Summer vacation is something that we can all look forward to. When we think of summer, we think of beaches, ice cream, road trips, tan lines and everything else we hope the summer will be filled with. Most of all, we hope that the summer will be filled with happiness. If you’re anything like us, you seem to have this unrealistic expectation that summer is going to be picture perfect—especially when it comes to spending time with your significant other.
What’s cuter than walking down the beach hand in hand while Taylor Swift’s “Sparks Fly” plays casually in your head? Absolutely nothing, that’s what. Even though summer could quite possibly do great wonders for your relationship, it could also be the reason that it may not do so well. Even though we’d love to day-dream about the endless possibilities that summer may hold, we often tend to forget the other things that summer comes with. Friends, jobs, internships, summer school or even distance also come with the start of the long awaited break. Here are some different reasons and scenarios where college relationships might not make it through the summer.
If you met your significant other in college, there’s a huge possibility that they don’t come from the same hometown as you. In this case, it’s most likely just a matter of distance. No matter how much time we spend on our phones, going from walking each other to class every day or simply just grabbing a meal together to relying on text messages and phone calls could still be pretty hard. Even though emojis are getting (kind of frighteningly) accurate at representing our emotions, there’s simply none that show our 2 am derp faces that make us who we are. Nothing can really replace cuddling up and watching a movie…no, not even your super soft body pillow.
Although it seems like your love is strong enough to withstand something so seemingly trivial as distance, it’s important not to underestimate the power distance can have. Trust us, we believe in the power of love as much as you (maybe even more), but distance does bring up some challenges. If you are from different towns, whether it’s an hour drive or a 15-hour drive, it’s important to plan for long distance, even if it’s just for the summer.
Simple things like these can give your relationship the spice it needs to keep the love *blossoming*:
- Setting a day of the week to FaceTime
- Watching a movie at the same time over the phone
- Sending pictures of things you did that day
- Writing letters
- Sending a simple text saying that you are thinking of them
Even the little things make a world of a difference. The important thing is to put in the extra effort each day to show your SO that no matter how busy you are, they are still on your mind. We know, it’s so cliche, but that’s what gets the butterflies in your stomach!
2. Spending too much time together
If you are lucky enough to live in the same hometown as your significant other, you have your own set of challenges to face. No matter how much you love spending time with someone, there’s always such thing as spending TOO much time together. With the stress of homework constantly keeping us busy gone, it leaves more room for lounging around at home. Although this is usually good, anything in excess could cause some problems.
With this, there is a risk of getting too comfortable with each other to the point where it seems like the relationship has gotten boring or even lost its *spark*. “Oftentimes, I’ve noticed that couples that seem to spend too much time together seem to get more frustrated with each other,” says Sabrina Lau, a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin. “I think it’s important to remember that a relationship should be two independent people that are together instead of two people depending on each other.”
It’s important to remember that summer is not just all about the things you and your significant other can do together, but it should also be about what YOU can do. Whether it’s joining a weekly yoga class, taking art lessons or simply just going for a run by yourself, making sure to do your own thing once in a while is always a good idea. Hey, we never said you couldn’t send Snaps documenting your new experiences to your SO.
3. Simply being too busy
Especially in college, summertime is not always going to be all fun and games. A lot of college students use summer as a time to be productive. We know…shocking, right? But hey, give us some credit—even though we are college students, we can be responsible every once in a while! Many people have internships, part-time jobs or even study abroad. The point is, that’s less time you have to spend with your boo thang.
“I think that face-to-face time or even just proximity that you get with your SO just by nature of going to the same school or attending the same classes probably has a lot to do with how your relationship developed in the first place,” says Margeaux Biché, a junior at Barnard College. “If you’re not on the same campus, hearing about the same events, frequenting the same places and on the same schedule, it can get tough to maintain that connection.”
As much as we may hate to admit it, we all get consumed by something or another that could potentially distract us from our SO. This could take a huge toll on relationships, especially if only one of you is busy throughout the summer. In this case, it is important to make sure your SO is supportive of these new endeavors you’re taking on. There’s no doubt that in the future, you and your SO will be stressed with work life or school life. In this time, make sure that you’re their number one cheerleader. As long as they continue to prioritize you as well as show you the affection you deserve, it’s okay if they’re busy. Most of the time, a SO is supposed to be someone who makes a person feel like they can breath even throughout the chaos of life.
4. The need for “adventure” during the summer
Finally, this is something that many people may not take into consideration. A lot of times when people think of summer, they think of it as a time to catch up with friends and family that they haven’t seen in a long time—a time when they need to experience new things…or even new people. Even though it’s totally okay to experience new things, more often than not we hear the phrase “we have all summer to hang out” or “I see you all the time.” We often begin to prioritize other things under the pretense that we can always see our SO later. Especially in the summer, there’s more room for feelings to start to get a little confusing.
“I would say relationships usually don’t last over the summer because most people use this time to be free,” says Ashley Drayton, a Georgia State University graduate. “Everyone is happier, excited for new adventures so people tend to lean towards being single and not having to worry about a significant other.”
It’s definitely true that sometimes we get so lost in the idea of having an “adventurous” summer that we often feel as though we may not need somebody else. We may even think that these new experiences are better than our old ones. Although it’s great to be an independent person, it’s important to think about what you really want. People tend to get so wrapped up in the idea that summer is for flings, hookups and fun that they have this desire to try new things. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the best for someone in a committed relationship.
In the midst of summer being a time for adventure, we sometimes have the urge to look for something fresh and new. This is mostly the case for relationships that seem to be reaching the end of the “honeymoon phase.” Those couples that seem to start to become too comfortable with each other may have a desire to reach that new and exciting time period once again. Just remember girls, if this is the case, maybe he just isn’t as into you as he should be.
Summer is a great time to test the strength of your relationship. Not only does it allow you to work through different obstacles, it gives you time to grow as a person. It’s a time that allows reflection not only on the relationship, but on yourself individually.
Summer could show you what you really like to do or it could show you that your relationship isn’t meant to be. Maybe you’ll realize that you are too dependent on each other…or maybe you’ll realize that you’re perfectly independent. Whether it ends up ending a relationship or strengthening a relationship, just remember: You’ll learn from it.