Relationship tug of war

Meredith Compton

Between friends and studies, managing your time can be hard enough, but without good balancing skills, adding a significant other just may be a recipe for disaster.

Between class time, homework and hanging out with friends, a college student’s schedule can fill up very quickly. But when a “significant other” is added to the mix, balance can be lost completely.

Ryan Jenks, sophomore communication studies major, and Abby Ruh, junior fashion merchandising major, believe they have this balance down to a science.

Jenks and Ruh met this fall through mutual friends. Both said having mutual friends helps with balancing their time, since they can be together and with their friends at the same time.

“It makes it easy, having mutual friends,” Ruh said.

Though they have many of the same friends, both also have their own groups of friends, and neither has ever felt cheated out of “together time.”

“I’ve never felt cheated,” Jenks said. “We still have guy and girl time. I go to the rec with my guys, she hangs out with her girls.”

Their friends don’t seem to mind when they spend time together, either.

“Everyone is so busy with the new semester and starting classes,” Jenks said. “It’s not too big of a deal.”

One thing that also helps them is the fact that they both live in Verder Hall.

“It’s easy because we’re living in the same building,” Ruh said. “We don’t have to walk across campus to see each other.”

Michael Moore, assistant director of the Kent State Psychological Clinic in Kent Hall, offers this relationship advice to students:

“With a spouse or significant other, communication is key,” Moore said.

He said students should tell their significant other what is going on in their lives so the significant other doesn’t simply think he or she is being blown off.

When a significant other knows what is going on in the other’s life and these things are important to him or her, then there can be more compromise, Moore said.

Jenks and Ruh said one tool that helps them communicate is text messaging.

“Text messaging makes it easier and quicker,” Ruh said. “We can just send messages saying ‘Hey, this is where I am, this is what I’m doing.'”

Jenks said that his and Ruh’s time together depends on the day and their schedules. They don’t set aside specific times during the day or week to spend together, instead choosing to treat each day differently.

Jenks said the time issue depends on the person or couple, but that he and Ruh don’t have a problem with it.

“We’re pretty easygoing,” he said. “We have a pretty even keel.”

Moore said students who are struggling with relationship issues can visit the Kent State Psychological Clinic, which offers both individual and couples therapy free of charge to students.

Students can also visit Psychological Services on the second floor of the Deweese Health Center and the Counseling and Human Development Center on the second floor of White Hall, Moore said.

Townhall II on Water Street in downtown Kent also offers counseling services, he said.

Contact features writer Meredith Compton at [email protected].