"Her grandma didn’t attend the wedding and refuses to speak to her.”
University, the place where students start to think about their future and feel like adults, while a path is being set. It also brings about new opportunities, such as a potential university romance.
But, is it worth getting into a serious relationship at this stage?
Some may rule it out completely, seeing romance as a distraction, because they are here to study. For now, they want to get that degree.
Meanwhile, many will want to have someone to enjoy with and share their experiences with. If an opportunity for romance arises, they will take it. Getting right down to it, students are now adults. They can make decisions about their own future. They already took responsibility when choosing a university course.
It is common for Desi students to have a whole different set of issues when it comes to university romance. Especially if the student is a female. Desi girls generally face more pressure to marry. Even if there is less pressure than there was for older generations.
What Makes a University Romance Last?
Being in a relationship during the university years may have an advantage.
The couple both have someone to share their experiences with. They have student life in common, meaning that they can empathise with each other. This can involve exam stress, homesickness and general concerns. Being on the same wavelength enables for a successful romance.
A report by LiveScience finds that problems in a relationship involve not sharing the same values and even expenditure habits. Being in similar conditions makes it more likely that there will be fewer conflicts of opinion.
Additionally, university couples get to see each other’s annoying habits and what they are like to live with. If they can be accepting of any behaviours, their relationship is strong.
However, Desi families are less accepting of couples living together before marriage.
What Dooms a University Romance?
What happens post-university can change everything.
The relationship depends on whether the couple can deal with changes.
These changes can involve moving a long distance away from the partner. This is a huge challenge for the relationship. Or maybe one partner wants to stay at the university for further education. Whatever the next step is, life will be different.
After university, paths may change along with future goals. This can be destructive to the relationship if the goals are incompatible.
Moreover, with different responsibilities, people can change. New characteristics may emerge, that the other partner may not find as lovable.
But, what about the Desi families?
Often Desi parents want their children to have an arranged marriage, or, for them to marry someone that is similar to them.
For example, their caste might be important. If an individual meets someone at the university, they will not necessarily fit into the set criteria. These types of pressures will force a couple to marry.
It will be detrimental to the relationship if couples marry for the wrong reasons. Especially if both partners do not feel ready.
DESIblitz spoke to a British Asian University student:
“Someone I know was in a university relationship. She had planned to get married to her boyfriend. She kept asking him to tell his parents so she could tell hers. But I don’t think he really wanted to marry her. You would think that you will be more mature about it.
“Guys tend to not care as much. Girls are more serious, maybe because there’s more family pressure on them,” says Hina.
“I have a friend who got married to someone that she met at university. However, she got divorced as the mother-in-law was not accepting of her. They wanted someone that they chose,” she further adds.
“My friend didn’t want to marry her cousin. Her grandma really wanted her to get married to her cousin. Luckily her mum did support her [the friend].
“She rushed and got married during her last year of university. Her grandma didn’t attend the wedding and refuses to speak to her.”
Moreover, it is also a cultural tradition in some families to give gold to the bride. In one case, Hina tells us:
“Her family was not happy that the groom was not from the same caste. They told her that they couldn’t give her any gold.”
Where does this Leave University Romance?
Desi couples that meet at university and eventually marry, may or may not face a difficult situation.
Yet, this doesn’t always mean that the romance will last. The marriage, not built out of an arrangement, may lead to more pressure on the couple from the families. This can have a negative impact on the relationship.
However, having a good foundation and sharing the same values, means a university romance will be more likely to last. Both partners need to be independent, but be able to support each other.
All in all, good communication is key. Simply put, a lasting relationship needs work.