I have literally always been obsessed with love. Seriously, as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by romantic love and all of the amazing benefits that come from having a partner: a constant support system, never-ending sleepovers, someone who doesn't judge you for not taking a shower in three days. The best part? The real thing is even better than I ever imagined.

A little over a year ago, I stumbled into the love of my life on the first day of my grocery store job. And the rest is history, as they would say — except it's not. Being in a relationship in college has significantly impacted my collegiate experience in a variety of ways, both positively and negatively. All in all, being in a relationship in college is the cherry on top of a sundae.

Positive as Pineapple

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic | Unsplash

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I found a rock, a safe place, and a steady hand in my partner. My boyfriend has listened to me enthuse, babble, whine, bitch and moan about my extremely hectic schedule — school, internship, work anyone? — and he continuously motivates me to do my best, despite how negative my mood may be.

Together, we have talked about where life could take us after graduation. The thought of moving across the country after graduation becomes a lot less terrifying when you get to take your best friend with you. With my best friend by my side, the thought of life after graduation in general becomes a lot less terrifying.

When I falter, my partner picks up my slack with no hesitation or complaint. I know that I can rely on him for anything, from binge-watching Cake Boss and ordering pizza when I probably shouldn't to working harder than he has to because I can't find the energy to do it myself that day.

I can let my creativity and weirdness flow around him without feeling judged. My partner not only tries every single thing that I cook — no matter how strange it is — but he also eats it until it's gone and tells me it's delicious, even when it isn't. I can run around our apartment chasing our cats, and he either joins me or roots me on.

When your partner is your best friend, you can confide in them about anything. I literally tell my boyfriend everything—not because I feel obligated to, or because he'll get mad at me if I don't. I tell him everything because I want to, and because it's important to me to get his opinion and advice on matters that don't necessarily include him. I tell him because he's my person.

Thanks to our relationship, we've both gained amazing friends and family. And three cats, who also count as family. Our love has extended beyond one another to people that we now both love and cherish.

We push one another to go beyond our boundaries and try new things. While I've picked up golf, found a beer I can actually stand, and have taken a supervisor position at work, my boyfriend has tried sushi (which he now loves), rebuilt a motorcycle, and has dug himself out of a deep hole that someone else put him in. Together, we have accomplished so much.

Are the Negatives Actually Negative?

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Because I got into a serious relationship in college, I've left behind a few friends whom I had thought were better friends. However, I've kept all of my best friends by my side, and I've been lucky enough to have added a few, too. 

Being in a serious relationship in college also kind of plunges you into real life, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I now know how to finance a car, how to pay bills, and the huge responsibility of having your own pets. However, this isn't at all what comes to mind when you think college. I may not be having the most traditional college experience, but I don't feel like I've missed out.

At the end of the day, being with my boyfriend, my partner, and soulmate has been one of the absolute best things to happen to me not only during college, but during my life as a whole. I sincerely hope that, whenever you're ready, you find your person too, because everyone deserves someone who tells you that the last slice of pizza is yours.