What happens when two persons travel back to their countries after having a summer romance? For some, the summer romance remains at that, a summer romance. Others may opt to develop their summer romance to a long-distance relationship. The popular view of long distance relationships may be that of being less satisfying and functional than relationships that are geographically close, however research does show that long distance relationships are not lower in quality, and that individuals in such relationships often report a positive experience of their long-distance relationship. In fact, research also shows that the quality of the relationship is not about whether the relationship is long-distance or geographically close, but it is however, related to the individual characteristics of the persons forming the relationship (Dargie et al., 2015).

In this blog, which I will divide into two parts, I will be discussing some of the main differences that may be experienced when transitioning from a summer romance to a long-distance relationship. The second part of this blog will consist of a number of tips, based on what research finds as best predictors of positive relationship outcomes, for persons who are developing their summer romance to a long-distance relationship.

Adjusting to the changes

There are a number of differences between a summer romance and a long-distance relationship, and it might help to be aware of these differences so that the couple can support each other through adjusting to these. For instance, in a summer romance, the couple could have become accustomed to being physically close to one another. On the other hand, when pursuing a long-distance relationship, the aspect of physical closeness is naturally taken away when the couple is geographically apart.

Another common difference is that when going back to their countries, both parties might resume back with their typical day-to-day routines. That means that if the couple met when they are on holiday, the couple might now be faced with the situation of getting to know what the other person is like when they are back to work, back with their families or back to their studies; just to mention a few examples. Different routines might bring forth different parts of a person’s character, and one might potentially notice some differences between what the person was like on holiday or during a summer vacation, to when they return to work. Different day-to-day routines might also mean that the couple might need to make a few changes in the routine of their contact with one another. If while on vacation a person might have a certain routine of being available to message, call or video call someone, the routine of contact might change when going back to work, or school. This is because one might be available at different times of the day.

Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on rebecca@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.