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Long-Distance Relationships in College- How Can They Succeed?

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

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

While this can be true, it can also be the last thing a person wants to hear while in a long-distance relationship. College years are some of the most developmentally challenging years of our lives, during which we learn to navigate life on our own, grow ourselves into who we want to be, and in some cases, grow a meaningful relationship at the same time. Long-distance relationships are difficult and require a lot of effort to maintain. This is especially true in the first years of college as people are changing in/adapting to new environments and routines. Here are some tips that have helped my relationship flourish while we’ve been 852 miles apart.

Trust, Trust, Trust!

Time and time again it’s been said that trust is the foundation of every relationship. Without trust, it is extremely difficult to have a relationship at all, let alone a long-distance relationship. Make sure to communicate boundaries with one another. Let your significant other know that you trust them and want them to make the most of their time doing what they love on their own. Long-distance relationships provide time to grow together, but don’t forget about your growth as well! Grow into yourself, and grow for yourself. A true partner will love to see you flourish and grow over the course of your personal journey and your relationship.

Speak Up & Speak Out

Don’t be afraid to call each other out when something doesn’t feel right.  If your significant other is becoming distant, not initiating conversation, and/or doing anything that doesn’t make you feel loved, talk to them about it! Having a conversation about your feelings doesn’t hurt, and can greatly benefit a relationship in the long run. Remember to be open and honest with each other to avoid miscommunication and resolve conflict when it arises.

Learn & Remember Each Others Schedules 

Always make time for each other! Loosely scheduling a time to talk to one another on the phone (ex. every Sunday when you’re free) can give a sense of peace knowing that you will talk to each other again, no matter how busy you are. Beyond talking in general, try to gradually plan the next time you’ll see each other in person! The sense of excitement from knowing when you get to see each other again, no matter how close or far that time may be, can help build a greater sense of connection and overall joy.

It’s The Small Things…

Something as small as a “good morning” text or sending mail, flowers, and/or care packages to a significant other can help remind them that you are there for them. A small gesture can make a big difference (and who doesn’t love flowers?).

You’re Not Alone

No matter if your significant other is at college, in the military, working full time, or navigating any other path in life, the two of you are going through this time of distance together, and you always will be. Lean on each other for support and remind each other how much you care. It’s possible to go the distance, just remember to consistently put in the effort and show up for one another.

Long-distance relationships are a lot of work in college and beyond. With joint effort, it is possible to thrive on your own and together in a partnership, no matter the distance between involved parties. No matter the circumstance, trust each other, and make an effort to make each other happy. Having a successful long-distance relationship is possible, and with effort, can be the purest form of love one can experience in this lifetime.

Danielle Shea is a member of Her Campus at Michigan State chapter. She is a writer for Her Campus and specializes in lifestyle pieces. Aside from her role at Her Campus Michigan State, Danielle works for Ulta Beauty as a Prestige Beauty Advisor, where she helps people feel beautiful every day through showing kindness and showing off her talent of keeping up with beauty trends. She is currently a sophomore at Michigan State University studying Psychology with a Youth & Society, mental health focused minor. When she’s not doing homework, you can typically find Danielle vocalizing with They’re So Dramatic (& by herself whenever she thinks of a fun song or harmony to sing to), looking for the perfect daschund puppy to adopt, and having family dinners with her best friends. She’s a Bachelor franchise fanatic, and loves chocolate chip cookies as a fun treat after a long day.