5 Signs Your Relationship Will Stay Strong After Graduation, According To Real Women

by Jamie Kravitz

Maybe you first met in college, or maybe you're that couple that's been dating since high school. No matter how strong your relationship, people have probably told you that you and your boyfriend or girlfriend are going to break up after college. You may have even had some doubts about a future with your significant other — and that's totally normal. If you're wondering how other couples knew they would make it past graduation, you're not alone. Luckily, I talked to four women whose relationships did last after college — plus one who knew it was time to end it.

One of these women said that she always knew her boyfriend was "the one," while another told me she and her boyfriend made it past college, but ultimately broke up. One woman ended up married to her long-time boyfriend, which is pretty much the definition of a success story. If you can relate to these five signs, then you're likely in a healthy, lasting relationship. And if not, maybe this person isn't your endgame. Either way, you'll enter the real, post-grad world armed not only with dating experience, but with newfound knowledge about yourself. And that is an invaluable asset.

1. You support each other's lives outside the relationship.

I knew we would stay together after college because of the way we built our lives. We went to different schools, and while we had monthly visits and constant contact over text/FaceTime, we also valued establishing our own lives, friends, and hobbies. Having a relationship where we felt connected enough to not be literally connected 100% of the time, and had the space to grow into our own without being dependent or attached, felt both mature and sustainable — and post-college, it was a really easy transition to a working-life relationship. We're lucky that we both found jobs in New York and could move in together the month after graduation, but we would have made it work if our dreams took us in different directions. Our mutual understanding of that during the last few months of college made me feel secure that we're endgame.

— Remy, 24

2. You're making concrete post-grad plans.

My husband and I started dating when we were 14 and 15 years old and two months after we decided we would get married. We dated all through high school and when it came time for college everyone told me, 'You’ll find someone new the first month.' I did end up meeting boys who piqued my interest, but no one who compared to Logan. I always knew he was my soulmate but I was still a bit nervous about after college. I have always been a traveler and I knew I wanted to move to New York, while he had barely ever left our tiny hometown. So deep down I was scared he would go back on all his promises out of fear. But he didn’t. We started laying out concrete plans for our life in New York and that’s when I really knew that we were going to make it. Now we’re happily married in NYC.

— Kelsey, 24

3. You are both comfortable being independent.

I knew we would keep dating after we graduated because we were comfortable being independent. Being in a LDR, we prioritized communication, but we didn't need to be texting/calling/FaceTiming 24/7. I think a major aspect of having a lasting relationship is having your own life, your own priorities, and your relationship not becoming your main focus. I think that has allowed us to maintain a healthy relationship. That moment where you see that person as more than just your significant other, as your pal — a uniquely other kind of friendship that isn't like the ones you have with your closest girlfriends — that is the moment that you just know this is going to last. It's that moment when you know that you are 100 percent yourself and he is 100 percent himself and the two of you just completely complement each other. And I think that does take a lot of time.

— Emily, 24

4. You are excited to spend time together after you graduate.

When I graduated, I'd been dating my boyfriend at the time for about five months, so we were fairly serious. He is three years older, so he'd already been out of college and getting his career underway for some time. My graduation didn't really change our relationship status. I was extremely busy and stressed in the months leading up to graduation, and I do remember lashing out at him a bit when I felt he needed too much of my time. But the second I graduated, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I felt so happy to spend an easy summer with him. We even made it through a whole year of long distance the following year when I lived in Paris. We're no longer together, but... that's a different story!

— Annie, 24

5. You can imagine a fulfilling future together.

I had a pretty serious relationship in college — he would bring up conversations about marriage and kids. But I knew it wouldn't or shouldn't last past graduation because every time I thought about us having a future like that together, I felt lonely and trapped. That was obviously a huge red flag, so I ended the relationship.

— Madison, 25*

If there's one common message among each of these stories, it's that you should be independent, even if you're in a relationship. If you can unselfishly support one another's goals, you're on your way to a positive future together.

*Name and age have been changed.

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