Long-Distance Relationships in College: What To Expect

As college students return to their campuses, many of them return to or enter a long-distance relationship. In the case of my boyfriend and I, we were entering a long-distance relationship of a six-hour drive from each other for the first time ever. While I am still learning to navigate my own relationship, I’ve learned a lot already. Here is a list of what to expect from a long-distance relationship in college:


1. The Conversation

Committing to a long-distance relationship especially at a young age, is huge. It is important to sit down with your significant other and discuss everything from boundaries to future plans. It seems scary, I know, but having this conversation doesn't’t have to be as frightening as you might think. Nothing you say is set in stone, it's really just about making sure that you and your partner are on the same page and adjusting things when you aren’t.


2. The Missing ThemThe beginning of a college long-distance relationship is going to be a little rough. You can be going from seeing someone every day, to not seeing them for months. It is completely normal to miss that person (a lot), but you just have to keep in mind that it's not forever. The corny saying, “distance makes the heart grows fonder,” is actually true. You will start to notice and love things about the person you are in a relationship with, that you might have not picked up on before.


3. The Fighting College is a difficult time for everyone. You will be trying to get accustomed to changes like having a roommate, making new friends, classes, etc. Getting into arguments with your S.O. is inevitable. For couples that never really fought before, it can be stressful and at times a bit disheartening but is important to recognize that communication is key. There will be miscommunication and lack of communication, it comes with the territory, just be sure to address these problems with your partner before it becomes anything big.


4. The Reconciliation While fighting with someone you are close to can be extremely difficult, if you both love and respect each other, there will be reconciliation. Sometimes reconciling takes a few minutes, other times it takes a few days, but it is possible. Make sure you remind your S.O. how much they mean to you, whether through a large gesture or something as simple as a text. Everything counts ladies and gentlemen.  


5. The Waiting For me personally, the waiting to see the other person is one of the most difficult parts about being in a long-distance relationship. Your partner can be like a little piece of home for you, but while you’re waiting to see them, just remind yourself of why you are both doing this. Long-distance relationships in college are all about being selfish and selfless, it’s a time for you to experience new things and learn, let your partner do the same.


6. The Reunion

When you finally do get to see your bf/gf, it is going to feel ~amazing~. You might feel a little strange at first if you've been apart for a while, but that should go away pretty quickly. And don’t worry about the quantity of time you have together, worry about the quality of time. Plan out fun things to do while you are with each other, but also make sure to include those all-important staying in days (a fan favorite).


7. The Parting...Again

Oof, having to part with your S.O. after what feels like only minutes of being with them, is going to be hard. It is okay to not be okay right after you leave your partner, but once you both get back into the rhythm of being at school, things will be just fine. Knowing that you will be seeing someone you care a lot about soon, whatever that may mean for you, can be good enough.


Long-distance relationships are NOT perfect, but I guarantee you NO relationship is. If you and your significant other have reached the mutual agreement to date in college, then you can find ways to make it work. There is nothing wrong with FaceTime dates, five-minute phone calls, and gifts not given in person. Find what works for your relationship and stick with it. I can’t say that being in a relationship and being miles away from each other while in college is easy, but I can say that for some, it is worth it.