How to Survive a Long-Distance Relationship

There’s no doubt about it, long distance relationships are hard. I’ve been in one for just over two years whilst at university so I have first-hand experience of the ups and downs living away from your partner can bring. Not having the person you are closest to just around the corner can be really difficult, particularly if it’s something you’ve gotten used to. Here are a few thoughts on how you can stay connected with your loved one even if they are hundreds of miles away.

The first rule of thumb is to be totally open with how you’re feeling. You won’t be able to rely on seeing your partner in person to try and get across what you’re thinking. This means you’re going to need to get comfortable with messaging. Figure out if you prefer to break up your feelings into several individual messages or whether you want to write long paragraphs that require some scrolling. Whatever your style, make your feelings loud and clear. Anything that stays harbouring under the surface, left to simmer could result in an unnecessary argument.  It’s much harder to make up through a screen, so this should be avoided where possible.

Even though you’ll be spending more time on your own there are still two people in your relationship to think about. Understanding how your partner is feeling is also important. This is particularly true if you are at university and they are back at home. You are likely to be going out more than they are and from the outside looking in, it might seem like you are out having fun without them. Try and stay aware of how they are feeling on a day to day basis so you can make sure you are supporting them the way you want to be supported.

Messaging is great to keep informed on each other’s lives, but it still falls very short of actually being with your partner in person. So, visit them when you can! The best part of a long-distance relationship is the build-up of excitement for that moment you can finally see them again after spending time apart. My boyfriend is visiting soon to celebrate our four year anniversary and I’m still as excited to welcome him to Nottingham as I was the very first time I did it in first year. 

Obviously not everyone can visit all the time. You will be busy with university life and your partner may be at university themselves or have a full-time job. Facetime and Skype are relationship savers and can help reduce that distance barrier no end. How often you do this will depend on your own relationship and the stage you are at. If you are new to a distance relationship, regular facetime sessions can help you get used to the fact that they aren’t with you whilst still feeling like you can talk to them whenever you need to. As you adapt to your situation, you might facetime only when you have so much to update them on that it can’t physically fit into one message. 

The most important ingredient in a successful long-distance relationship is trust. Even the slightest doubts about what your partner is up to can send you crazy and has the potential to put your relationship in danger. Jealousy is completely natural but try and make sure you never assume that something bad has happened and overreact without thinking. Questioning your other half’s honesty if they’ve done nothing wrong will be extremely painful for them and definitely won’t go down well. Although, I did say you need to be open with your feelings so if your doubts are rooted in some suspicious behaviour,  you do have the right to call your partner out. 

So maybe a long-distance relationship is not something to fear. In fact, there are a lot of things you will gain from it. You’ll become a pro at messaging, learn all your best facetime angles and meeting up with your partner in person will suddenly become a lot more special than it has ever felt before.