A guide to college marriages

College marriages are the sort of thing that gives Oxford its reputation. It’s the strange looks from your parents when you announce you’re tying the knot. It’s the dramatic couples that invite 200 people to their ‘fake’ wedding. It’s overzealous 18-year-olds taking the whole tradition slightly too seriously. Now, as the time for freshers to officially lock down partners draws near, here are the five kinds of college marriages that everyone is familiar with.

Too soon

It’s freshers’ week and the Atik smoking area is rife with possibility. Two impressionable first-years lock eyes and get to talking. Scared of ending up alone, it only takes 4 hours for them to get engaged, as their new-found friendship group pressures them into it. Parents barely consulted (a phone call is just too much to ask), it seems a recipe for disaster. Yet, while all sails smoothly at first, after a few weeks, partners’ flaws start to be uncovered. 

“I don’t want you to come with me to PnP, but it would be nice if you showed an interest!” One screams at the other as political spats reveal conflicting ideologies. Suddenly, it seems as though the instant connection over name, school, degree is insufficient to sustain healthy matrimony! Who knew you shouldn’t get married to a stranger?

Lovers to Spouses

If you think lovers to spouses seems like the correct order of doing things, you’d normally be right. Oxford, like E4, offers a different reality. Getting college married to your significant other, or someone you just slept with in fresher’s week, can get complicated. Like real-life marriage, it’s great in theory. However, like real-life marriage, it often goes horribly wrong, especially when children get involved. “I want you to want to clean up after pres.” It gets messy. And inevitably, post the messier prelims breakup, the fresher romance is reduced to a civil debate over who’s buying which child the carnations.

Spouses to Lovers

“We’re just friends,” they say. Sure thing. If Bridgerton has taught us anything, it’s that we all love a friends to lovers arc. The freshers ‘marriage rizz’ is a common affair, and the using of potential wedlock to get into someone’s pants is a trick as old as time. Her friends advise her against the marriage but ‘he’s like a brother,’ so what’s the problem? Chiefly, the fact is these couples are unequivocally frustrating to watch, as they constantly deny their feelings for each other, with just enough giggling to keep the possibility alive. The veil becomes less effective once one of the two starts dating someone else. A disapproving husband and a jealous boyfriend creates an uneasy household. What do you do when your wife wants an open relationship? 

The 3-Way 

With the rising popularity of polygamy, the three-way marriage is increasingly common. Though, the reasons for it are often practical. Sometimes, taking a look at the pool of single people, there just aren’t enough fish in the sea. Sometimes the trauma from year 9 P.E. proves too much and, with no partner, it’s time to push into an already established pair. Often the platonic throuple proves triumphant but things get more entertaining when hormones take over. Though, the sex does get complicated – and that’s just considering the positions. 

OUCA believes anyone within such a marriage is surely condemned, but we all know they’re still curious. At least it’s not subject incest. The 3-way elicits many an innuendo, but despite all the drama, it’s ultimately just another parent to forget to buy the carnation.

The Perfect Marriage

Does it exist? Is it possible for Adam and Eve to stay away from the apple? Rarely. From the data at hand, it seems the best couples are fully platonic, share a friendship group and respect the rules of the contract. Or, in other words, uneventful. Who wants to be happily married anyways? We have our whole lives to fail at that.

Image Credit: Samantha Gades

Image Description: Two hands showing wedding rings