Forget everything you think you know about how to survive a long distance relationship in college and everything you’ve been told. I, honestly, don’t believe in them. Probably not what you want to hear from someone about to give you advice- BUT I know that they can work. I’ve seen them work. Just because LDRs aren’t for me, it doesn’t mean they can’t be for you. With that in mind, you should know that LDRs aren’t for everyone. There are a few simple rules you should follow to make your relationship work, so keep reading!
First, please take a minute to realize how serious of a commitment it is to survive a long distance relationship while in college.
First, I think you need to realize just how much of a serious commitment a long distance relationship is. So you both need to sit down and talk about how capable and ready you both are for a commitment this big. Especially in college where you want to try new things and maybe feel free to do so. If you think – no- if you’re SURE you can handle the commitment…please read on.
1. Plan for the future’s end result ahead of time.
What I mean by this is that you HAVE to plan to end up in the same place in the future. That is the end goal of a long distance relationship, to end up together. So one of you will have to move eventually. Whether it’s transferring at some point in your school career or relocating once you’re done with school, one of you will have to make the sacrifice and move. You could both move and meet somewhere halfway but that’s highly unlikely and quite impractical.
2. You and your partner need to establish boundaries.
You need to have an open and honest discussion with your partner about your boundaries. What you can and can’t do. You need to decide whether or not you’re both okay with hooking up with other people, just how far “hooking up” is etc. You need to both be comfortable with whatever you decide. You can’t agree to hooking up with other people just to make the other person happy because it’ll drive you crazy once you’re apart. At the same time, you can’t be offended if the other person suggests hooking up with other people or isn’t completely opposed to the idea because you’re both trying to establish your rules and boundaries and find what will work for you.
3. You need to learn the importance of communication.
This is so important in any relationship but even more so in a LDR. You need to always have open and completely honest lines of communication or it’ll lead to jealousy and resentment and crazy, clingy and distrustful behavior. Talk about your fears, insecurities and feelings and let each other know when you have concerns and doubts before and during. You need to really use everything you have at your disposal here; FaceTime, Skype, texting, calling, Snapchat and whatever else you like to make up for how little you’ll see each other.
4. You need to face realistic expectations.
Again, something you should talk about before you’re apart. What do you expect? A good morning text and a goodnight call? Taking every day? Catching up on the weekend? Find what works for you and the schedules you have and keep in mind that while your partner loves you, they’re in a new place and they’re settling in and making new friends and finding themselves. So you need to leave each other some room to do this. You also need to remember that you’re both going to grow and change as people and you should accept this and try to grow together.
5. Make frequent plans to see each other.
Save up and make plans to see each other in person as often as you can afford. Drive if you can, take buses, planes and trains. Whatever you have to do because at the end of the day, a relationship with your phone isn’t really a relationship at all and it’s easy to feel disconnected and frustrated if you never see the person you’re in love with. If you don’t see each other, it might lead to either of you looking for that intimacy elsewhere and obviously this will cause problems. So make plans, it’ll give you both something to look forward to.
6. Learn ways to keep the spark alive.
You have to put more effort into keeping it alive than you would in a regular relationship. This is something that you cannot overlook. You both need to both still feel wanted and loved, you know? Send each other cute little gifts. Maybe send each other food, flowers, letters, cute little care packages, whatever you want. Send nudes (smartly). Have dinner and coffee dates over Skype. Make plans to watch something together. Send selfies, ask for input when you’re making decisions. Get creative. Especially during holidays and birthdays.
It’s not always going to be smooth sailing.
At the end of the day, it’s going to require that you both put the work in (as you must in any relationship) and it’s not always going to be smooth sailing. You’re going to get frustrated and angry and sad and you’re going to miss your person. At the end of the day you just have to decide if they, and your relationship, are worth it all at the end of the day.
Trying to survive a long distance relationship probably isn’t right for you if…
You don’t trust the person you’re with completely.
Trust me, the distance will only feed your distrust. Every time they don’t pick up your call or reply to your text right away your mind will fly to the worst place and any interaction they have with anyone on social media will immediately make you suspicious and probably jealous.
You don’t see this person in your future.
Why waste either of your time? Breaking up sucks but let your partner know now that you don’t see a future.
You don’t believe in LDRs.
I mean, it probably won’t work if you’re not even completely invested in the idea.
Your relationship is in its infancy stage.
It’s probably not the best idea to start a new relationship apart. It’s much harder to learn about each other and get to feel comfortable with each other.
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Tiara Msiza is a 19 year old girl who’s wandered far from home but not nearly far enough. No major as of yet but interests (things she can’t live without) include: writing, reading, singing, listening to music and having a great time by exploring as much of the world of possible.