Summer is almost here and “single” is in the air. All year long from the first week of September until Memorial Day weekend, we sit around pining for “the one.” But something about summer triggers a sense of freedom in the blood. Your friends are all coming home from school, you’re starting that new lifeguarding job, classes are over and any type of responsibility sounds like torture.
Those of us that are in relationships suddenly feel trapped and those of us that are already single feel like we’ve hit the lottery. There’s no better time to be single than D’Jais opening weekend. “Last year, my boyfriend and I broke up in the beginning of May. It wasn’t the greatest relationship and I knew the summer was going to have much more to offer,” said Samantha LaRocca, senior.
So the real question here is: If you are one of those unlucky suckers who find themselves stuck in a relationship, how do you hold onto the love until September is in sight again? Chances are, at least one of the two people in every relationship is looking for an easy way out before June 1 hits. “Everybody breaks up in April or May. Most people don’t want to be held back over the summer,” said Dimitri DiMarco, student at the University.
If fate has it that you are not looking to dance half-naked on the bar at Bar Anticipation every “Sunday Funday” this summer and you actually like your significant other, I am here to teach you how to hold onto your beloved.
First, if you are in any way clingy, lay off immediately. Nobody wants a needy partner calling them every five minutes while they are getting their tan on at 16th Avenue in Belmar. Realize that you too need to enjoy your summer.
“Relationships are inevitably about the push and pull of dependence and independence, and having a bit of both is healthy. Being completely independent or painfully needy are both undesirable,” said Dr. Gary Lewandowski Jr., psychology professor. Summer is about relaxing, nice weather, cold drinks and time off from stress. So if you feel the need to text your boyfriend every 17 minutes to make sure he’s “doing okay,” then consider disconnecting your phone. “I dated a guy who called me every single night by 12:00 am to make sure that I was ‘home safe.’ I knew he really was just checking up on me,” said Samantha Cohen, senior.
This is going to sound a little odd, but the next thing you need to do is act aloof. You might be settled into your relationship routine at this point if you started dating last fall. Every week is the same with your classes, date nights, and cuddle sessions. Make yourself less available so that your lover stays on their toes. It’s human nature to want someone more when they are unavailable.
“I love to play that little game where I wait 20 minutes to return a g uy’s c all. I t k eeps t hem i nterested,” said Kayla Nennecke, senior at Seton Hall University. Take a little longer to respond to your girlfriend’s texts. Don’t write on your boyfriend’s wall as often. Say you’re busy when you’re not. You get the picture.
Next, going one step beyond “being aloof” is spending time apart. Spending time apart will help your significant other realize that they can have fun with their friends while still being with you. Most couples spend at least five nights a week together. Turn this into three nights a week. According to Lewandowski, trust and openness are a very important part of any relationship. Just be sure to make it clear to your partner that you need space. The first thing that this will do is make you miss each other that much more. The second thing this will do is give you both space to breathe and enjoy your summer. “My ex and I used to make a point to spend time apart. It was nice because I missed him more often that way,” said Ruth Myers, senior.
One of the best things you can do in a relationship is encourage your partner to spend time with his/her friends. So if Friday night is your usual date night, tell your girlfriend that this week you’re going out with the guys. If you like to spend Monday nights studying together, skip it and hang with your friends. “Space can be good or bad, but more than anything it needs to be what a person wants and what their partner wants. If one person wants space and the other doesn’t, things are not going to go well,” said Lewandowski.
Taking these small couple of steps will help you ease into a summer of partying, beach-going and vacationing while still holding onto the “love” you’ve found. It isn’t easy to dive headfirst into summer with all of your single friends dancing up a storm at a different beach bar every night. Make a point to go out with your single friends; just keep your shirt on and limit your gin and tonic intake to three, tops. Make a point to go to the beach with the guys and leave your girlfriend to be with her friends.
“It was the best when my ex-girlfriend would tell me to go out with my friends and enjoy myself,” said DiMarco.
Now in order to pull this off, you may need to practice a few calming breathing exercises, take up yoga, or do whatever it is that you find soothing. We all know that feeling you get when your boyfriend texts you letting you know that he’s going to Jack’s with the guys. It’s like a heart attack and a root canal rolled up into one. Or when your girlfriend calls to say she’ll be over “late” because a few works friends are getting drinks at the Draft House.
We all want to scream “Don’t go! Just stay home with me!” But you must, I repeat, must suppress this feeling if you want your relationship to succeed. No one wants to be held back in the summer. There is so much to do and experience. Life really happens during those three blissful months of heat.
Space is a healthy part of every relationship and regardless of the summer being on its way, we all need our alone time. So make sure you let your partner know that you’re in it for the long haul, and allow them a little room to breathe, to live it up this summer as if they were single, minus the whole “random hookup” aspect. Because who needs an awkward one-night-stand when you’ve got “the one” waiting for you at home?