How to Make Long Distance Last in College

For years I told myself that I would never go to college with a boyfriend. But, as senior year drew to a close and a new chapter of my life was about to begin, I was not ready to let go quite yet. I could not bring myself to like the idea of breaking up just because of college, and I started convincing myself that it was okay and telling myself that I knew many couples who make long distance work. Below are a few tips to make long distance dating more doable.

1.  Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries are important for every relationship, but it is especially necessary for long distance ones. Creating rules for the relationship eliminate the possibility for disappointment, unfulfilled expectations, jealousy, or mistrust. Talk to your partner about how frequently you’d like to text, call, FaceTime, etc. If one person begins breaking the boundaries, it’s a good idea to communicate and redefine the boundaries, or maybe even reconsider the relationship.

 

2.  Visit When Possible!

While visiting your partner can be expensive, it makes a big difference in the quality of the relationship. Sometimes in a long distance dating, it is easy to feel that the relationship is on “pause” when you do not see each other frequently. Some of my fondest memories with my boyfriend and some of our most valuable moments of growth are from weekend visits. Visiting is also helpful to solidify trust because you have the opportunity to meet your significant other’s friends, see their college life, and get a sense of their daily routine.

 

3. Get Creative With Communication

When you and your partner are apart, get creative in how you express your affection. Gestures do not necessarily have to be grand, but they go a long way. Sending a sweet text, calling to chat for no specific reason, writing a love letter, or even just tagging them in a funny meme on Instagram will most definitely brighten their day, show them that you care, and let them know you are thinking about them. Make time and put in the effort for communication because it is how you can feel close to your partner without physically being with them.

 

4.  Trust is Key

While this may seem obvious, trust is absolutely essential in long distance relationships. I really cannot emphasize this enough. Without trust, you will torture yourself with the “what if” game, get trapped in jealous thoughts, and resent your partner. Sometimes though, this is much easier said than done. Trust takes time to build and constant effort to maintain.

 

5.  Be Honest

In my opinion, long distance relationships are so difficult because they require a great deal of commitment, patience, and effort for very little immediate reward. However, in the long-term, with someone that you truly care about when you see them for the first time in weeks, the reward can be so special. Some days communication is easy and your schedules may line up perfectly, but other days you may be able to feel every mile of distance between you and your partner. So, check in with yourself and your emotions to ensure that your heart is still in line. Remaining open and honest with your partner and yourself is necessary. When two people are apart for a long time, feelings can change. Do not be afraid to be admit if the relationship is not working for you or no longer positively contributes to your well-being.