÄúThere are patterns in college dating that reoccur later in life,âÄù Hewes said, such as talking through arguments, being responsible and honest. However, there is a possibility for destructive patterns to develop in relationships as well, such as abuse. âÄúThere is a potential for abusive relationships,âÄù Krypel said. Majorowicz said her relationship is time-consuming, and she said she would be able to visit her family and do homework more often if she were single. âÄúHe is really distracting,âÄù Majorowicz said about her boyfriend of almost three years. Vos also shared the setbacks of her relationship. When asked how she would spend her free time if she were not in a committed relationship, she reluctantly responded, âÄúI would have a lot more time to spend with friends and party.âÄù A major issue with relationships is the lack of communication. Justin Smith, a University sophomore, said texting is vital to the way he communicates with his girlfriend of three months. âÄúWe text to communicate all the time,âÄù Smith said. However, the problem with texting is that it can send mixed messages, since there is no way to decipher emotion and itâÄôs much less personal than a phone call, Hewes said. Another consequence of relationships is stress. Nearly one-fourth of University students are unable to manage their stress level, according to a recent Boynton survey. Students tend to juggle a wide variety of activities other than relationships, such as academics, extracurriculars and jobs. But is it costing them too much? Krypel said that maintaining a balance is not only beneficial for time management, but also when it comes to finding a partner. âÄúFiguring out the line between being too independent and too dependent on someone is crucial to developing a healthy relationship,âÄù she said. Relationships have advantages, like sharing trust and intimacy with another human being. On the other hand, they also have disadvantages, as they require an adequate amount of time and commitment. Prioritize the commitments in your life by being honest with yourself about what is really important. To do this, ask yourself one question: Is the juice worth the squeeze? Alexa Strouth University undergraduate student