When starting university, many couples worry about how they will maintain a long distance relationship. Maybe it’s because you didn’t get into the same university, or you needed/ wanted to go to different places for your specific degree. Perhaps the other has already graduated, or simply chosen to stay at home. Whatever the circumstances, there are plenty of ways you can make it work for the both of you.
The most important thing to do when in this situation is to talk regularly. We live in an age where technology allows us to communicate easily with each other. Skype, Facetime, Snapchat, and social media in general give us that ‘face to face’ experience. Having said that, don’t forget the obvious text or phone call. It doesn’t take long to drop a message in to check on how the other has been doing, and see how their day has been. It’s a simple way to show that you care and despite the distance, they are never far from your mind. A simple phone call to hear each other’s voices can really make a bad day better. For the old romantics out there who want to get back to basics, letter writing can be a really personal and sweet way to keep in contact with each other. Plus, it is always exciting to get something in the post that isn’t a dodgy takeaway menu.
When it’s time to make the trip to visit your other half at their respective homes, driving isn’t always an option for everyone. I would definitely recommend investing in a railcard to cut the cost of train journeys. Book as far in advance as possible to save money. The same applies to coach journeys. Alternatively, if you have friends who live in the same place as your partner, see if you can lift share with them if they are visiting home for a weekend. The important thing to remember is that you should try and take it in turns wherever possible when it comes to visiting. Not only is this fair money and time wise, but if one person is always the one doing the travelling, it could potentially cause stress, un-enthusiasm or resentment, and therefore a disagreement and unnecessary strain on your relationship. Another thing to consider, is always knowing when the next visit will be. It can certainly help the wait go faster if you have a date to look forward to.
It is also important to remember that there are benefits to long distance! It helps you become more independent as you are not in each other’s hair all of the time. You can go out with your friends and not feel guilty for leaving them at home; you can throw yourself into your work with no distractions, or even little things like watching what you want to watch on TV. This then makes the time you do spend together even more special. Plus, you have more to catch up on when you do see each other. There may even be advantages you hadn’t even considered yet. If you are in different cities or universities, you get to experience what each location has to offer. You can meet new friends in the form of their housemates or course friends, or if you are finding that uni life is a bit too much, you have someone or somewhere to escape to for a little while.
You may be bombarded with a familiar yet ridiculous argument: how can you trust them? What if they cheat? You would never know! There are lots of new boys/ girls at uni, oh God their flatmates are attractive… First things first: stop thinking this, don’t do this to yourself. It is unproductive, and will cause you unnecessary stress and anxiety. Trust is important to establish in any relationship. As blunt as this may be, if you cannot trust each other, long distance will never work. If you trust each other, there is never any need to worry.
Essentially, you know what is best for you. Each relationship is different, you just need to get into a routine. It may seem hard at the beginning, but it does get easier over time, and after a while you will wonder why you were so worried in the first place. If you are reading this, and worried about a new relationship that will be long distance, all I can say is: give it a go. You don’t know until you try.
As a nervous first year, I was extremely worried about how my boyfriend and, living three hours and two train journeys apart, would impact our relatively new relationship. People told me that long distance wouldn’t work and there are ‘plenty of new people at uni, why stick with him?’ (Or even that we should break up now to save us the pain later. How rude.) Yet three years later, we are still going strong, and love each other more because of the investment and effort we have jointly put in. The majority of our relationship has been long distance. Of course there have been a few problems, but no relationship, long distance or not, is perfect. In any relationship, if you love each other, you make it work. It really is as simple as that.