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The Post-College Relationship Manifesto

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(Author’s Note: Chelsea Snyder is the blogger formerly known under the blog alias Chelsea Lou.)

As some may have noticed, there has been little posting on The Obnoxious Couple in the last month by both Matt and myself. This could be explained by the fact that we are both extremely busy people with careers and a career in the works. It would be the easy explanation. What’s more, it’s the explanation many have been hearing.

The ugly truth of the matter is that the couple you’ve loved to hate has been on the brink of self-destruction. A lot of tears have been shed, late nights spent on the phone and IM desperately trying to salvage a solution out of a seemingly desperate situation.

As a couple that had for so long worked together with little conflict, we found ourselves in a deadlock. Our respective careers were consuming all of our energy, leaving little time to make ourselves emotionally available for each other. Physically, we had seen each other maybe twice in the last month. Our most rousing conversations were on BlogCritics threads.

It was a great act, though. Our families and friends were under the impression that despite the stress, we were a great couple that made it work. But more and more, when asked “How are you two doing?”, the response “Great” seemed to be more and more of a lie.

The easy way out would be to let the stress and conflict consume us; call it quits. A college relationship that was what it was, and great while it lasted, but didn’t have the tenure to make it in the “real world.” It would make sense, and not many people would blame either of us, nor would we blame each other.

But we didn’t.

We stuck it out. A lot of crying, a lot of late nights. A lot of cash dropped on gas and mileage on cars. We have dedicated ourselves to making it work. \

Love is a crazy thing. By all accounts, this is the healthiest relationship either of us has ever been in, and to consider leaving because things “got hard” is both irresponsible and stupid. Love isn’t what the chick flicks paint it out to be; sometimes “fate” doesn’t throw in situations that bring a resolution. Sometimes, you have to grow some balls, take some initiative, and make things work. Otherwise, you’re going to sit back long enough to realize you’re entirely alone.

I have always been wary of settling down. I was terrified of the idea of “the one.” What if “the one” was somehow lost? Then what? You’re utterly alone. This idea was unsettling to me since a young age. I met Matt, and both of us entered the relationship with the sentiment that it probably wouldn’t last, but we’d ride it for what it was worth.

Within the first few months of our relationship, we both knew it was something much more than that.

To abandon this relationship is something that could ultimately leave both of us worse off. We aren’t an anomaly. Many college relationships face this fate after the caps are tossed and the diplomas are handed out. In some relationships, it’s better for both parties involved to separate as each person grows individually in opposite directions. Some couples are meant to grow together in the same direction.

Matt and I fall into a category somewhere in the middle. We want to grow individually, but still have each other. Is it possible? Is our love for each other enough to make this a real option for both of us?

Is love ever just enough?

We won’t know until we walk down the aisle. Or we run into each other ten years from now in an airport, or a bar, or a busy store, amazed at how the other has changed. Fate is a bitch, if you believe in it. And even if you don’t, the least you can do is fight for what you believe in, and desperately hold onto those you love.

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About Chelsea Smith

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    You have to work things out with the one you love.

    That’s the definition of love.

  • http://homepage.mac.com/donfrancisco864/iblog/index.html alpha

    If it works; work it out. If it doesn’t; say “Good-bye, my love”.

    My wife and I met in college: became friends, dated, lived together, broke up for different grad schools, came back together and have spent 36 years married + 2 living together. We knew each other first and still marriage was a different trip.

    But, then, we never ever blogged together.

  • emily

    Thanx for your article. Whatever the outcome of your relationship, you’ve given me insight on my own. This post-college time of sort of inventing your life and determining your entire future within a couple of years is way stressfull.