Should You Go the Distance? HC's Guide to Long Distance Relationships in College

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Whether you’re trying to keep the flame alive with your summer fling while you to go back to school, parting ways from your longtime boyfriend for the semester, or if you’re just starting out in your first long distance relationship and don’t have a clue, we’ve consulted collegiettes across the country as well as Julie Spira, dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com, to bring you the best guide to long distance lovin’ in college.

ldr long distance relationship

Is a LDR is right for you?

Collegiettes be warned, being in a long distance relationship isn't always easy. LDRs aren't always romantic like they might seem in the movies and Nicholas Sparks novels. They can be riddled with screaming matches and Skype drama sessions. So before jumping into a long distance relationship, you should consider whether this type of relationship is right for you.

Stop and ask yourself these questions:

  • How long will the long-distance last?
  • How busy will you be?
  • How busy will he be?
  • How often will you be able to see or talk to him?
  • Will you be exclusive or will you date other people?
  • Do you trust him?

Depending on the answers you come up with, you may decide that a long distance relationship isn’t right for you or you may realize that – with commitment – you can both make it work. If you will be going long-term without seeing each other, will both be extremely busy, or will hardly be able to keep in contact at all, then a LDR may not be right for you. “Before you start a LDR, decide on how often you'll be in touch and your favorite form of communication,” Spira says. “I recommend that you send a morning text to each other and schedule a good night date call via phone or Skype.”

long distance relationship saying goodbye

Setting the rules of your long distance relationship

What’s important to remember is that there should be clear-cut rules for your relationship: you should know whether you will be exclusive and how long the separation will last. Being upfront and honest can save you a lot of heartbreak later on.

Spira says that keeping expectations realistic in your LDR can be very important. “Even if you have a busy day scheduled, take a quick digital moment and send your sweetheart an email, flirty text, or post an e-card or song on their Facebook page,” Spira says. “If you've made the decision to be exclusive and not date others, stick to your commitment. If you’ve agreed to casually date others, you don't need to kiss-and-tell. Decide together how often one will travel to see each other and try to stick to our plans.” So what are the things you should discuss in terms of boundaries?

Talk out some of these issues with your guy:

  • Are we exclusive or not exclusive?
  • If we’re not exclusive, can we talk about other dates?
  • How do you feel about partying? Going out? What’s OK and not OK?
  • Can you bring other people as dates to formals?

Samantha from Villanova University has been in an ongoing LDR with her boyfriend Teddy for two years. She agrees that setting and discussing the boundaries to your LDR is the best way to be on the same page.
“If he's not okay with you going to a frat formal, don't do it,” Samantha says. “Similarly, if you're not okay with him dancing with other girls, then he shouldn't do it. Or if he's not totally thrilled with the idea of a sexy Halloween costume when he's not going to be there, you should probably rethink it. They can't be outrageous boundaries, you both should definitely understand that it's totally fine to go have a good time with your friends. But at the same time, you should respect them and not act (or dress) like you want to go home with someone else.”

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About The Author

Alexandra is a graduate from the University of New Hampshire and the current Assistant Digital Editor at Martha Stewart Living. As a journalism student, she worked as the Director of UNH’s Student Press Organization (SPO) and on staff for four student publications on her campus. In the summer of 2010, she studied abroad at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, in England where she drank afternoon tea, rode the Tube, but sadly no, she did not meet Prince Harry. Since beginning her career, she's eagerly chased down stories from travel-blogging about Will and Kate’s Canadian tour to interviewing the neighbors of J.D. Salinger in rural New Hampshire after his death. She recently moved to the big city and is loving every minute of it! When not in the Manhattan office, she can be found perusing travel magazines to plan her next road trip, walking her two dogs (both named Rocky), or practicing ballet. Chat with her on Twitter @allie_churchill!