Romantic relationships fostered in college can be difficult to manage over the summer, especially when you live far apart from each other and have spent a good majority of time together at school. This article highlights some tips for maintaining a healthy relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend over the summer.
Give him/her some space
Summer break exists for a reason: it is a time for teachers and students alike to take a pause between work periods to delineate between semesters and allow for a mental reset. That being said, cultivating your college relationships is important throughout the summer, but, like school, can be naturally sparser.
A good way to take advantage of this “off time” is partake in a summer job — not only will this bring you some extra cash but will give you experience working with people or in a field of expertise and will keep you busy, physically and socially. The benefits of having a job stem even further by allowing you to develop socially and independently as a college student.
So, be audacious and go after that job or internship you’ve been eyeing for a while — maybe, fortuitously, you’ll be selected, and even appraised for your efforts!
A few more ways to stay busy over the summer and grow independently are practicing a hobby, studying a subject or taking a class, and spending time with friends and family. If you are endowed with musical or theatrical abilities, join an orchestra or sign up for a drama class at community college. You’ll make new friends and have something new and exciting to talk about with your girlfriend/boyfriend when you visit them.
If you wish to continue your academics over the summer, become adept at a skill such as coding and go get hired as a computer programmer. One of the best pieces of advice is to spend more time with your family and friends because they too are an everlasting and important part of your life. Partake in family events and vacations and take your friends to places that you’d normally drag your boyfriend/girlfriend to. Learn to have fun with different people on different occasions.
Independence is important in a relationship, and you should learn how to be happy without needing reassurance from your boyfriend/girlfriend. Being your own person with your own collection of experiences will not only give you more to talk about with them but will serve to enhance the attraction between you and them — you admire the unique qualities and talents that they have, and so do they in you. Giving him/her space shows that you care about their personal development and want them to grow as an individual, in their family/friend relationships, academically, etc.
How should you go about communicating with your boyfriend/girlfriend to foster independence? A classic, overlooked and underrated way of doing this is to write letters! Letters are oftentimes a sincerer alternative to your everyday text and will keep you abreast of their summer highlights. Abstain from texting, Snapchatting, and FaceTiming to create a stronger bond between you and your girlfriend/boyfriend by enabling trust and allowing for self-focus. Create something nice for him/her, like a painting, framed photo, or poem. Read the same book over the summer to feel closer to them—this way, you’ll have even more to discuss upon seeing them.
Enjoy your time together
Finally, make your moments with your girlfriend/boyfriend more memorable and sincere. Put away your phone. Be ingenious and take interest in their thoughts and activities; even more, encourage them to achieve their goals. Bolster their confidence to go after the job they want or to engage in a desired activity. Talking less over text will have you more agog to hear about their summer experiences.
Instead of using him/her as an outlet and venting about negative experiences, stay positive (but realistic) and be altruistic; listen as well as talk. Be yourself, because you are who they appreciate and value the most. Do something out of the ordinary with them, whether that is hiking or going out for karaoke, for a fresh experience.
It is hard to navigate through the summer without your boyfriend or girlfriend by your side, readily available to you like at school. I can ensure that taking these steps can alter your mindset and boost your appreciation for your companion. College is a time for growth, and summer is a period of time to grow in areas that are rather fallow during the school year. Learn to love yourself, and hopefully, that will allow you to love your boyfriend/girlfriend more.