Make Your Long Distance Relationship Work in College

The big question every pair of high school sweethearts get when August after senior year rolls around: are you going to stay together? Maybe you didn’t meet in high school. Maybe one of you is transferring to a different college or studying abroad. Long distance relationships come in many shapes and sizes, and if you think it’s meant for you and your significant other, here’s what you need to know.

Make contact at least once a day.

This one’s crucial. Even if you’re having one of those days where you’re so busy you barely have time to eat, shoot them a text and let them know, or even just say good morning. This doesn’t mean your relationship will fail if you skip a day, but let your lover know they’re on your mind.

Talk on the phone or Skype a few times a week - even if it's only for 5 minutes.

This could be at any time throughout the day: when you’re walking home from class, during a study break, or even when you get home from a crazy night out (I can’t be the only one who loves receiving not-so-sober phone calls). Even if you don’t have anything incredibly eventful to discuss, talking on the phone is far more personal than texting, and you’ll really appreciate hearing each other’s voices.

When you’re together, be choosy about where you go on dates.

The first thing you’ll want to do (after being with each other, of course) is catch up on everything you’ve missed! Be sure to limit how often you go to the movies, and opt for a nice dinner or visit a museum so you can finally catch up with each other while talking face-to-face.

Since you can’t have sex, talk about it.

As great as we-haven’t-seen-each other-in-two-months sex is, it doesn’t make up for all those nights without it. This is your chance to tell them about things you’ve been wanting to try and to encourage moves you love. Maybe they have ideas you never knew you wanted. Think of it as extended foreplay. It makes the we-haven’t-seen-each other-in-two-months sex infinitely better.

Make sure you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This is a factor you might have less control over. For many people it’s hard to know where you’re going to be in five years, or even the next two. Make sure you’re not aimlessly dating long distance. Have a goal in mind. This can mean anything from planning to live together in a city you both found a job in, or both moving back to your hometown to save some money. Even if neither of these things happen immediately, have an endpoint in mind. Long distance relationships are possible, and they can even have a positive impact on your relationship overall, but they’re not sustainable forever.

Communicate.

Super obvious, but super important. Texting can lead to miscommunications all too easily. Only a few weeks of straight messaging can lead to unnecessary tension, so do your best to break the cycle with a phone call or a video chat. Understand that communicating isn’t responding to every Snapchat within the minute. It means letting the other know when you need your space so you’re not glued to your phone during a night out with your friends. Also, never be afraid to talk about what’s on your mind. The last thing you want is to wait until you see each other for the first time in months for things to boil over.

Despite what your friends and family might have told you, long distance is doable when you’re both ready to put in the extra effort. It’s been done before, and if you two have a strong enough foundation to make it work, go for it. Nobody knows your situation as well as you and your significant other, so don’t let a couple hundred miles get in between you and someone you love.