Campus relationships are like a make-shift tent; you put it up when you reach the camping site, and when it’s time to go home, you pack it up and shove it in the trunk.
Much like the academic year, many campus relationships have two semester breaks in between, something that we have learnt to live with. An unwanted time apart that we have all gotten accustomed to and that we live through, one day at a time, staying afloat by texting, audio/video calls and the occasional rendezvous in town.
Seldom is it ever this long though. That is why this is an incredibly unique set of circumstances this time round, given COVID-19 and all. If you are on the relationship boat, you are probably experiencing some turbulence. As a matter of fact, some people are literally a heartbeat away from screaming mayday.
Do not worry though, your S.O.S has been received. When COVID-19 first showed up, we all expected the closing of schools to be nothing short of a brief breath of fresh air. That has since turned into an awfully long spell of existential hibernation for most people and the ever vibrant campus romance stories have since turned into fully fledged relationship nightmares. It is doomsday in paradise and the worst part is, we do not know how much longer it is going to be before we can achieve some normalcy.
To survive this dilemma, therefore, everybody is adjusting to what has been dubbed ‘the new normal’, adopting new ways of doing things, in light of all these changes. If you are caught in this paradigm, you are probably going to have to make a few changes to the dynamics of your relationship. We all have to tweak a few things here and there, because it is not business as usual, people! Here is how.
Break the routine: It has been four months so far, so you have probably adopted a certain routine. Change it up. Routine is the single easiest way to make things boring. Adjust your schedule, if you’ve been talking to your partner in the evenings, change that to the early afternoons, or a more spontaneous time of your choosing.
Be absent: Okay this here is a bit controversial. But there is a reason why they say absence makes the heart grow fonder. There is a natural tendency to want to compensate for the physical absence by over being in your partner’s face, on phone. Do not do that. Texting/calling non-stop does not necessarily help the situation. Instead, try actually being absent. Set a designated couple of hours for catching up on each other’s day in the evening. This will probably mean more than an entire day of random texting.
Make use of technology: Even though you probably have one primary medium of communication, maybe SMS or WhatsApp texts, spontaneously venture into other media such as video calls, IMO and Facebook messenger. It may seem small but a change of platform may be the breath of fresh air that you need. Also, alternate between texts, audio and video calls ensuring that you are never staying in the same place too long. It helps.
Avoid mobile fights: At one point or another, you are going to get bored, or frustrated, or both. There is going to be a temptation to fight over little things. While fighting, in general, can be catastrophic, fighting via texts/phone call is outright dangerous. Texting in particular has a way of blowing things out of proportion. You are more susceptible to misunderstanding each other and what may have started out as a little issue could very easily set the house on fire.
Mind the little things: This one goes two ways. The little things can bring back the much needed spark to a relationship. A random text in the middle of the day saying ‘I miss you’ and ‘take care’ could go a long way. However, the same small things can also bring you down. For example, do not underestimate the little things you say that piss off your partner. Your relationship is already strained considerably by the long distance and all. Do not make it worse. Avoid little slip-ups.
Be creative: This may be the last but it is hardly the least. Why? Because every relationship is unique and you know yours best. The only person that knows exactly what to do is you. So, do what you have to do. Desperate situations call for desperate measures, there has never been a better time to get out of your comfort zone.