5 Ways To Transition To a Long Distance Relationship

College relationships are completely different from dating in high school. For roughly two hundred days out of the year, your college significant other is a mere jaunt across campus or right down the hall. You probably see each other every day and alternate sleeping at each other’s dorm rooms. In most ways, college relationships are far superior to the frivolous high school relationships that you had settled for in the past. However, one drawback to the collegiette relationship is the high chance that you’ll have to go through some patches of long distance.

Unlike your high school sweetheart, your college SO probably won’t live in your hometown. Being apart for breaks in the school year can be both challenging and intimidating. With summer break right around the corner, we have constructed a list of ways that you can prepare for the transition to a long distance relationship with your college significant other.

1. Communicate beforehand

Communication is key in any relationship, but absolutely critical in long distance relationships. Prior to the end of the school year, talk to your partner about what the summer will mean for the relationship. Some couples may choose to forgo an open relationship for the summer months, while others can devise plans to remain closer than ever.

Carsen Zink, a sophomore at the University of Florida, says that she and her boyfriend plan to “FaceTime a lot—at least a few times a week.” While both Zink and her boyfriend understand that it will be hard to match up with each other’s schedules, they are confident that with frequent FaceTime and texting, they will be able to “make three months apart work.”

Understanding that both of you are on the same page about what the summer will make the break a lot easier. Knowing that your partner is fully set on making the relationship work will help to curb your anxieties about the relationship failing or your partner losing interest.

2. Control your jealousy

Being apart for such a long time can be worrisome and cause you to get pretty crazy. It is important to trust your partner and not go off the deep end every time their platonic female friend pops up on their Snapchat story. Remember that it won’t be like it is at school. When you are back at school you probably go to all social gatherings together and never have to worry about what your significant other is doing.

For the three months that they are partying and socializing without you, it is understandable that you will get worried and jealous. However, constantly picking fights over these worries will cause problems in the relationship.

Allan Smith*, a junior at the University of Florida, places the blame for the termination of his last relationship on the constant fights he and his girlfriend had over the summer. “She was constantly getting mad when I went out with my friends, even though she was hundreds of miles away from me.” He says, “Of course I missed her too, but what was I supposed to do? Sit at home alone all summer? All of the fighting made me realize that we would never work long-term.”

If you really love and care for your partner, you should be able to trust them and avoid this mistake. If you find yourself unable to trust them, maybe it is a good way to realize that the relationship just isn’t going to work.

3. Stay busy and have your own life

The summer is going to be torture if all you do is sit at home and think about your significant other and what they are doing. When you’re in a relationship, it is important to remain independent. This is even truer when you are in a long distance relationship.

Sophia Kremp*, a junior at Florida State University, says that she did whatever she could to keep herself busy and keep living her life. “To avoid constantly thinking about my boyfriend, I made sure to fill up my schedule,” she says.

Of course you will miss them and think about them still, but at least you will still be doing things that you enjoy and remembering that you don’t need them in order to have a good time.

4. Get creative

Nightly phone calls and habitual good morning texts are great and all, but if you are going to make it several months without seeing each other, you are going to have to go a little further to remind your partner of how much you care for them.

“I would send my girlfriend a care package every month and fill it with things she loved to remind her of how much I care about her,” says Brandon Johnson*, a sophomore at the University of Florida. 

Madison Ray, a freshman at the University of Florida, says that while going through last summer with her girlfriend, she would “do little things like make her girlfriend her #WomanCrushWednesday, and give her a public shoutout, saying how much she missed her.” 

Going the extra mile for your partner is a great way to make sure that they don’t have any worries about how you feel about them. Reminding them of how much you love them, even from miles away, is a good way to keep the spark alive in the relationship.

5.  Plan ahead

Before going into the summer, it is important to plan. Just like you planned ahead when lining up your summer jobs and internships and planned which bikinis you’ll be wearing at the beach, you need to plan for your relationship. 

If you and your partner live only a few hours away, plan ahead for times that you can visit each other for a few days, or even just a few hours. If you live a little farther and have the means to do so, plan a time that you or your partner can fly to see each other or meet somewhere in the middle.

Making the effort to see your partner even when you are separated by so many miles will really show how serious you are about the relationship. Even better, you’ll make some pretty amazing memories.

Long distance relationships can be hard and will certainly test your relationship, but if you want it to work, it will. Once you and your partner return to campus, your relationship will be stronger than ever and you’ll be happy that you made it through.

*names have been changed