How (not) to be college married

Spoiler: We’ve messed it up already

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Unlike me, my collegiate ‘other half’ is unwilling to sacrifice dignity by appearing in The Tab.

So, for the sake of preserving anonymity, no full face photos or the name of my new college husband will be used used in this article.

If, unlike us, you actually understand the slightly insane Cambridge familial tradition and you want to make a decent go of it, there’s probably some things that are worth avoiding.

Here’s everything I’ve learnt since my college hubby got down on one knee last week:

Facebook Messenger isn’t romantic enough 

Now I know we’re the internet generation (yay technological progress) but some things ought to be kept away from social media. Proposals, for example.

(Even if they are proposals for a college marriage.)

21st century romance

Have standards

You don’t want to bore your college kids during Freshers’ by regaling them with that time you popped the question in Sainsbury’s. Be adventurous. Get down on one knee on the Bridge of Sighs. Or over sushi in Wasabi.

Just don’t get hitched in Spoons.

I’d attempt to defend our honour by arguing that it wasn’t Danger Spoons, and therefore classier than it could have been. But also less exciting – who doesn’t want their college marriage proposal to be coloured with the barrage of catcalls from drunken townies?

Fear is all part of the fun. Don’t be so bloody vanilla.

Putting a ring on it

Know your partner

After all, if it goes well, you’ll potentially be ‘married’ for the next three, four or even six years.

Fair enough, it’s Week Five. You could probably fit your respective knowledge of each other on a postage stamp.

Maybe get their sexuality right, though? Courtesy of a mix-up at Freshers’ Formal, I was under the impression that he was gay for the first four weeks.  In fact, I only found out that he was straight three hours before he proposed, when a passing comment about an ex-girlfriend altered things.  Thankfully, he found it hilarious.

All’s well that ends well.

Make sure there aren’t too many conflicts of interest

There’s nothing worse than entering into a college marriage with someone and realising that you’re at completely opposite ends of the political spectrum. Or one hates the football team that the other so ardently supports. Sort out your discrepancies.

Thankfully, ours are a source of amusement for the other person. I know he doesn’t want to hear about the time I vomited into a Bag for Life last week at 3AM (those things cost 5p, okay?) and he’s about one board game night away from morphing into the old man from One Foot in the Grave, but we make it work.

It’s only been about five days, but we’re going strong.

Have things in common with them

You’re married, for God’s sake. It should (probably) be someone that you’re relatively close friends with in your college. Unless you just got really drunk in Life and thought it was a good idea. Hey, people really do that, with actual marriages. What Happens in Vegas, anyone?

But genuinely. Don’t get married to someone if your conversation can’t extend beyond superficialities. Make sure it’s someone you can actually talk to. Celebrate the things you DO have in common. Like the fact that my college husband and I have enough scarves combined to create a mini collection.

Genuinely wish I’d been joking

Reap the benefits 

Providing you don’t mess it up by trying to date – works for some, and ONLY some – you’ve got a good friend to have around for the next few years. Plus, you can enjoy the thought of traumatising the innocent freshers who are unfortunate enough to be allocated as your college kids. I hope ours like scarves.


And failing that, you’ve always got each other for moral support.

Like navigating the horrors of Week Five Blues together.