Long Distance Relationships: How To Make Them Work At University
At university, you’ll meet some students who want to sleep with everyone they see, some who are looking for a relationship, some who want to stay single and some who just want to have some fun. And then you get a fifth group: those in long-distance relationships, for whom the trek to uni is a gulf separating them from their beloved.
Long-distance relationships aren’t always treated seriously. Some people don’t see them as real relationships, while others scorn those attempting them. While making long-distance relationships work can be tough, the rewards can outweigh the challenges.
Communication is the key to making any relationship work, but this is quintupled when you’re in a long-distance relationship. When you’re hundreds of miles away from your partner, you can’t just see them whenever you feel like it.
Modern technology has gone a long way in helping you to keep in contact with your loved ones. While Whatsapp and texting are always options, they are no substitute for video calling. Skype and Google hangouts are the obvious choices here. Just like how you might have a date night once a week, set aside one night a week to Skype with your partner and try to stick to it.
Remember that life can get in the way and your partner may not always be able to Skype, so be patient and understanding when this occurs.
Striking a balance
Try to find a balance between too much and too little contact. You might think that sending fifteen texts a day is romantic, but it could come across as overwhelming. Alternatively, not texting at all will make you look like you don’t care.
And this is a valid point. Make sure you get what you give. It’s true that people are naturally busy, but if your partner is truly committed to you then they will make time for you.
If you find that you’re the one who’s making all of the effort, then the relationship will start to feel one-sided very quickly. The spark in your relationship could die and you could forget about one another, because you never speak to each other.
Trust and honesty
This might seem blindingly obvious, but trust and honesty are especially important to those in long-distance relationships. It might be difficult, especially with your partner in a different city or country, but trust them to do the right thing.
Trust them to go on nights out or to meet new people. If they’re committed to you, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Constantly texting or calling them will just make you seem obsessive and insecure.
And the same goes for you. You deserve 100% of your partner’s trust. Don’t feel that you have to miss out on fun things because your partner doesn’t trust you to behave yourself.
But what do I do if we start having problems? You need to be honest with one another. It feels like it can be difficult raising problems in a long-distance relationship. Why would you want to introduce negativity into your relationship? You’d rather sit on your emotions instead of talking about them. But you need to talk to one another and respond appropriately to each other’s concerns.
See each other
Just like how it’s crucial to communicate with one another, make sure you set aside time for actually seeing one another. How much time and how often differs depending on your personal situations, but seeing each other in person can help you overcome any difficulties you might have and renew your connection with one another. You’ll be reminded of everything that made you want to do long-distance in the first place.
What you do doesn’t matter either. Sure, you may want to make an effort to do exciting things, but there is nothing wrong with just cuddling and watching a TV show together. Because there’s one thing that social media hasn’t replaced yet: the absolute awesomeness that comes from cuddling.
Do what you want to do
This is going to sound super cheesy, but at the end of the day, it’s what you think that matters. It’s your heart and nobody – including us – has any right to interfere with your relationship. So if there are nay-sayers who don’t believe you can make your long-distance relationship work, or who give you unwanted and unneeded advice, then you go out there and prove them wrong.
James is a graduate of English Literature from Newcastle University. Across his life, he’s written silly stories about talking birds and cats, teenage angst-ridden poetry and is currently recovering after having finished his first novel. When he’s not writing, you’ll find him imagining scenarios that will never happen. Check out his Blogspot and WordPress.