Stay Connected When Your Partner is Away
Whether you are in a long-distance relationship with someone who is attending school in a different state, or your partner is just so busy with classes that you can’t spend a lot of time together, it can be a struggle to feel connected with someone in school.
Long-distance relationships are nothing new, and anyone who has been through one will likely tell you how difficult they can be. But dating someone who is in the same area as you, but too busy to spend time together can be just as hard. It takes constant work to maintain a relationship at any stage. If you have been with your partner for a long time, it can take even more work. When you are apart or can’t communicate as often, that can start to feel like a full-time job.
So, what can you both do to put in the extra effort and stay connected when your partner is in school? How can you find ways to keep your relationship strong while one of you is trying to achieve your dreams? Let us look at a few practical solutions that can help you both during this transitional time.
Preparing a plan as partners
The first thing you should do with your partner is have a long conversation. If they are trying to achieve a certain goal or want to focus on a specific career path, attending school somewhere far away or devoting a lot of time to it might be their only option.
You need to make a game plan for how you are going to handle the distance or the busy schedule, as a couple. Being able to compromise is important in any relationship, so be willing to work together to remove tension and reach a peaceful agreement. Things may not feel perfect, but communicating and compromising will help your relationship to stay stable.
Finding flexible options
It is important for both of you to be flexible during this stage of life. Your partner may not always be able to spend time with you when you want. You might need to change your plans if you had a phone call scheduled. While it can be easy to get frustrated over things like this, practicing flexibility is the key to not feeling overwhelmed.
More schools than ever across the country are making it easier to be flexible, thanks to options like:
- Online classes
- Stacked credentials
- Connected classrooms
Options like these make it easier to achieve a better school-life balance, so encourage your partner to look into them rather than going the traditional route where they may have to attend classes at a specific location each day.
You will also need to learn to be flexible in the way you interact. Most people know how important communication is in a relationship, but it becomes even more imperative when you don’t see your partner regularly. The way you both communicate will have a big impact on the strength of your relationship.
To boost your communication, make sure you are practicing active listening. If your partner is away or busy with school and you have time to talk, listen to what they have to say. They might be excited about what they are learning and want to share it with you. You might have an interesting story about your day. Active listening means being an invested participant in the conversation, and it can bring you closer as a couple.
How to boost emotional intimacy
Because you may not be able to show much affection or physical intimacy with your partner right now, boosting your emotional intimacy can help you to feel more connected. That starts with setting aside everything else and carving out specific time for your partner and your relationship. If that means scheduling a date night once a week, make sure you both consider it a priority. If it means talking on the phone for 20 minutes every night at 8 p.m., that also needs to be a priority.
When you make a commitment to put your relationship first, it boosts trust, intimacy and vulnerability even if you are far apart or busy.
You can also boost intimacy by listening to each other’s feelings. Sometimes, this period of life will be easy, and other times it will be hard. If you are willing to listen to each other’s frustrations without judgment, you will grow together and work to be each other’s support system.
That brings us to our last point: It is so important to support your partner as they go to school. While it might put a strain on your relationship at times, if they have a passion or a dream, being a supportive partner will strengthen your relationship rather than weaken it. Alhough getting through the distance or the busy schedule will be difficult for you both, making the choice to be supportive will mean more to your partner than you might realize.
Understand that this is only temporary. Your partner won’t be in school forever. Use this time to work on strategies that build your relationship up, so by the time your partner is finished with school, you will feel more connected than ever.