What Being in an LDR as a Freshman has Taught Me So Far

You either are or know someone that has faced The Predicament: should one take their high school relationship with them to college and maintain an LDR (“long distance relationship”) or leave things in the past? Choosing to stay with my high school boyfriend has taught me a lot after my first semester at Boston College.

1. Your social life should not be impacted

If you’re worried that being in a relationship will impact you in terms of meeting boys/ girls/whatever you’re in to, don’t be. If people are only friends with you because they want to hook up with you eventually, they probably shouldn’t be your friends. At the same time, don’t be holed up in your dorm FaceTiming your significant other all the time—go out and meet people. Balance. If you were the type of person whose life revolved around your partner in high school, this is an opportunity to establish a life outside of your relationship. Go to a Mod party or two, have lunch with someone new, invite kids from your floor over for a game night and just be fully present.

2. It’s all or nothing—trust is crucial

You’re either in a relationship or you’re not. I dare you to find me a couple that has successfully gone through an open relationship. Jealousy is a very strong emotion. You have to really trust your partner! If you don’t trust them to go to that Greek life party and have a good time without cheating on you, you probably don’t trust them enough to be together; on the flipside, if you’re okay with them making out with someone else, you’re probably not committed enough to survive a LDR.

3. It can be beneficial to avoid hookups

Hook-up culture can get overwhelming and sometimes even emotionally exhausting. All you LDR’ers might feel FOMO (“fear of missing out”) for a hot second, but that’ll go away when your friend is upset over that guy from Stokes Set never texting her after their ten-minute makeout session in the middle of the mosh pit. While hooking up may be fun and thrilling, at the end of the day we all crave legitimate human connection. Plus, I don’t have to avoid anyone for the next four years due to an awkward hookup-gone-wrong.

4. Having a significant other helps tide the loneliness of first semester

As a freshman, I found that a lot was changing, so it was nice to have an aspect of my life that felt constant. Throughout a long day, it’s nice to talk to someone who you feel 100% comfortable with.

5. You’ll learn how to better communicate

You’d be surprised by how important the physical aspect of a relationship is; the hand-holding, snuggles, and even casual kisses on the cheek are influential in more ways than you may realize. In an LDR, you won’t have those physical reassurances. You have to learn to express your feelings pointedly and clearly! This is especially complicated in our day and age, with texting as a prevalent means of communication. Because things will get lost in translation without body language, now what you say and how you say it matter more than ever. And you’ll see that small talk gets very boring very quickly; without a common atmosphere, you’ll have to be able to discuss bigger ideas and keep conversations interesting.

6. People change

Fortunately, my boyfriend’s and my personal growth in college has brought us closer together. Some people’s relationships don’t grow closer, and that’s okay. College is a new experience. With the challenges of college, so come adaptations. You don’t need to be sure your partner is your person, the one, the soulmate. You’re only in college—there (hopefully) aren’t any rings on any fingers. So don’t torture yourself to stay in a relationship that you feel no longer fits your needs and goals. It’d be ludicrous if you didn’t change in college, right? If you or your partner grow in a way that makes you two less compatible, it’s time to break it off. Your partner should always encourage you to be your best self. You’re fortunate if it works out, but don’t be devastated if it doesn’t work out. You’re surrounded by 8,000 new people—and you must know by now how much BC loves to post photos of its alumni getting married.