The Long Distance Dilemma: The How To Guide

Oh, remember the glorious high school days when you and your significant other went to the same local school and lived in the same area? Those were simpler times, when you could see your partner in person instead of on a screen and you didn’t have to travel long distances for the weekend. Trust me, I know how it feels. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for almost five years—since our junior year in high school. He goes to school in San Diego, while I live in the Bay Area. I was initially fearful about attempting a long distance relationship. I was painfully aware of the horror stories, of all the difficulties that are meant to arise. My boyfriend just so happens to attend one of the largest party schools in the country, not to mention, he is a Division I athlete. Although I was afraid, my fears were quickly put to rest when I realized maintaining a long distance relationship isn’t quite as hard as some make it seem. So here’s a guide, personally developed by me, a long distance guru, to show you what it takes to stay with your high school sweetheart forever. 

man and woman kissing on stairs Photo by Eduardo Pastor from Unsplash

  1. 1. One word: commitment  

    This might be the best piece of advice I can give you. I often hear from fellow peers or classmates: “How can you manage a long distance relationship?? Don’t you want to try new things and experiment??” No, I don’t. And, neither does my significant other. Before we left for college, my boyfriend and I sat down and talked about what we wanted in the long run. It just so happened that we both wanted each other. And let me tell you, I wouldn’t necessarily call it “easy,” but it works when both of you want to be with each other, when you both want it for the long-haul. There can be NO doubts, no confusion, no second-guessing. If you want a long distance relationship to work, you have to want that person and that person only.

  2. 2. Make time for each other

    Yes, facetime will be your new favorite thing. Although you will both be busy, it’s so important to set up time to give your significant other your undivided attention. Maybe it's before you go to bed or when you wake up in the morning, nevertheless, set aside a small amount of time each day to give to your partner. Whenever I’m doing homework by myself, I like to facetime my boyfriend while he does the same, although he’s usually playing video games. We don’t talk to each other, but I just like to see him on my screen and pretend he’s with me. I had a really tough time after going away to college and my boyfriend ALWAYS answered the phone when I called him in tears—no matter if he was with his friends or at a party. You have to make each other feel important, which is hard considering you won’t see each other often.

  3. 3. Be honest and have trust

    Honesty and trust go hand in hand. If you’re honest with your partner, they will trust you. And vice versa. If your SO is honest with you, be prepared to give them your trust. This means no freaking out when they aren’t responding within thirty seconds or when you don’t recognize their location on Find My Friends. Trust your partner. If they’ve been honest with you, there is no reason to expect any foul play. The little voice nagging at you to check up on your SO is your anxiety, not a rational thought.


    Valentine heart candy
  4. 4. Make plans to see each other

    This is probably the best thing about long distance relationships. When you see your partner after having not seen each other for months, it can be quite magical. It makes me feel like I’m in a romance movie—running into my partner’s arms while we kiss in the pouring rain. Or something like that. Planning a trip to see your SO is so exciting that you might even forget how much you miss them. It’s super cool to visit your SO at their college and experience their life away from you. When I go to visit my boyfriend in San Diego, he takes me to local eateries, shows me around his campus, and introduces me to his friends. Trying to sleep in a twin XL dorm bed with a college football player on the other hand...

  5. 5. Give each other space to breathe

    Let’s face it. When you go away to college, you are basically starting a new life, one that’s separate from your old life. New school, new friends, new environment, but same significant other. It’s hard and scary, but you have to let your SO start their new life. Don’t constantly text them or bother them when they don’t respond fast enough. Give them the essential time needed to form connections and make relationships. Don’t worry, you’ll be doing the same. 

girl and boy in front of Disneyland Original photo by Madison Hoffman

So there’s my guide. Yes, it's hard. And it takes a lot of work. But if you want that person, don’t let a couple thousand miles stop you from being with them.