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Sex + Relationships

Guys’ Take On: Staying Together Over The Summer

It’s the final countdown.  You’ve begun fantasizing about handing in your last final and kissing this semester goodbye permanently.  You’re thinking about packing up your stuff and visiting all your favorite spots one more time.  Suddenly, a queasy feeling starts to creep up on you.  Why the added anxiety?  Well, kissing the semester goodbye also means kissing your guy goodbye – especially if your hometowns or summer plans are nowhere near each other.  It’s the bittersweet part of summer.  On the one hand, you get the feeling of accomplishment from finishing classes.  On the other, you have the added stress of answering the ultimate question: Do you stay together over the summer, or put things on hold? 
 

The good news is you aren’t alone in feeling this way.  Collegiettes everywhere face this same dilemma every year.  Because every relationship is unique, there is no “right” answer.  And it can be especially difficult when you can’t quite put a finger on how your guy feels about it.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just be inside of his head for five minutes to figure out what he wants to do?  Well, we don’t have psychic abilities, but Her Campus does have the next best thing: we’ve compiled quotes and opinions from guys across the country on summer relationships!
 
Call It Quits

Let’s face it.  Some guys (and girls too!) just aren’t into the idea of being committed to someone that they can’t see regularly.  They aren’t crazy.  The survival rates of long distance relationships aren’t pretty.  Here are a few guys’ thoughts on why they think staying together over the summer is a no-go:
 

“Last summer my girl and I were in a good spot, but I knew we weren’t going to stay together in the fall. I made the decision that I wanted to have some more freedom since the end was in sight, and it was the best decision I could have made. I had tons of fun that summer, and I’m pretty sure she met some other guys too that she wouldn’t have met otherwise.” –Ethan, sophomore, University of Northern Iowa
 
“I just got out of a long-term relationship that was honestly stretched out way too long. We were fine during the year when we saw more of each other, but during the summer we both got really involved in different lifestyles. By the time we got back to school, stuff just wasn’t the same. It’s been really hard and we just were too different.” –Brett, junior, Louisiana State University
 
An Open Relationship?  

An open relationship can mean different things to different couples.  The working definition for this story is that you’re in a relationship, but still allowed to hook up with other people.  It’s a controversial subject with opposing viewpoints: 

Go For It:
“I honestly think an open relationship is the way to go with a problem like this.  My girl would be jealous if she knew I was out with a group and there were girls there.  And I would feel insane pressure not to do something that she wouldn’t like.  An open relationship takes off the pressure and lets you have fun before you reconnect in the fall.” –Kyle, freshman, University of Arkansas
 
Avoid At All Costs:
“An open relationship is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.  Being in a relationship with someone where you have permission to hook up with other people is NOT a relationship.  If you’re with someone, it should be because you want to be with them and no one else.  If I wanted to hook up with whoever I wanted, I’d be single.”-Ryan, sophomore, University of Missouri

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Stay Together

This won’t be the solution for everybody but in the grand scheme of things, summer is only three months long.  These guys felt like their relationships were worth the wait to keep going through the summer: 

“Long distance is never an ideal situation, but a good relationship is hard to find.  If you’re with someone who makes you happy, do everything you can to make it work.” –Benjamin, junior, University of Missouri
 
“A few summers ago my girlfriend and I were having a rough patch during the finals of spring semester and really not sure if we should continue our relationship. We were worried that summer would be too big of a distance because she lives about three hours away and I was going to stay on campus. We did decide to give it a try, and I’m so glad we did. I think that the stress on our relationship was circumstantial, and after the semester ended, we were able to focus on us again.”-Brandon, senior, University of Tulsa
 
“I never thought I’d be the kind of guy who would say this, but sometimes you can find the person who you’re supposed to be with in college.  What is a few months compared to the rest of your lives?  If you’re meant to be together it should work out.”-Adam, senior, University of Illinois
 
How It Should Go

Even guys who were pro staying together conceded that there would need to be some set conditions involved.  What are some stipulations that make or break a guy’s decision to continue the relationship despite the separation? 
 
“The only way to ‘do’ a long distance relationship in my opinion is with lots of talk time and complete trust.  Which means even if it isn’t a big deal to you that you went to the pool with a bunch of guys, it isn’t something I would want to hear from someone else.”-Dylan, sophomore, Wichita State University
 
“I think long distance relationships can work if both people have some plan on being together in the future. If you’re high school sweethearts who are being torn apart by school locations, I think it is best to put the relationship on hold and find out who you are without that other influence. If you don’t have any long term plans, I think it is destined for failure.”-Sam, sophomore, Boston Conservatory

Staying Together – The Pros:

  • No messy break-up.
  • We live in a world of Skyping and texting–it’s easier to stay connected!
  • You could plan a visit to see each other and have that to look forward to.
  • It’s only three months. 
  • You’ll have a better shot of staying together in the long run!

Staying Together – The Cons:

  • You will need to be prepared to devote a lot of free time to communication.
  • You may feel lonely from time to time—especially if you see your friends going on dates.
  • Making trips to see each other could get expensive.
  • The stress of it may end the relationship. 

Most guys mentioned one key factor in making the decision: how long have you been in a relationship before the summer begins?  If you’ve been together long enough that serious feelings have developed, breaking it off for the summer may be harder than putting in the extra effort to stay connected.  If you haven’t been together that long, putting things on hold might be easier until the fall.  That way, you will have time to discover if you both still want to see where things go with your relationship.  Plus, just because you put things on hold doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch!
 
Now that you know what the guys think you can start to figure out what you think about the state of your relationship.  Now you’re totally prepared to tackle the decision you’ve been dreading so that you can focus on all of the awesome things you will do this summer.  Good luck, collegiettes!
 
Photo Credits:
http://www.wwwdatingguide.com/2011/12/guest-post-exploring-open-relationships/
http://www.getyour-x-back.com/breaking-up-is-hard-to-do/
http://www.salon.com/2003/07/02/blonde_2/
http://www.layoutsparks.com/1/39633/love-young-couple-hugging.html
http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&sa=N&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&biw=1225&bih=787&tbm=isch&tbnid=KTwJ_FxEnxHilM:&imgrefurl=http://www.wwjanedo.com/&docid=GzqvLBiHxjdrpM&imgurl=http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZXY81dTYuFw/To4nXFa1J3I/AAAAAAAACgI/lvKdSSKR_WE/s1600/thumb.php.jpg&w=400&h=266&ei=x7OIT5mvMoqVgweM75DQCQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=287&vpy=136&dur=288&hovh=183&hovw=275&tx=175&ty=102&sig=111875194163658295135&page=1&tbnh=142&tbnw=198&start=0&ndsp=24&ved=1t:429,r:13,s:0,i:98

Brooke Hofer is a senior at the University of Missouri. She is majoring in Strategic Communications through the School of Journalism while also pursuing minors in Classics, Psychology and a general Honors degree. In addition to writing for Her Campus, Brooke is an active member of Kappa Delta Sorority (Epsilon Iota chapter), Vice President of Sigma Alpha Pi, and she is a barista in the Columbia, Missouri area. Brooke loves working out, writing short stories, reading old books, and spending time with her family and friends in Kansas City. She hopes to eventually travel the world while working in the advertising or public relations industry.
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