It’s easy to make your college relationships work when your partners are close — like, down the dorm hall kind of close, or seated next to you in every other lecture hall kind of close. But what happens come summer, when the two of you may be states apart?
Is your relationship strong enough to survive three months apart? And note that those three months are just as full of the temptations you’ve got in college, plus some — coming home parties, weekend-long concerts, road trips, boat days, lake houses, and more.
If you’re confused or ambivalent about your relationship now, it’s a good idea to decide whether it’s something you want to pursue into the summer, when you may have to turn down certain experiences to acquiesce your partner.
These five red flags will help you get off the fence and make a decision before you waste both you and your partner’s time over the summer.
You don’t trust your partner. Does one or both of you get angry and jealous often? Do you find it hard to trust your partner when they’re going out with their friends? Scared to death about what’s going to happen when they’re away over the summer? Find yourself snooping through their phone or browser history? If you’ve got trust issues that might stem from something larger than the relationship, you need to check those and do some self-work. But if your trust issues exist because your partner has done things in the past to provoke distrust, you might want to think about whether it’s worth the worry.
You pick fights. Are you always on the finding the negative in the relationship, or a reason to be upset? You may be sabotaging your relationship, and largely unaware of it. Sabotage, in fact, is quite common, and a mechanism to avoid intimacy so as to manage expectations and prevent hurt later (which you view as inevitable). If you throw your relationship into the fire now, you’ll avoid the hurt that may come later when it’s not expected and you haven’t emotionally prepared yourself for it. If you’re finding ways to ruin your relationship, it’s either a good sign you shouldn’t be in it, or again, you may need to look deeper inside and unravel the negative behavior pattern.
You don’t feel the same chemistry. You used to look at your partner and sparks flew, fires erupted, and generally nothing else in your peripheral existed besides your partner. Is that no longer the case? If you feel as if you and your partner don’t have the same chemistry you used to, emotionally or physically, it might be time to end it before you go long-distance into the summer. When chemistry fades, it’s a good sign that the spark is dying.
You have little in common. Sure, it sounds like a no-brainer. How could you date someone you shared no interests with? But many of us do, because the initial attraction that drew two people together overpowered whether or not those two people had anything in common. And once that attraction fades, you have to hope that there will be more foundational ground in the relationship, like companionship, that will hold it together. If you two have nothing in common, it’s going to be a struggle later, we promise.
You find yourself looking elsewhere. If you’re noticing that members of the opposite sex are doing more than catching your eye, you might not be with a keeper. While it’s natural to look and be attracted to others while dating someone you love, doing any more than that is not a good sign. If you find yourself fantasizing about more than just your celebrity crush but the cute guy in your Econ class or the waitress at your favorite restaurant, consider ending it before infidelity sets in.