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7 Struggles of a Long Distance Relationship in College

Long distance relationships are always tough, but long distance relationships in college are the toughest. Below are seven struggles that anyone in this situation will understand.

1. Trust is a crucial aspect of any relationship, but it becomes extra crucial in long distance relationships– particularly for college students.

To be frank, college makes cheating really easy for a number of reasons. First of all, college is a time to be social and meet new people, so it’s easy to imagine that you or your significant other may find someone (or many people) that you or they are interested in. Second, parties and other such social events are extremely prevalent which can often times lead to cheating. Third, many dorms are co-ed and therefore there is more accessibility to people whom you or your partner can cheat with. For these reasons, the risk of unfaithfulness in college is much higher than at other points in one’s life. That’s why trust is especially important in long distance relationships for collegiates.

2. Jealousy is another issue that is very relevant to college students in long distance relationships.

As I mentioned before, college is a time when both you and your significant other are going to be meeting a lot of new people. It’s very easy to get jealous of your partner’s new friends especially if they people whom you think your partner could become interested in. Ultimately, this harkens back to point number one– trust. If you don’t trust your partner and are constantly jealous of their new friends, your relationship will suffer.

3. It’s easy to be doubtful of your relationship’s future.

There are two kinds of doubts here and it’s important to note that often both of these doubts are experienced together. The first is that you are afraid your partner will meet someone new at college that they like better than you. This fear is completely normal and relates back to the aforementioned issues of jealousy and trust. The biggest thing to do to combat this problem is simply to talk to your partner about it. Share your worries with him/her and move forward from there.

The second kind of doubt is that you may begin to wonder what else (or who else) is out there. Maybe you’ll begin to doubt that your partner is really the best person for you or simply whether or not you want to be in a serious relationship at this point in your life. This is also a completely normal doubt to have. If you are experiencing this kind of doubt, you have to be honest with yourself about what you really want. Ask yourself tough questions like: Do I feel like this relationship is holding me back? Am I missing out on anything and if so, are those things worth ending my relationship over? What would make me most happy? After critically thinking about these questions you can decide whether you want to continue the relationship or end it.

4. Money.

This struggle is pretty straightforward and self explanatory. We are college students so for most of us, money is not something we have at our disposal. Traveling can be expensive which can make it difficult to visit your significant other. The farther the distance between you and your partner, the more money becomes a prevailing struggle.

5. Everything in a long distance relationship requires more effort.

All relationships require effort, but long distance relationships require even more. Simply spending time with your partner is a lot of work. You can’t just grab a quick bite to eat or spend an evening together on a whim. Seeing them becomes like planning a small vacation. It takes a lot more effort to make your partner feel loved and appreciated because you can’t see them as often. On the plus side, long distance relationships make it apparent how much your relationship really matters to you and your partner and if you’re both willing to put into the effort needed to make it work.

6. You have to balance your time between your significant other and building friendships.

As I mentioned earlier, a big part of college is making new friends. Being in a long distance relationship can make this a little more difficult. It’s easier to begin spending time with your new friends instead of talking on the phone or skyping your partner. At the same time, some couples spend too much of their free time talking with each other and not enough time making new friendships and enjoying college. While you shouldn’t spend all of your free time talking with your partner, you should make sure to still give him/her enough of your time that they don’t feel neglected.  Finding the right balance can definitely be a big struggle.

7. Arguing becomes more difficult and arguments often become more destructive.

Arguing with your partner always sucks, but arguing long distance in college sucks even more. I’m a firm believer that it’s better to argue in person as opposed to over the phone and especially over text. Disputes via text never go well. So much tonality and emotion is lost in text that small problems explode into larger ones. Unfortunately, in long distance relationships texting often becomes the main mode of all communication; including arguing. One of the reasons for this (other than convenience) is that for the majority of students dorming, it’s difficult to find a private space to hash it out over the phone or Skype and settling the argument in person isn’t really an option.

Clare is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is majoring in Marketing and planning on minoring/double majoring in Finance. In her freetime, Clare loves drinking tea, hanging out with her friends and catching up on her favorite TV shows!
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