Sunday, November 15, 2015

5 Reasons to Stop Asking College Students About Their Relationship Status

Even though I attend a private Christian university, my goal isn't to get married (Shocking, right?) I actually want to get a degree in something that I'm passionate about. Imagine that!? I would much rather learn about myself and who I am as an individual than begin dating others to try and find my "soulmate". How am I going to find someone perfect for me if I do not even know who "me" is?

Every time I go home I am bombarded with the same question over and over again: Do you have a boyfriend?

 Every. Single. Time.

By my parents, my friends' parents, the old ladies at church, even the young ladies at church. Grandparents, aunts, uncles… My dog probably questions me at times.

But why is this the first thing that people ask college students? Why don't they ask about my favorite class, what made me change my major, or what has been the hardest part about adjusting to college life? Who cares if I have met someone else!?

Ask me about me.

Here are some reasons you should just stop asking about a person's relationship status:

1. They may have just gone through a terrible breakup.
Maybe they did find a person they thought was "the one", but things took a wrong turn. You probably don't want to be the one to rub salt in their wounds.

2. They maybe struggling with their own identity.
Maybe the would rather learn about themselves and who they are as an individual than begin their search for their perfect "soulmate". How are they supposed to find someone perfect for them if they don't even know who they are yet?

3. They may actually be focusing on school. 
While working full time, I might add. They are too busy supporting themselves through school and trying to focus on keeping their grades up for scholarship that they don't have time to get their "ring by spring".

4. They may be trying to actively date or find someone and it just hasn't worked out. 
In which case, they are very sensitive about the subject. They may already be down and you asking that question really isn't lifting them up.

5. They don't want to be in a relationship and are happy being single.
 Not everyone needs or wants to have a significant other. Some people are independent and are happy where they are now.

Don't get me wrong, if they bring it up first, or if you're good friends it is totally okay to ask about a person's relationship status. But if you are their mom's friend's sister, it's really none of your business. (Sorry 'bout ya).

Instead of wondering whether I'm in a relationship, maybe you should ask how I'm doing. How I'm really doing. Ask about my stress level, or what you could do to help me. Ask what I have done lately to treat myself. Ask if I like the person I'm becoming.

A relationship doesn't define my time in college nor does it define me.

I define me.

So please, just quit asking.
Yes, I would like to find someone special, but that is not my number one goal for my college life, or my life in general, really. If I am meant to get married, it will happen. But it does not have to happen before I graduate.

I'm okay with that, and you should be too.


  1. I absolutely agree with you. Asking about someone's relationship status is just a big no-no. I don't even ask my closest friends that. I wait for them to open up. And more power to you for knowing and pursuing what you want to make of your future while in college! :) You're right again about asking someone how they're really doing in life. It's a much more appreciated question which I'm sure would be better than asking about one's relationship status.

    1. Thanks so much Anna! I've been listening to some podcasts at work and they are always talking about self care, which is something I had never given much thought. But now I have begun to "treat myself" for when I do well on a test or get my research papers finished. It's good to boost yourself up once in a while :)

  2. I absolutely agree with you on this. Even though I've been married for almost 10 years, I think everyone should focus on their goals and dreams and finding themselves before focusing on who they're going to date. I met my husband at 18 and we had some pretty shitty years when I finally took the time out to discover who I was instead of simply defining myself as his girlfriend/fiancé/wife. I feel like it's mostly girls that get this pressure and I wish it would stop.

    1. Thanks for sharing a slice of your story. It's great to hear from both the single and the married side. I agree about not defining yourself as "girlfriend/ fiancé/ wife". You are you first. I also agree that it is mostly girls that define themselves as someone else's. It has to change.