Alas, the summer is almost here. It’s great to be free of school for a couple of months, but it’s hard to accept we won’t be able to see some of the people that matter to us as often as we are used to. The month of April has all the young couples hoping and dreaming to have their romance last through the long separation, which is often crushed mid-May when they realize just how lonely they are apart. You might make it through, but you might not. Here are some thoughts on how to handle your situation.
If you need a lot of physical contact, you might want to give up on the relationship before summer starts. No one wants to hear that his or her relationship is doomed, but there is a good chance yours is. I am the type of person who needs hugs and physical contact with someone, so a long distance relationship puts a real strain on me. It can feel like you’re not really with the person you’re dating when you haven’t seen them in over a month. Instead of being a person that brings joy to your life, they feel like a chore out to ruin your good time and make you feel guilty for going out with your friends on the weekends to places with attractive members of your preferred gender.
If you’re like this, just let it go. Let summer be your time to hump and dump all over your location of choice or take some time to be single. If you really regret ending things you can always pick it back up once school starts again.
If you really want to go the distance, you need to be aware of some very real changes that will be happening in your relationship, the biggest being the silence after the first few weeks when you run out of things to talk about. You are no longer sharing experiences and spending time with your mutual friends. There are only so many times you can talk about your never-changing day before it becomes completely boring.
I like to do little stupid things to spice up the routine. Once, I got a postcard from every place I visited and sent them to my boyfriend with a bad doodle of him and a wish-you-were-here message. It helped keep things more entertaining and made our relationship fun again.
Consider texting and calling each other less. I’ve seen couples communicate more when they are apart than they ever did when they were together and it really speeds up that lack-of-things-to-talk-about phenomenon. Call each other often, but not so often that you struggle to keep the conversation going. The awkward need to keep talking after you’ve run out of things to say can sometimes lead to fights you weren’t ready to have or arguments about things that really don’t matter. Keep them wanting more, not wishing they had a break from your voice.
Always remember to avoid temptation. Your cute friend who just happens to like you wants you to come over and watch a movie? You don’t have to say no, but bring some buffer friends. Putting yourself in a situation that makes it hard to stay faithful to your partner will just make you feel uncomfortable and question your relationship.
Don’t forget to say what you’re really feeling. Communicating your feelings can sometimes be uncomfortable, but if you’re having problems and you let them bottle up until they explode in a late-night break up phone call, you’re not going to be happy. Talk about the things that are really bothering you and get them addressed so you can fix them.
No matter what you decide to do with your relationship, remember to live, love, and have a great time. This is my last column and it was great spending the past year giving you silly advice.