Finding that ideal person to spend time with and get to know better is a thought on the minds of many Washburn students. Dating has become a prevalant lifestyle that constitutes for a percentage of many students’ time and energy during their college years.
Natalie Bates, junior finance major, and Carson Roberts, junior finance and economics major, have been dating for nearly two years since they met through mutual friends at a party.
Due to the stress already present on the shoulders of students, many college couples struggle to maintain a healthy balance between all the areas of their lives, including a romantic relationship.
“We have kept a really good balance between our relationship, school and the sports we play,” Bates said. “I think it’s a good thing we both play [sports] because we both understand what a big time committment playing a collegiate sport is.”
Bates and Roberts have been involved in the Washburn sports department since their freshman year. Roberts is a member of the golf team, while Bates excels on the volleyball team.
Attending the same university has benefitted this couple in several ways over the years. Since their majors are so closely related, Bates and Roberts are able to study together as a method of spending time with one another.
“I really enjoy going to the same school as Carson,” Bates said. “I can see how some people might like going to different schools to get some space from each other, but Carson and I are very good at hanging out a lot and then giving each other space when it’s needed.”
Not every student has the luxury of attending the same school as their significant other. Some students venture outside the Washburn dating pool. Chloe Mooradian, junior history major, has been dating a student from Kansas State University since September.
Mooradian met Joe Langr, senior engineering major, over the summer during a mission trip she took in Western Kansas.
Since Topeka and Manhattan are approximately an hour a part, Mooradian and Langr have become acquainted with the pros and cons of a long distance relationship.
“I’ve really been enjoying the limited time we do get to spend together,” Mooradian said.
Unlike Bates and Roberts who are able to study together due to their shared major, Mooradian and Langr’s fields of study are completely unrelated. This difference forces them to be understanding of each other’s work loads.
“When you don’t see each other that much, your range of date options really opens up because anything you do is a chance to spend time with each other – even if that’s writing papers,” Mooradian said.
While being a part most of the time makes couples cherish their time together, long distance relationships can also create additional friction. There are a few strategies couples can use to prevent this unwanted friction from occurring and disrupting the relationship.
Mooradian recommends an open, honest line of communication between the pair at all times. This line of communication does not always have to be in the form of texting.
“Call me old fashioned, but I always prefer a voice call at the end of the night instead of a text,” Mooradian said. “Only because there is something about hearing the other person’s voice instead of reading their message on a screen.”
Even though Mooradian admits that being on the same campus would make things easier, she says long distance makes the relationship based on something more than just physical presence.
“You get to value someone for much more than just what they look like, but also who they are, how they interact with you and how they value you in the same way,” Mooradian said.
Most people choose not to participate in long distance because of the physical separation, but Mooradian recommends that people give it a try because of the ‘unique rewards’ it provides each person.
“I think it is so important to be able to balance a relationship and still have that college experience,” Bates said. “When you’re in college you have so much growing up and experiencing to do and I think people get so caught up in a relationship that they miss out on a lot. You can do both.”