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Seven Tips on Making a Long-Distance Relationships Work

We can all agree long-distance relationships suck. However, the reality of going to university (and especially to Waterloo, where tons of students are in co-op) is that you and your sweetheart will probably be separated at some point. To help you out, here are seven tips from someone who’s been there!

1. Have a plan. It’s important that you each know the other’s expectations. Do you want to see them every weekend? Twice a month? Once a month? Do you want to call each other a certain number of times a week? And what about texting? Knowing what you each want, expect, and are able to do will ensure that you both can…

2. Be realistic. If your person is on co-op in Toronto, you might be able to see them a little more often than if they’re on exchange in Berlin. If they’re in a different time zone it might be hard to schedule phone calls, and if they’re in an entirely new place they’ll want to explore and make new friends… meaning they might not have as much time for you. (Not to say he won’t be thinking of you, the saying goes ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder’). Of course, the same goes for you if you’re the one who’s away for school or on an exchange. Make sure you keep this in mind, and remember that you can’t necessarily be in contact 24/7. However, you still have to…

2. Communicate. It’s easy to have misunderstandings when you’re primarily communicating through technology (A tip from someone who’s been there: texting is not a good way to fight.) If there’s something that’s bothering you, you have to tell your sweetie right away so that resentment doesn’t build. It’s also better to talk about these delicate topics over the phone or skype so you get a chance to see/hear them. This also plays into the “Have a Plan” point earlier; if you think that your current plan isn’t working tell your partner. They have to know that you’re not happy with the way things are going so that you can work together to make things better!

5. Don’t stay in. Don’t wait by the phone for them to call or text. Go out with your friends! Do your own thing! Have fun! Of course you’re going to miss them, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying life on your own too.

6. Have faith. When you’re missing your sweetheart and they’re far away sometimes the doubts can roll in – what if they find someone prettier? Cooler? Smarter? How can I really know that they’re not messing around with someone else? In times like those you just have to believe in your relationship and in yourself.  They’re with you for a reason and just because you’re far away, it doesn’t mean that they’re not missing and thinking about you as much as you are about them!

(However, if you really feel like you can’t trust them… it might be a good time to…)

7. Know when to end things. Are you getting annoyed with your partner more frequently? Do you spend all your time arguing? Does talking to them feel like a chore? If so, it’s probably time to break things off. It’s like ripping off a Band-Aid, it’ll hurt at first but it will get better. The extra stress of a relationship that isn’t ultimately satisfying for you isn’t healthy for you or them.

Writer, reader, dreamer, feminist. 3B English and Business at the University of Waterloo, currently working in downtown Toronto and answering questions about the Waterloo life at http://waterloowhynot.tumblr.com/. 
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