Love or Safety?

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Some romances grow stronger with time—others last longer than they should. It’s easy to fall into a rut, using your relationship as a safety net or cushion against the world, as opposed to an ongoing romantic partnership.

The question to ask yourself is this: are you staying together out of love or habit?


Rowsell, a third year professional theatre student at John Abbott College, has been with her boyfriend for nearly two years. “A relationship takes a lot of work to make it last, but I know I sure don't have to work to love my boyfriend. That's the easiest part.”

Though the pair work and live together, 

Rowsell admitted, “I still get turned on when I see him naked… I also check him out when he's not looking, and I make sure every day that he knows how much I love him.”

Laura Bischoff, who has been with her boyfriend for three years, the first half of which was long-distance, agreed with the possibility of long-lasting love. Bischoff, a recent Westmont College graduate, said, “Being single and with a different person weekly is usually a greater safety net than a long-term relationship. It’s comfortable to live in a world of instant gratification and flirtatious confidence boosts without putting in the effort and commitment that a relationship needs.” 

Though many students find success in maintaining a long-term relationship, others may find themselves in the “too comfortable” zone, clinging to their relationship out of habit.

Success and dating coach Colette Kenney spoke of what signs to look out for when a relationship is heading towards this danger zone:

“You stop being thoughtful of each other, you stop caring about your appearance, and you and your partner nit-pick each other. This [nit-picking] is a really big sign that you've become way too comfortable, to the point where now you feel contempt towards your partner for who he or she is.”

Whatever you and your partner may feel for one another, an important thing to remember is that though relationships can be long-lasting, they don’t have to be thought of as a “long-haul.”

To keep things exciting, dating coach David Wygant offered his advice: “Here's the deal: remember what you did the first 90 days [of your relationship]. Capture those moments again in your head. Once or twice a week, repeat some of the things that you did when you were first into your partner. [As a result] there will be no boredom, no safety net, and you will have a great relationship.” 

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