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Skull Go Ahead Call The Cops I’m Still Kicking Your A Till They Get Here Shirt, hoodie, tank top
If you and your boyfriend want to give this a shot, don’t let anyone talk you out of it. That description of love, from Saint Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, is in itself a pretty good game plan of what you’ll need. Follow that, and you’ll be fine. But here are a few more specific suggestions.
First, set the ground rules and expectations for your relationship. Go on a long walk in the park and talk about the difficulties you envision, the hardships you foresee, and how you’d like to address them. Write it all down in a notebook the two of you can share. The worst thing you can do is build your relationship on a foundation of misunderstandings: He thinks you’ll travel home once a month, but you’re only planning on coming home at Thanksgiving and Christmas. He thinks you plan to transfer back west in a year if you’re still together, but you don’t have that intention. Misunderstandings can breed distrust, and distrust can doom a friendship, let alone a romance.
Now, I don’t recommend that you attempt to keep each other apprised of a detailed plan for each and every day. You shouldn’t need to know exactly where your boyfriend is at any given moment. Would you have that information if you lived in the same town? Probably not. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to expect that, on opposite sides of North America, you’ll have his GPS coordinates. Be flexible, be trusting, and be open.
Perhaps the most important expectation to get on the same page about is communication. I can speak from experience here and recommend that you avoid setting a standard nightly, lengthy phone or video call. Your evenings in college are prime time for studying, building friendships with roommates, and spontaneous adventures. You’ll likely never have another period in your entire life when so many friends are in such close proximity and available for hanging out at basically any time.
To take full advantage of that, you don’t want a nightly appointment that you’ll inevitably feel guilty about breaking. Besides, the nightly call can, because of its generic nature, turn into a “How was your day? / It was fine. / How about yours?” slog.
Instead, reserve one (weeknight) evening per week, to catch up for an hour or so. Leave your weekends for your in-person friends. Check in with texts, gifs, and memes on your other days, but keep it light.