Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
freestocks 9rHgOVRdrDM unsplash?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
freestocks 9rHgOVRdrDM unsplash?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp
/ Unsplash

How I’ve Made Long Distance Work (So Far)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emerson chapter.

I started college the way every college coming of age movie warns you not to – moving across the country, and leaving my high school sweetheart behind, but “trying out long distance.” As much as people may have hoped, or worried, I didn’t end up giving it all up just to make out with some frat guy at a rager, and he didn’t drive out to see me because he missed me so much. While it hasn’t been exactly reminiscent of any classic rom-com, I’m here to tell any of you long distance hopefuls that it can work.

After I tell people I’m in a long distance relationship, I’m almost always asked, “Why?” and the truth is, I don’t have a great answer. I’m in a long distance relationship because I love my boyfriend, because I can’t imagine being without him emotionally, even if that means I’m without him physically. But when it really comes down to it, I’m also in a long distance relationship because I think it has made my relationship stronger.


When I was in the same place as my boyfriend, he was not a good communicator. Whether that’s because he didn’t know how to communicate, or I didn’t ask him to, we didn’t talk about what he was feeling, in regards to our relationship and in general. I wasn’t the best communicator either. I would whine, and refuse to tell him when I was upset. However, being so far apart has forced both of us to communicate better and in a healthier way. No matter how much I want to, I can’t be passive aggressive about how bad he is at responding to my texts, and he can’t pretend like he isn’t affected by something hard that happened to him that day – we both have to be upfront about our feelings, or else the other person will never know we feel it.


This is by no means saying that we have a perfect track record of displaying our affection. My boyfriend and I certainly don’t FaceTime every week, I’m not constantly receiving flowers in the mail, I don’t send a care package once a month. But we text as much as possible – I’m constantly sending him pictures of what I’m doing, or something that made me think of him, and he has a particular affinity for finding memes that aren’t funny, but still make me laugh.


However, I do have some tips that has made the time apart a little bit easier. For one, always have a date in mind when you will see each other again. Maybe that’s in a month when you’re back for Thanksgiving break, or maybe it’s in 10 months when it’s finally summertime. Either way, having an end date will keep you motivated, and optimistic. Another tip is to have is to find something you can do every day for each other. Maybe that means you send a highlight list of your day, or they send you a song of the day, or a quote of the day. Personally, when I was home my boyfriend would always compliment my outfits, so now I send him a picture of my outfit every morning. The consistency and familiarity of having something I have to send him makes it easier for me to remember why I’m doing this, even when he’s annoying me, or we’ve gotten into a fight. I can’t wreck my streak no matter how much I don’t want to text him!


While I certainly don’t recommend being in a long distance relationship if you can help it, it definitely won’t kill you. It’s hard, but seeing him after being apart for so long, and feeling how much stronger our relationship is now, makes it just a little bit worth it.


Ailish Harris is a Stage Management and Performing Arts Design transfer student at the University of Utah. She's originally from Salt Lake City, UT, but was lucky enough to attend Emerson College in Boston, MA for her first 3 semesters of college. She has written for both Her Campus Emerson and Her Campus Utah, and is the current Editor in Chief for Her Campus Utah! She is a student leader in many capacities, working as the Secretary for Stage Managers at the U and as the Historian for the Department of Theatre's Student Advisory Committee. She loves Halloween, cooking, theatre, documentaries, organization, fashion, her pet hedgehog Chester, true crime, and Her Campus!
Emerson contributor