5 Tips on How to Successfully Date Long Distance in College

Everyone who has been committed to a serious relationship while in high school knows the very awkward and uncomfortable time where both partners have to sit down and have “the college talk.” What does the future hold for their relationship? Or, more specifically, what does this new journey called college hold for the two of them? Many couples will choose to explore an “open” relationship while away from one another, while others decide that it’s best to call it quits. However, for those in relationships who choose to give it their best efforts to stay a strong unit while attending different colleges, here are a few tips on how to keep the stress off of your relationship: 

 

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

 

If you’ve watched Friends before, I am sure you want to stay very far away from any type of Ross and Rachel drama. When miscommunication starts to happen in a relationship, it can snowball until an incident occurs that can ultimately strain the relationship permanently.

It’s okay that there will be days where you and your significant other have polar opposite schedules; however, a simple text or a two minute phone call can give you both the validation that everything is all good. 

Also, if you’re having a bad day, don’t leave your partner in the dark about it. They may begin to wonder if they did something wrong, which can lead to unnecessary tension. Communication is always key!

 

Focus on schoolwork 

If you’re planning to visit your partner over the weekend but you know that the massive assignment you have due the following Monday will impact your time together, tell them. If they value you and your academic achievements, they will understand. 

Do not let yourself become unfocused on important school tasks by continuously reaching for your phone to see if they’ve texted. When you have a midterm exam to cram for, study as hard as you can without texting or calling your partner, and this in turn will save you a free hour to relax and facetime them. 

Remember that if the relationship is truly meant to be, all of the hard work will pay off when you and your partner are able to make a successful living together post-college! 

 

Visit each other if you can, but not too much 

If you and your partner are within driving distance, it can be tempting to visit each other every single weekend. However, this can seriously conflict with both you and your partner’s college experience. No matter how deeply you miss them, it is crucial to become involved on your campus and to let your partner do the same. If you are leaving every weekend, you may find that your social life on your campus is not what you hoped it would be.  

It can be very difficult to turn down the opportunity to spend time with someone who is familiar to you, and instead choose to explore the insecurity and awkwardness of college with people who you have just met. But these uncomfortable interactions are what ultimately build the lifelong college friendships and memories that people dream about, and it is important that both you and your partner are able to look back on your college experiences in a positive light. 

 

Address jealousy and ditch the drama 

It is perfectly understandable to have some jealousy in a relationship, especially when your partner is living many miles away. It can be nerve-wracking when they are at a frat party on a Friday night and barely answer your text messages, or if they are late-night studying with someone of the opposite gender. However, many people decide to keep these fears and uncertainties inside, which can lead to resentment or turn into a messy argument. 

 

Creating reasonable and mature boundaries with each other about what situations make one another jealous or uncomfortable is a great idea to keep a healthy foundation of trust and honesty in the relationship. 

Remember, you should never be ashamed to speak up about insecurities in your relationship! Being open is something that your partner will value if the relationship is truly meant to be. 

 

Plan your weekend visits 

Although you might just want to curl up in your partner’s bed for 48 hours when you go to see them for the weekend, there are other healthier alternatives that can actually become good bonding experiences and keep the relationship exciting. 

If you or your partner attend college in a city, research fun things for couples to do there. Whether it be shopping, eating at a new lunch place, or just plain old sight seeing, a perfect day can be made out of exploring while you still have plenty of time later to hang out in the dorm. 

Also, make sure to take time to introduce your partner to your friends on living your floor or around campus to make them feel like they can be a part of your college experience too. You want them to feel as comfortable as possible so your weekends together can go smoothly from then on!

 

And if you eventually decide to break up: 

It’s okay to feel sad, guilty, or nostalgic. A major part of college involves discovering who you truly are and what you want both academically and romantically. Instead of having only feelings of guilt or sadness, however, try to focus on how brave you are for even attempting to work through a relationship that virtually relies solely on texts and phone calls for such long periods of time. 

And if you and your partner are still working through the long-distance, always remember to keep the bigger picture in mind, and to put your happiness first. You’ve got this.