Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Do you think having a boyfriend/girlfriend while in college lowers performance?

  1. Aug 12, 2012 #1
    Having a boyfriend/girlfriend obviously takes a lot of time. Do you think that one should have a boyfriend/girlfriend while still in college, and do you think having one would lower one's performance (grades)? Do you have any experience to share on the topic?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2012 #2
    I had a boyfriend/girlfriend while still in college and still managed to keep a high level of performance (grades).
  4. Aug 12, 2012 #3
    No not a good idea, having a boy-girlfriend is a disastrous move. They are such high maintenance.

    Feed 'em
    Pet 'em
    Neuter 'em
  5. Aug 12, 2012 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It depends. If you like to play video games and/or party as well then a girlfriend is going to be an additional time toll on studying and homeworking.
  6. Aug 12, 2012 #5
    You had a boyfriend and a girlfriend in college? You must have been busy.
  7. Aug 12, 2012 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Man you don't know Jimmy. Dude's a god.
  8. Aug 12, 2012 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Obviously there are many situation-specific factors to consider in something like this, but as a general rule I don't think it's necessary to avoid a healthy, committed relationship during undergraduate years.

    The opportunities for meeting people - especially those with similar interests and goals and outlooks on life - during those years are often a lot greater than before or afterwards. It's also a good time to mingle and figure out what you're really looking for in a long term partner. If you don't take advatage of all that, you're losing out on some of the serious non-academic advantages of univeristy.

    On top of that, sharing your social time with someone special in a healthy way will make you more productive. Someone who supports your dreams, or acts as a sounding board for "off the wall" ideas, or listens to you vent you frustrations, and really help to maintain focus.

    Now keep in mind that I've specifically used the word "healthy" here. By that I include that (a) both people understand, agree to, are being happy with the level of committment in the relationship,(b) there is mutual respect, (c) neither person is invovled in unhealthy behavior such as drug/alcolhol abuse. (For the record, I also realize it's easy to define ideals on an internet forum.)
  9. Aug 13, 2012 #8


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It's impossible to give an absolute answer to this question, and Choppy brought up some of the reasons why.

    There are so many factors that influence one's performance: emotional, physical, mental, social, etc. All of these can either be positive or negative. I believe it comes down to your time management abilities, your ability to manage relational difficulties, the person with whom you've decided to have a relationship, and the boundaries that are set for the relationship.

    It would be nice to find someone who is understanding and supportive of your academic goals, but it is unrealistic to assume that they will always feel this way. You both might enter the relationship with the best intentions, but struggles and differences are inevitable.

    My advice has always been to wait; make lots of friends, but the pressure and stress that come from the expectations of a relationship can often ruin what would otherwise have been something really great had it just been at a better time. I've seen many friends put someone on a pedestal and jump into a relationship before really getting to know the person.

    In conclusion, my advice is to be quick to make friends, but slow to jump into serious relationships. If you meet someone and feel "it's meant to be," then it should be able to withstand a few years of being "just friends."
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  10. Aug 13, 2012 #9
    It basically depends on how much free time you already have. If you come back from classes, do 20 minutes of homework and are done for the night, then a significant other will not negitively affect your schoolwork. However, if you are already tight on time then squeezing in another commitment can cause harm to your studies. It can also distract you during time you should be focused.
  11. Aug 13, 2012 #10
    I think Choppy has it right. Also, any relationship in college that is bound to happen will happen. You just don't plan these things. You do have to assess each relationship individually. IMO, there is no universally correct answer. If the person you connect with is too demanding on your time and destructive/disruptive to your educational goals, that is a problem. You have to set ground rules for yourself and any potential partner and stick to them. In the end, you “both” are in school to further your education to enhance your career potential and options. However, there is more to the college experience than is taught in class. As long as you can avoid the relationships with too much drama, the "friends" you make can be comforting on the bad days, and there will be bad days.

    As a practical matter, it won’t be much different when you are out of college. You will have relationships that may impact work or work that impacts relationships. You will learn to cope before, during or after college anyway.
  12. Aug 13, 2012 #11
    As has been mentioned, it's difficult to say if it will be good or bad for you. There are many many factors to take into account to get an accurate idea.

    A big one in my opinion, depends on the study ethic of the boyfriend/girlfriend. If he/she has bad study habits then you stand a fair chance to pick those up yourself. However, the other way around also applies.
  13. Aug 13, 2012 #12
    It depends on whether or not you spend too much time on the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Please keep in mind that having such a relationship can be very time-consuming especially if you (and your girlfriend or boyfriend are extremely dedicated to spending an inordinate amount of time on the said relationship).

    I am not saying the two partners cannot be extremely dedicated and yet not spend an ordinate amount of time on the relationship. What I am saying is that you should just be careful not to dedicate too much time in your romantic relationship. Otherwise, you might regret later that you didn't spend enough time, effort, and dedication on your academics.

    I would like to end this comment by saying that even though I don't have a girlfriend YET (which is quite unusual for my age), I still find numerous other things particularly surfing on the Internet as quite distracting to my academics and life-in-general.
  14. Aug 15, 2012 #13
    Building a relationship takes time and effort. It's no fun having to juggle a relationship with a significant other and having to study hard. But do note this: it never gets any easier. A healthy relationship can help you cope with the demands that you face by keeping things in perspective.

    And if you think this is difficult, know that it gets significantly more difficult when you're married and there are children in the mix (this is true regardless of whether you're a mother or a father figure). Is it worth it? Gosh, YES! I am a father of three children and I couldn't imagine life without them. Yes, it's hard maintaining a relationship and later, raising kids. Its hard juggling a career, a marriage, and all the obligations that go with it.

    But it is also very rewarding. This is what it means to be an adult.
  15. Aug 15, 2012 #14


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I had a GF in college and that helped, not hurt. She would come over and do some homework while I did mine (hours of engineering basics mostly) while listening to my albums. When I needed a break, I would back off, and she would often distract me with hugs, etc. Having such a loving companion helped me avoid bar-hopping/partying behavior that washed out so many other engineering students. YMMV.

    good luck.
  16. Sep 8, 2012 #15
    no. if you have a gf/bf that motivates you, inspires you instead of one that drains you of your energy, you'll be fine.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook