Status update: your summer relationship

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Summer is finally here, and that means more time to spend with the person who makes you feel amazing. However, summer is not always about going to the beach every day. If you’re concerned about your particular type of relationship this summer, here are some things you can do to maintain whatever stage you’re in:

Maybe you’re in a long-term relationship. How can we define this? Maybe it’s been six months — or even more. Although the cutoff for being in an “official” long-term relationship remains ambiguous, maybe there’s one thing you know for sure: This person’s the one.

There are definitely perks of being in a long-term relationship. The killer butterflies that make you feel like you’re going to crap your pants have finally flown away. Now, it’s no longer weird that your significant other has to poop. You guys can finally have dates that involve eating barbecue. Maybe y’all even feel comfortable enough to take showers together. However comfortable you feel, the point is that you’re comfortable.

Berkeley’s academic year is full of distractions, and the distractions never fully disappear over the summer. This usually means busy summers interning, volunteering or even studying abroad.

However, no matter how busy you may be, remember to channel your Brian McKnight. Bring it back to step one. Summer is the perfect time to explore exactly why you guys fell in love. Also remember to support your partner. If you and your partner have ambitious goals to accomplish during the summer (some or all of which could be mutually exclusive), make sure to let your significant other know that you’re there for him or her no matter what. I’m talking flowers, chocolates, morning breakfasts in bed, coffee outings, dates overlooking the Bay Area or even daily text reminders telling your partner how much you believe in them.

If you’re in a long-distance relationship, don’t fret. Not being able to see a person that you’re totally head over heels for can be scary but shows strength. Most importantly, long-distance relationships show that you trust each other enough to be miles away over long periods of time. If the love of your life doesn’t even live in the Bay Area, then summer is definitely the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Book it. This is the time to grab that Greyhound ticket or schedule a flight to spend some time with the person you’ve been waiting to see. Or, better yet, drag his or her butt to the Bay Area and explore all the romantic — though sometimes cliched — spots overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Alternatively, it’s possible that you’re in a temporarily long-term relationship. Maybe your significant other is on a family vacation in another state or country. Also, let’s not forget about UC Berkeley’s study abroad program. Maybe your partner is going to spend a month or more in Europe. Distance sucks, but make it work! With the world being technologically integrated, 3,000 miles doesn’t mean that you can’t see your sweetheart for more than a couple days at a time. If you’re determined to maintain this relationship through the summer, there are two ways to keep connected.

The first way is to send pictures to each other. It can soften the blow of being so far apart and also offers a way for you guys to explore the world together.

The second way is through phone or Skype sex. If you’re missing your one and only in every way possible, virtual sex could help maintain that intimacy. Although it could be a step out of your comfort zone, remember that this is summer. It’s a time for adventures and for new things! Phone or Skype sex can be another memorable experience you guys share together, or it could be that hilarious event you guys can look back on and laugh about.

Maybe after all is said and done, your relationship wasn’t like the ones you find in romantic comedies. Maybe you’re done. Being done refers back to an inevitable truth about relationships: No matter who it is, at least one person ends up being hurt. If you’re sure that you cannot continue with your relationship, wipe away those tears. The start of this season is offering you a new beginning.

During your post-breakup summer, you have the option of staying friends with your ex. Let’s be honest. John Mayer has a point. You’re either friends, lovers or nothing. If you and your ex get along great as friends, that’s, well, great! Not sure how that works out, but that’s wonderful. But be careful not to jump too quickly onto the Friendship Happiness Express. Now that you’re back on the market, don’t let being friends with your ex stop you from hanging out with someone new. Enjoy meeting the new people in your life. Remember there’s always time in the future for settling down.

Now that summer has come, maybe you’ve finally met the one. Maybe you’re falling in love. Love. This is what we fight for. This is why we cry, and this is why our hearts break. This is why we’re left with memories we can’t forget and why our lives start to change. But most importantly, this is how we grow. Sometimes you may not even feel it happening. It just happens. All of a sudden, you find that you just want to be with this person. Now. This summer.

If this is how you’re feeling, I can only offer you one word of advice: Go. Just go. Regardless of what type of relationship you’re in, summer is a beautiful season. Its warmth and comfort will surround you every day, whether you’re with the one you love or if you are the only person you want to spend time with. Make this summer memorable. Appreciate every moment and remember the bliss of not knowing where life can lead you — and whom you might meet.


Contact Karen Kwaning at [email protected]