Sometimes, internships or originally living in different states can separate you from your significant other over summer break. Distance can put a strain on the relationship, but only if you let it. It’s important to remember that summer for most college students is only three months, so you and your boo will be back to cuddling in August.
My boyfriend and I have been best friends since high school. As fate would have it, we chose to go seventy-seven miles to Athens, Georgia, as best friends and discovered that we could be #relationshipgoals. Starting this past fall, I have been living off-campus with him as well, so distance was never something to complain about (the opposite was our issue—we were all up in each other’s space). Nevertheless, summer is here, and a potential problem has come up. He is living back home in Atlanta to work and complete a summer class, while I will remain in the apartment.
You come to college to earn a degree and connect with people. Lucky ones (like myself) are able to find love and an intimate connection with another person. So, how do you maintain that connection when distance comes between the two of you?
I tend to focus on the future and “what if’s,” which I cannot control, so knowing that I’m in one place while he is in another is a little unnerving at times. I trust him, but I know how restless I get when I’m not around him and our friends. Basically, I’ll be all alone, bored in Athens. Just me and my thoughts, and with a Creative Writing concentration, my mind can go many places in a short time without any effort on my part. I’m like anybody else when it comes to their significant other. I love being around him and spending time with him, but without a car, I’m stuck. Rather than focus on what I can’t control, I plan on keeping the sparks between us strong by using what I’ve got at my disposal, such as my phone and my planned visits back to Atlanta.
This is the age of the internet, so use it! While you and your significant other are away, call them and use Skype or FaceTime. It is so easy to forget that you are still connected when you are apart, especially if you two are usually right up under each other. So, remember that keeping the love connection intact doesn’t require you to be in the same space. Love is transcendent, so if it is meant to be, then distance will not deter you. In fact, it may enhance your relationship, because you will appreciate their presence more in August when you see them.
Have a car? Know a way to meet in the middle (if they live several states away)? Make an effort, if you can, to see them over the summer. It takes two to make a relationship work, and if you both can make trips to each other, then do so. Think of it as a little vacation. Have fun, and embrace the change because you can’t change it.
If your significant other is away for study abroad, keep in mind time zones and the fact that they are on an amazing adventure. You may feel neglected, but this is a time to be selfless and happy for the other person. Understand that you cannot control everything, and it is not the end of the world, even if you miss them to the moon and back. You will survive, and time apart may make the relationship stronger.
My boyfriend and I are in each other’s face for nine months straight practically, so it’s easy to forget how special the other person is. Therefore, time apart this summer is a blessing in disguise. Every day you miss the other person improves the odds that you’ll appreciate them when you are back together.
Random texts and calls just to see how the other person is doing help keep the love alive as well. Showing interest in them while you’re apart will indicate that it’s not just about them when they are with you. For example, when you’re together, it’s easy to see how they are feeling in the moment, so you don’t have to always ask “How are you?” On the other hand, when you’re apart, it’s easy to focus on yourself and your feelings. Remember that they probably miss you just as much, and they want to share their lives with you, too. Allow them as much talking time as you take up. It’s also just common courtesy to not hog all the talking time in person and via your cell phone (whether it be texts or calls).
Some relationships are still new, so one or both of you may not know what to expect while you’re away. Is texting everyday too much? Should we try to meet up at least once this summer, or am I being too clingy? In this situation, communication is key. You can’t be afraid to talk to your significant other. Remember in school when the teacher would say, “There are no dumb questions”? Well, keep that in mind when talking to your boo; just ask them how they feel and what they expect from this relationship. Then, communicate what you want in return. No one can read your mind (especially from miles away), so just lay your heart out on the table if you want to make the relationship work.
Like many other hopeless romantics, I believe love is real and something special. I’ve been in other relationships, but my first college relationship is the one I’m still in now (one year and eight months later). My boyfriend is special enough that I’ve never doubted him or thought that the time apart will put a strain on our relationship. If you feel even half of the romance novel kind of happiness I feel, then believe in your relationship, and it’ll all work out in the end.
There will be tough days, and days where you just want to cuddle with them for hours. However, don’t get bogged down in your feelings. Find the good in the situation. For example, think of all the fun you’ll have telling your significant other about your summer along with how much you missed them. Even throughout the summer, it’ll be fun to share your individual lives while you’re apart. Make it an adventure in itself, and just remember how important and special the other person is in your life. Be considerate and compromise. If you’re still within a few states of each other, come together as much as possible, and don’t make them feel bad if they aren’t able to stay in contact all the time. In the end, you’ll be back together in August, so survive three months without each other. It’ll be worth it in the end.