You’ve been at college or university for a few months now. You’ve settled into a routine and started to embrace the student lifestyle.
No doubt you’ll be looking forward to the Christmas holiday – your first break since the term began.
If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend back home, this will be the first extended period of time you’ll have to spend with them.
Reunions can be tricky. You have been living your separate day-to-day lives and looking forward to being together again so expectations can be high and often unrealistic. Things rarely go as expected and a sense of disappointment can lead to frustration and disagreements. So be prepared for a few arguments. You may be surprised at how tense you feel being back together. There will be a lot to talk about but sometimes it isn’t easy to catch up on your lives while you have been apart.
Improving your long-distance relationship
After a few months of being in a long-distance relationship (LDR) together, you’ll both have an idea of what is and isn’t working – although you may see these very differently. Being face to face is an opportunity to share your different experiences and perspectives and work out how to communicate things differently and better – you could make more of an effort with your Skype dates or come up with a schedule to see each other more regularly such as every second weekend.
You might want to visit our online tool for student relationships for more help and advice.
Have your feelings changed?
The opportunities for new relationships at Uni may mean you’ve started to differently about your relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe you want to be free to gain more sexual experience or you realize that you have changed and want different things, or that it’s impossible to focus on your studies and getting the most from Uni while maintaining an LDR.
Becoming aware that your feelings have changed can be disturbing especially if you feel you need to be open and end the relationship. Breaking up is never easy but breaking up over the Christmas period is especially hard. So think really hard about the impact of this decision on you and your boyfriend/girlfriend and about the timing. If you do decide to break up, read our guide to When Relationships End for advice on how to cope.
Of course, it may be that it’s your boyfriend or girlfriend who tells you it’s over and you are going to have to deal with the emotional fallout.
The first Xmas apart
On the other hand, you could be dating someone you’ve met at college and the Christmas holidays will be the first time you’ve been apart from one another.
Read our guide to staying connected when apart for our top tips on feeling close when far apart.