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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

This one is for any of you who have significant others who live far away and want to make long distances work. 

Being away at university can sometimes be awesome for relationships. You have total freedom and you and your partner can spend as much time together as you want, without any judgement or rules stopping you. 

Unfortunately, university can also be challenging for any couples who don’t go to the same school. Whether one of you lives at home and the other is away at school or you are separated at different universities, this is a time where distance can be a hard thing to navigate. 

As someone who has been in a long distance relationship for a little over a year and whose roommates also are making it work long distance, I have some advice on how to make your relationships last — and how to keep them healthy. 

1. Keep in touch. 

This isn’t a new idea by any means, but it really is important. Texting, calling, face-timing, letter writing; it’s up to you how you do it, but keep in touch with your partner as much as you can. Something as simple as a “good morning” text every day can help keep the two of you feel connected with each other. 

2. Phone when you can. 

You can communicate in any ways you want, but I really recommend trying to phone every once in a while. There is nothing better than hearing your partner’s voice after a long day; it can be just the thing to help reinvigorate you and remind you why you love this person, as well as why you’re trying to make it work. 

3. Communication is key.

This is one of the most important tips I have for you. Long distance is hard and it can put a strain on a relationship, especially when tensions or concerns are left unresolved. As soon as you notice something isn’t working for you — or you feel yourself getting anxious or suspecting something might be wrong — the absolute best thing to do is to communicate with your partner and tell them what the problem is. Letting anxieties fester will only make tensions grow, which can make it so much harder to keep the relationship going. If at all possible, I strongly encourage communication over the phone so nothing gets misunderstood and the two of you can work through your problems as a unit — and not two screens.

4. Know what’s going on in your partner’s life and remember important events. 

Things like birthdays and anniversaries are events you should definitely try and remember, but even smaller things, like exam days or important interviews, are things you might want to jot down and remember to check in with your partner about. A text asking about how you did on your essay can help you feel like there is less distance between the two of you and help to remind both of you that you are still involved in each other’s lives, even if you can’t physically be with the other person. 

5. Get together when you can. 

It’s not always possible to be able to visit frequently — or at all — during the school year. But there is nothing more reinvigorating than getting to see your partner after a long absence, to hold them and tell them you care about them. It may not always be possible, but when it is you should try to take some time to see your partner in person so that the two of you can reconnect and give yourselves some strength for the next time you have to be apart. 

6. Trust your partner. 

This is important in any relationship, but especially in long-distance ones. You won’t always be around your partner and won’t always be sure of what’s going on in their life. But if you are in a healthy relationship, you need to trust them to be faithful and put as much into the relationship as you have. You would expect them to do the same for you. 

7. Be understanding. 

I know this is going to undermine everything I’ve just said, but you have to understand when your partner fails in one or more of the suggestions I’ve just given you. If a week goes by where your partner is busy and you can’t phone — that’s okay. The two of you need to live your own lives. Sometimes, that means missing a phone call or not being able to get together for an anniversary. It sucks, but it happens. Trust in your relationship and know that you can survive, even if one of you forgets an important milestone. Your relationship is strong enough to handle more than you think. 

Meghan Mazzaferro

Wilfrid Laurier '21

Meghan is an English and Film Studies major who has dreamed of being a writer all her life. When she's not writing essays and watching films for class, she loves to read YA novels and rewatch her favourite TV shows for the 100th time. Proud plant mama of 24 green beauties, and willing to adopt all the dogs.