Going to university is hard. You have to say goodbye to not only your friends and family but possibly also your boyfriend/girlfriend/enbyfriend too. You’re probably secure in the knowledge that your friends and family will still be there when you finish your degree but embarking on a degree and also a long-distance relationship can make you wonder if your relationship is strong enough to survive being apart for long periods of time.
How to make a long-distance relationship work at university
You might be all in favour of the new beginnings and the fresh start going to university will give you but, if being newly single isn’t part of that plan, here’s how to make a long-distance relationship work at university.
Agree how often you’ll see each other
If you don’t set up some kind of plan about how often you’ll see each other, there’s a good chance weeks will drift by that turn into months without seeing each other. This may well be a good thing if you’re an ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ type of person, but if you’re more prone to feelings of ‘out of sight, out of mind’, regular get-togethers will keep your relationship on track.
Of course, just how long-distance your LDR (long-distance relationship) is will have some bearing on how often you get to see each other. For example, if you’re a student in Southampton, while your significant other is studying in Scotland, although you may want to see each other every weekend, even if you take turns to travel, you may find it too tiring and expensive to travel that far every other weekend.
In this case, perhaps once a month will suit you both. No one’s going to get resentful at having to travel far once every other month.
If you do live a bit closer to each other, then maybe every other weekend will suit you both.
Every other weekend is a good choice to make for a long-distance relationship at university because if you take turns travelling, it’s only one trip a month, saving you time and money. Plus it means you still have time by yourself to hang out with your new friends. Being at university is all about making new friends and having new experiences and it’d be a shame to waste this time by spending half your time pining for your beloved and the other half travelling to see them.
Embrace your freedom!
As well as embracing your freedom, embrace the technology we now have available too. Your parents would have had to walk to a phone box or write a letter in their day but you have countless ways of keeping in touch instantly.
Instead of just sending messages via text, Messenger or WhatsApp though, make the effort to meet up for a proper virtual chat where you can see each other’s faces. Skype, Zoom and FaceTime are all free, so make the most of them.
And if you want to do more than just talk, you’ll get no judgement here (just make sure if it’s being recorded, you both know about it. No one wants an unofficial sex tape of them going viral).
Back to that ‘writing a letter’ thing briefly though – a handwritten letter through the post is a wonderful thing and sure to keep the romance alive.
Socialise with each other’s friends
When you do visit each other in each other’s new university towns, don’t hide yourselves away and only do things together. Obviously you want to spend time alone but introduce your partner to your new friends and let them get to know each other.
Not only will you both make new friends, you’ll know who your partner is talking about when they mention nights out and you won’t feel so much like you’re living in different worlds.
If you’re the jealous type, this isn’t going to get any better with your other half living at the other end of the country. But being at university involves being sociable and lots of nights out so there will be Facebook photos, ‘likes’ and tags involving your partner. It doesn’t mean anything’s going on, it just means they’re enjoying themselves.
Long-distance relationships at university aren’t easy
We’re not saying a long-distance relationship at university is easy. Let’s face it, long-distance relationships aren’t easy at the best of times, but when you’re at university, everything is new and it’s easy to leave your previous life behind.
However, love is a powerful thing and, if you’re meant to be together, you still will be at the end of your degree, no matter how far apart you are during your time at university.