How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship in College

Let’s just be honest, long distance relationships suck. Four years ago when I was a senior in high school, I made the decision to go to a college that would take me almost two hours away from my boyfriend.

I know that compared to a lot of other couples, two hours isn’t that bad. But any distance feels far when you’re away from your significant other. (Cheesy, but true!)

Being in a long distance relationship isn’t easy. They require a lot of extra communication and patience. But since my boyfriend (now fiance!) made it work, I want to share a couple things with you that helped us get through it.

  1. Be clear about your expectations.

“How often will we talk? Who is going to come visit and when? What about the future?” These are some of the questions you will need to ask yourselves. The ugly truth is, no couple can be in a long distance relationship forever. Being clear about what each of you expects out of this new arrangement will help you avoid any hurt feelings or unmet expectations, which can be detrimental in a long distance relationship.

  1. Communicate regularly and get creative with it.

This goes back to my first point of establishing expectations. Are you expecting him to call every night or a couple times a week? When I went off to college, my boyfriend and I both knew that we would exchange good morning and good night texts as the bare minimum. Because both of our schedules were super busy, we knew that we weren’t going to be texting 24/7, and that’s perfectly okay!

Find a way to break outside the norm of your communication. My sophomore year, I made my boyfriend “Open When” letters. Each letter had a different scenario on the envelope that said when he could open it such as “Open when you need a laugh” or “Open when you had a bad day.” He LOVED the letters and still has all of them on his desk years later!

Try to find some way to keep your relationship fresh. You can send snail mail, video chat, email, etc. But finding a way to communicate outside of the box helps you both feel the excitement that may be dimmed from being so far apart.

  1. Share something together.

Sharing some type of experience with each other will help you stay bonded to your partner no matter how many miles away you are. My freshman year my boyfriend and I both read the same book and would email each other our thoughts on that week’s chapter.

We’ve also watched the same show on Netflix together. This doesn’t have to be at the exact same time obviously, but it was really fun to be able to talk about the show like we were with each other at the end of the week.

  1. Visit!

Hopefully, you’ll be able to visit each other at some point. Whether it’s a couple of times a month or a couple times a year, cherish your time together. I know my boyfriend and I had it way easier than a lot of other couples out there since we got to see each other once a week most of the time, but that still felt far for us sometimes!

We made it a point to turn off our phones when we were together so we could enjoy every second of each other’s company.

  1. Keep the end goal in mind.

Finally, remember why you’re doing this. Keep in mind that this isn’t permanent! It might be hard when you see other couples walking around on campus and are reminded how far apart you and your partner are, but you can make the best out of it. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that it won’t work, because at the end of the day it only matters what you and your partner think. My boyfriend and I made it work, and now we’re engaged and planning our wedding for next May!

Remember that your college years are important. Focus on improving yourself, do great in your classes and get to know YOURSELF. You can make long distance work if you’re both fully committed to each other.

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? How did you make it work?

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