Ahh, summertime. It’s time to trade in your textbooks for a nice beach read and spend weekdays out by a pool instead of stuck in a classroom. Other than a change of pace, summer can also mean big changes for your relationship. If you and your partner are used to seeing each other every day at school or you and your partner will be in different places this summer, your relationship may change in ways you don’t want to deal with. Should you stay together? Here are some things to think about:
- Do you trust each other? Do you feel like you have to worry about your partner telling the truth and doesyour partner worry about you? Trust can make or break a relationship. A healthy relationship means you and your partner trust that they are both being honest about everything- how you are feeling, what you have been doing, etc. Summer can really test this- when you aren’t spending as much time together, you will have to trust each other more.
- Are you both equal in the relationship? Do you make decisions about your relationship together? Even little decisions, like where to eat or what party to attend, matter. Especially for the big things, do you both get an equal say? What about your standards- do you both hold each other to the same expectations in the relationship? For example, is it OK for your partner to Facebook chat with his or her ex, but your partner would get mad if you did the same. In a healthy relationship, that doesn’t happen- decisions about the relationship are made together and each partner expects the same from the other.
- Do you have enough room to breathe? Do you feel like you are spending enough time with the other people who matter in your life, like your parents or your best friend? Summer can be the best time to rejuvenate those relationships, but you need to have enough space from your partner to do this. In a healthy relationship, each partner has a life outside of the relationship.
- Do you communicate too much, too little, too often? Summer can mean big changes in how you and your partner communicate. If you and your partner are in different states or just can’t hang out as much, texting and calling may replace talking face-to-face. Are you worried your partner will text you constantly or go days without calling? In a healthy relationship, even a long-distance one, both partners feel listened to, but not suffocated.
- Are you on the same page about where the relationship is heading? Is this a spring fling or a could it be headed to a serious commitment? Do you know where your partner stands? This can really affect how much time and energy you are willing to invest in this relationship this summer. In a healthy relationship, both partners know what kind of future they want from their relationship.
- Are you happy? This is the most important question to ask yourself. All relationships go through highs and lows, but if your relationship has become fight and fight, then it may be time to consider letting go this summer. Remember, your happiness is your first priority.
If your answers to these aren’t what you want them to be, especially the last one, you may want to take some time to think before your relationship continues into the summer. If you think you or a friend might be in an unhealthy relationship, look at these warning signs. There is an advocate waiting to take your calls and chats.
What else do you think is important when deciding if a couple should stay together over the summer?