Dating in high school can turn your world upside down: One minute, you're nervously decoding every ounce of meaning from your crush's texts; the next, you're making out in hallways and updating your status to Facebook official. It's thrilling… while it lasts. But once graduation rolls around, every couple needs to decide whether they want to stay together or part ways before college.
Nobody likes breakups. They run the gamut from sad to infuriating, awkward to embarrassing, no matter who chose to end it. But staying together for college isn't a cake walk, either. The transition to college is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time, and can seriously strain a relationship.
It may seem like there's no easy way to handle the situation, but here are 10 things to consider before you make a final decision:
1. Are you dedicated to staying in constant contact?
Between classes, clubs and friends, college life is hectic. It can be hard to find the time to squeeze in a text or a phone call, especially when you could be hanging out with new friends or attending your school's big game. Are you both strong communicators now? If so, you might work out in college -- but if not, one of you will get frustrated with the increased silence sooner or later.
2. If your relationship will be long distance, is that feasible?
Long-distance relationships aren't impossible, but they aren't exactly fun, either. If you aren't willing to spend a few days every months traveling back and forth to visit each other, a breakup might be best. And in between visits, frequent communication is key in order to stay in touch. Is a round-trip visit possible to do in one weekend? Can you afford to travel back and forth? Will both of your dorms allow overnight guests? Will you regret missing out on fun events on your own campus? Consider these issues carefully.
3. Are your post-graduation plans on the same track?
You're going to college, but he's joining the military, or you're going to college, but she can't afford to. In high school, you more or less do the same things as your peers. But when you're cramming for midterms or rushing Greek life, will your boyfriend or girlfriend understand what you're going through? If you're heading towards radically different places in life, they might not.
4. Are you both starting college at the same time?
A year might not feel like a big age gap, but when one person is in college and one is in high school, it can feel like you're living in two separate worlds. If you used to bond over your equal loathing of the school cafeteria's soggy pizza or your high school's drama department, will you still feel like you have enough in common once one of you heads off to college?
5. Have trust or jealousy ever been issues between you?
How would you react if you saw a Facebook photo of your high school sweetheart looking verrry flirty with someone else? Or if your texts went unanswered for hours? On the flip side, what would happen if you met someone you instantly clicked with at a college party? If you ever doubt you'll both stay fully faithful to each other in college, you might want to save yourself the heartbreak and bring your relationship to a close.
6. Are you shy or introverted?
Making friends can be one of the scariest parts of college. But if you depend on just your high school boyfriend or girlfriend, will you be motivated to put yourself out there to meet new people? Going into college feeling totally independent might be terrifying at first, but can actually work to your benefit in the long run.
7. Is your relationship mostly physical?
If your relationship is almost exclusively based around hooking up, there won't be much to keep it from fizzling out once you're apart. College will have no shortage of hook-up buddies for you in much closer proximity, so it might be best to part ways with your friend with benefits before college begins.
8. Does your social life revolve around partying?
College parties are famous for having lots of attractive, scantily-clad, intoxicated coeds in one room. We won't calculate the statistical odds that you'll eventually hook up with someone at a party, but it's highly likely to happen sooner or later. Will you ultimately resent your boyfriend or girlfriend for keeping you from making a move on the guy or girl you'e been talking to all night?
9. Is senior year pulling you two apart?
Senior year can be tough on relationships. Maybe your girlfriend got into her dream school, but you were rejected, or you're upset that you and your boyfriend aren't applying to any of the same schools. It's natural for issues like these to cause tension in your relationship. Do you realistically see a future together beyond these roadblocks?
10. Do your parents approve of the relationship?
Your relationship status should be between you and whomever you're dating. But it might be worth hearing your parents' two cents, too. If they think you'll be better off breaking up, hear them out. They've been through their fair share of relationships -- maybe even situations similar to what you're going through right now -- and only want the best for you.
What are your thoughts on staying together or breaking up before college? Let us know in the comments below or tweet @HuffPostTeen!