Tips to Make Long Distance Relationships in College Work

Nowadays, everyone praises committed relationships, believing the myth that they are rare or difficult to keep. In my case, I started dating my boyfriend last December. He lived near the Jersey Shore while I lived in Upstate New York. We met through his cousin who was in my class in high school.

During the majority of my senior year in high school I was dating a boy four hours away from me! It was an adjustment and it wasn’t easy at first. I was then accepted in one of my top schools, Montclair State University. I was excited to start my next chapter and I was also excited to shed three hours off of our distance. My boyfriend, Max, and I now live an hour apart from each other. He attends Monmouth University and I dorm at Montclair State University.

All is well, but you can’t ignore the fact that we are still an hour apart. Relationships never become magically easy, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as it is perceived to be. Here are my tips and tricks I have learned to balance adjusting to college and not having your partner always at your side.

Plan ahead

Making plans in advance is key. Look for an event or plan a special date and stick to it. If your relationship is important to you and this person is someone you want to commit to, then setting aside time is crucial. You do not need to put them before family or your schoolwork, but making them a priority in some sense is something you have to be willing to do if you want the relationship to grow.

Keep an item of theirs

The weather is getting pretty chilly up here in the Northeast, so borrowing a sweatshirt is something I like to do. I even let my boyfriend take a shirt or something of mine to keep with him when I am not around. Having the comfort of your partner's scent can be helpful and even feeling a piece of clothing can be therapeutic. It reminds you of that person and their warmth. Even an item that reminds you of them can help when you’re feeling blue when they aren’t around. I have a little white rock I found at the beach that reminds me of the walks we take on the beach. Any physical item can help comfort yourself when they are miles apart from you.

Be understanding

A long distance relationship means dealing with each others schedules. Being in college especially means being bombarded with a million different things; handling busy weeks and making time for the homework that doesn’t seem to end. This is frustrating because you’d rather be out with friends or spending time with your partner. But this isn’t realistic.

You will need to quickly realize that the both of you will get busy and sometimes that means not texting them for a while or being too busy to talk for as long as you did before you entered college. Being busy can be misunderstood as “ignoring” but it is simply a part of any relationship, especially in a long distance relationship. Communicate that you are busy and try to understand the responsibilities your partner has other than the relationship.

Communicate and be honest

This goes for any relationship in general. You will go periods of time not knowing what your partner is doing or not knowing their routine like you might have when you were closer to them. Some feel shut out of their partners life or guilty they can’t be there to experience certain things when they happen. You might not know their friends or their surroundings and this could be confusing at first. Communicating with your partner about your feelings is important and being honest is also encouraged. You can’t go wrong with the two! If you respect your partner, communicate with them and be honest with them. This is a change you both have to deal with and talking about it will help tremendously!

When it boils down to it, it all depends on the person you are with. It is not always easy but with the right person, things will fall into place. Stay calm, long distance relationships do not need to be a death sentence! It just takes a little bit of planning and understanding to make it work with that special someone.