Dear Di

Dear Di is the Fulcrum foremost expert in sexual relations
Illustration: Christine Wang/Fulcrum
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Di explains the importance of communication in a changing relationship

Dear Di, 

I have been in a happy relationship throughout the summer. We spent plenty of time together, and always made plans for when we’d see each other next. Now that classes have started, we’ve both become busier people. Unfortunately, I am struggling with seeing my partner less often, wondering when we’re going to make plans, and simply, dealing with getting less attention. Do you have any advice to help me adjust to these changes?

– Suddenly Lonely Lover

Dear SLL, 

The adjustment from wonderful summer vibes to classes and assignments is always a drag. Of course, it’s even worse when the things you’ve become accustomed to are forced to change. Relationships are constantly changing, and you and your partner are going to have to work together to adjust to these changes. 

The main thing to focus on in this situation is communication. Being able to communicate is essential in maintaining a relationship. That said, I don’t mean that you need to constantly be talking all day, everyday. I am saying that you and your partner need to be able to have conversations where you establish your needs. Because things are changing, you both need to be comfortable in confronting each other when you don’t like something that is happening, or when you feel like you need something else from your partner. 

However, it’s important to avoid smothering each other. With classes and work being priorities, you need to understand that there is going to be less free time. Sometimes, that free time isn’t going to be spent with you. It’s not because your partner doesn’t want to spend time with you, it is probably because they need to wind down and recover from all the busy things happening in their life. There are more things to a person than their relationship. Sometimes, your partner is going to want to play video games, watch Netflix, or hang out with their other friends during  their limited free time. 

Of course, it can be difficult not knowing when you’re going to spend time together next. The best you can do is be patient. Don’t sit around and wait for your partner to have time for you, use your time to do things you want and need to do. If there’s something you want to do with your partner, just say so, the worst that will happen is they say no and you’ll just have to try to plan something else. 

If you and your partner are meant to be, then you’ll be able to navigate through the changes that come with school. It won’t be without a bit of struggling and learning, but being vocal about your feelings while being respectful of your partner’s space will make things go as smoothly as possible.

All of my advice goes back to communication. As long as you and your partner are able to have serious conversations about the status of your relationship, you will always be able to fix any problems, or adjust to any changes.

– Di