They say love conquers all, but whoever came up with that platitude probably never went through final exams in high school.

With all the stress, all-nighters and over-snacking that comes with this period, it’s damn near impossible to take care of yourself, let alone the emotions of another human being.

That’s why so many relationships crumble during exams, which is a shame because this is precisely the time having the support of your partner and best friend would go down an absolute treat.

Sometimes a difficult period like this simply exposes the problems that have been present in a relationship for a long time, and breaking up was inevitable anyway. Most of the time though, we honestly and earnestly believe that we would have made it work if it weren’t for those pesky exams.

Here’s how to avoid these massive what if’s and keep cool during this period so your relationship stays intact.

1. Communicate your expectations

Everyone will have different needs and expectations come exam time, just as they will have different goals for what they want out of them. It’s important for both people in the relationship to recognise these things and to communicate them clearly to one another from the get-go.

It’s fine to want to do well in your exams and to take the necessary steps to ensure this. Sometimes this looks like cutting yourself off from social contact for a while and resuming sanity afterwards; others might want constant affection and cute messages from their bae to get them through it.

Of course, you won’t always get exactly what you need, and it’d be selfish to expect them to give it all to you. However, knowing how to best support you is the first step in them, you know, actually doing so. 

2. Be understanding

Communicating your expectations to your bf/gf ensures your feelings are known and taken care of, but keeping a relationship alive is a team sport. You need to put in work too, especially when your partner’s needs are different to yours.

This means that even if you’re the clingy one that needs to be tagged in motivating memes every hour, you understand that your bf/gf might need more space than that.

Conversely, if they’re the one that’s messaging you more than you’d prefer, you need to understand that you can’t just ignore them completely. I’m not saying you put their feelings above yours, but if you care about them, then be understanding when they’re asking something from you. 

3. Sync your schedules

Even the most hectic study schedules will have time for breaks and rest, and if yours doesn’t then you need to rethink your approach. Knowing your bf/gf’s exam timetable will help you sync each other’s breaks where you can spend valuable time unwinding from the stress of exams and studying.

This gets trickier when couples have inherently different productivity periods (s/o to night owls), but getting to hang out with your bf/gf should be a big motivator to get your shit together before the sun sets.

Take a deep breath

At the end of the day, know that these exams aren’t the most important thing in the world. You’ll be hearing from a lot of people that high school relationships don’t last and that you should focus on your future instead, but they’re wrong to say that at your future is completely dependent on how you do on your exams.

Take a deep breath and remember to enjoy yourself, with or without your bf/gf – it’s going to be okay.