10 Reasons Why First Year College Relationships Fail


It is no coincidence that everyone seems to be breaking up during their first year of college. That first fall semester at a university usually brings along bathrooms filled with teary eyed girls, group messages filled with relationship advice, and Twitter bios being edited every other week. It comes as no surprise that college is a time of rapid changes, growing spirits, and differing opinions. The first year of college opens a variety of brand-new doors, while closing a few old ones. Everyone is bound to outgrow things, but more importantly, people. Although it may be sad, it is a healthy part of life that pushes individuals to create who they want to be and the life they want to live.

Here are 10 reasons why relationships fail at this age. If you are trying to make sense of a breakup, asking yourself “Why?” your questions might be answered.

10. Adjusting to College Individually

Whether you and your significant other go to the same college or are located miles apart, distance is created because no two people share the same exact experiences. College is an individual journey for each person, but if someone is dependent on the other person, that adjustment is not effectively happening. Getting “lost” in a relationship can qualify as a valid reason to end the relationship to regain sense of self.

9. No Time

With all the homework, studying, volunteering requirements, jobs, and sports, time is virtually non-existent. Dedicating precious free-time to another individual can be exhausting, or very difficult to manage. Many couples break up because they simply did not have the extra time to dedicate towards one another.

8.   Lack of Effort

The famous phrase states, “If they really want to, they will.” A lot of couples end their relationship non-mutually because one person feels like they are pulling all of the weight in the relationship. People who have been together for a long time tend to get too comfortable and stop putting effort into the relationship, which stunts its growth.

7.  Slow or Meaningless Communication

Some couples are used to communicating from sun rise to sun set, but when college starts, active communication begins to dwindle as real responsibilities begin to set in. Replies get shorter and take more time to receive, and the quality of conversation can be lost in the day to day contact. Some couples break up because of miscommunication or lack thereof.

6. Social Media Kills

Social media is one of the leading killers of relationships. With the new advance of technology, one can find out when their partner is on Instagram or Snapchat. Locations can be found with a click of a button, and subtweets start to fly everywhere. Social media can cause many arguments in relationships, because of its revealing nature. Depending on social media to strengthen or weaken a relationship is detrimental both people.

5. Parties Over People

It is no secret that the first year of college brings along many social gatherings. Parties are running rampant on the weekends, which can be seen as a problem in itself, but can also strain a relationship. It also affects the dating culture of the generation, as it can destruct traditional relationships.

4. Making New Friends

Both people are probably meeting tons of new people in this environment. Spending time with new friends and building friendships can take time away from the relationship. It isn’t a bad thing, it is actually a great idea to make brand new friends in this chapter of life, but it can also make it difficult to center attention on a significant other.

3. Early Life Crisis

You cannot ask nineteen-year old young adults what they want. The answer is usually indefinite. People are trying to find out who they are during their first year at college, and many people struggle with this self-discovery process. Keeping a relationship with another person is difficult when you haven’t established a relationship with yourself yet.

2. Immaturity

The saying seems to hold true, “Girls mature quicker than boys!” Although it takes everyone a fair amount of time to mature, the imbalance of maturity can affect the effectiveness of the relationship. When people are on two different paths, sometimes it is better to separate.


Your college years are yours. This is the time to be selfish and make decisions that can only affect you. You attend college to earn a degree, gain knowledge, and have fun. As young adults, it is not always the best to be living for another person. Relationships can end because both parties need time to be selfish.

As you can see, there are many reasons why people break up during their first year of college. Maybe you can relate to any or all of those causes, but just know that it is natural and healthy to part ways with another person. As the famous saying goes, “What is meant to be will find its way.”

About Emily Bick

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