Young Love: How Falling In Love In College Can Teach You How To Open Up

I cannot tell you how many articles I have read encouraging young men and women to stay single in college, stating that they'll regret getting into a relationship during their "glory years."

Don't get me wrong; there is absolutely no problem with being single in college. What better time to meet other single people who also "just want to have fun"? While I am sure being single in college can be great, having a significant other in college can be even better.

As you can probably already tell, I was one of those people who fell in love in college. It was welcome week when I met my boyfriend -- a whirlwind of new names and faces -- but his seemed to stand out the most to me.

After dating from basically the beginning, I have never once regretted being in a committed relationship in college, and I have faith that most other 20-somethings who give it a try wouldn't either.

Rather than send the message that college relationships are overrated, I want to shed light on the perks of having a committed partner during college.

The bottom line is, whether you stay with the person in the long run or not, having a mature relationship in college will change your outlook on life and love.

It teaches you how to balance a commitment to a partner with a commitment to your best friends, how to open up to someone else, become vulnerable and trusting.

In college, creating the perfect boyfriend-best friend balance can be challenging. No one wants to be the girl or guy that fell off the map because he or she started dating someone new.

However, the perfect balance is attainable and being able to maintain it is a learning experience for the both of you that will definitely carry over into other parts of your life. You learn how to make time for both your significant other and your friends, being respectful of each person's time.

As long as you are dating your SO, you are going to have to find a balance between life with him or her and the rest of your life (work, school, hobbies, etc.). Although it may take awhile to find it, this balance is possible, and it can put into perspective who and what matters most to you.

One thing you will learn with your college love is how to open up and become vulnerable with someone. A relationship in college is so different from a relationship in high school.

You may have once thought that you would be with your high school sweetheart forever, which you now realize is a laughable concept. That's because the nature of your relationships in high school is radically different from those in college.

Chances are, you will open up to your college SO more than you have opened up to anyone else in the past.

Since you are both learning to be more mature and grow, you are able to trust more.

With trust comes the ability to talk to your partner about anything. He or she becomes the person you want to share your secrets with and even talk to about embarrassing thoughts and tendencies.

Being able to always have that one person with whom you want to share everything is invaluable.

When something good or bad happens, you will always have your SO to talk you through it, which, believe it or not, is different than just talking to your best friend about it.

There are other positives to having an SO that may seem more superficial, but are still important. For example, you have one intimate partner with whom you are able to communicate on a deeper level.

Also, when you're feeling lazy, you can lay in bed on a Friday or Saturday night eating pizza and ice cream without feeling like you are missing out or being lame.

Or, you can go out on a Friday or Saturday night and meet up with your SO. You will always have your guy's bed to end up in -- a safe, warm place with someone you get to lay around with the next day.

Also, the smallest tasks become more exciting, knowing you get to experience them with your SO. The list could go on.

With all of that being said, having an SO in college is not for everyone, which I completely understand and respect. The worst thing you can do is spend your time in college with someone you don't actually want to be with.

When you make a commitment to another person in college, you need to make sure you know him or her well enough and actually want to take the relationship seriously.

Whether you are "soul mates" or not, you and your SO will form a relationship unique to any other and will truly learn from the experience.

While there will always be those eternal players, and you may even be one of them, going through college with a boyfriend or girlfriend could actually end up being one of the best decisions of your life.

I know it was for me.

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