How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work in College

My boyfriend and I have been dating since our sophomore year of high school. We met at my sweet 16 birthday party and I am now in my senior year of college. It’s been a tough road, but so worth it. Being in a long distance relationship in college can be hard, but here are some tips that can hopefully make it easier for you and your significant other.

1. Visit

The number one thing that will help maintain your relationship is frequent visits. I live a few hundred miles away from my boyfriend, so I try to drive home or find a ride every few weekends. Even if it’s just a couple of days, anytime we can see each other is worthwhile. If you live too far away for frequent visits, schedule a visit whenever you can, and make special plans in advance. Build the anticipation by counting down the days and discussing what you’ll do when you see each other; this will make the actual reunion that much better!

2. Daily Communication

Call. Skype. Text. Facebook chat. Use technology to talk to them whenever you have time. College can get really busy, but it’s important to talk every day, even just for a short time. If you’re making excuses to not talk to them, evaluate if this is really what you want, and try to be open with them about your struggles. Relationships are about compromise.

3. Life Updates

It can be hard when you don’t know what each other are doing every day, so fill them in. Talk about the happy moments and even the bad moments that comprise your time. This way you’ll both feel more involved in each other’s lives, even though you can’t be together physically.

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4. Envision the future

People think long distance relationships can’t work because so many people say they won’t. Believing that it can work is an important step in actually making it work.

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5. Have a plan

Making a plan for after college graduation allows you both to have something to look forward to. Whether you have a location you want to move to upon graduation, or if you have a few places in mind that you know will be ideal for finding a job, make these decisions together.

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6. Trust

If you don’t have trust in your boyfriend or girlfriend, then your relationship will suffer. Jealousy is an evil beast and will make a relationship seem like more of a burden than something you want. Keep an open conversation about your feelings and support each other as much as you can. If one of you makes a mistake, understand that forgiveness can often make a relationship stronger. Set clear guidelines about what is okay and not okay, so there is no confusion.

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7. Support each other

Be there for each other through the ups and downs of college. If they decide to change their major, be supportive of their decision. If they have a bad day, lend a listening ear as they vent over the phone.

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8. Express your love

While there are numerous gestures you can do to show your love, like having flowers delivered or sending care packages to their dorm, be sure to tell your S.O. that you love them, and tell them often.

9. Don’t lose focus

Understand that it’s okay to grow and still enjoy your time in college. Be invested in what you’re learning. This will help justify why you decided to be far away from the person you love. Talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend about what you’re learning and grow together in your knowledge of different subjects.

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10. Have fun

Remember that you can still have fun in college, even though your significant other isn’t there. Get involved in clubs and make friends. Just because you’re in a long distance relationship doesn’t mean you can’t go out anymore. Just know your limits and understand there may be temptations.

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Autumn Echols

Autumn Echols is a student at Washington State University majoring in advertising at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication and minoring in Fine Arts. Autumn loves the autumn time, Pinterest, fashion, advocating for feminism, and relaxing with her friends, her boyfriend, and anything cute and fuzzy.

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