How to deal with relationships at uni

Should you break up?

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For some, moving to university is a time for being free, reinventing yourself and having no restrictions. If this is what you're excited about, you should probably be single when you head off to uni.

On the other hand, if you're excited about making new friends and studying something you love, but the idea of being tied to someone far away whom you love doesn't worry you, staying together might be the best option. There are a lot of things to consider before you break up with someone, as you don't want to hurt anyone unnecessarily.

This guide should help you make that important decision, and help you with what to do next.

Should you break up before going to university

Most people will advise you to end it, but it is of course subjective. Staying together is a big commitment, but if you see a future with someone, it could be worth the sacrifice.

If you're tempted to break up with them, it probably means you're not that committed so you should do it. Be honest with your boyfriend or girlfriend about why the relationship is ending, they might feel the same way and you can break up amicably.

If you think you're strong enough to make it work then you have a better chance. Have a conversation with them about how it's going to work. If you can make equal effort and visit each other, it's very possible you can do it.

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My boyfriend/girlfriend is going to uni

If you're other half is going to uni and you're not, you might be worried they're considering breaking up with you. Or you might be considering it too if you think you don't want to make it work long distance.

Talk to them, be honest with your feelings and worries and ask them to do the same. The decision of how you move forward should be made together.

Going to same uni as your boyfriend/girlfriend

In theory, this should work well as you won't have to do long distance, but that isn't necessarily always the case. People change when they go to university, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Either way, it's likely that you will grow apart even though you're in close proximity.

The best thing to do is always to discuss it beforehand to make sure you both want to stay together when you go to uni, because if you don't you can end things on good terms and be friends at university.

If you both want to give it a go and make it work, have an open mind and be ready for things to change. If you can adapt together and stay happy, that's great. But voice your concerns when you have them and be ready for the relationship to come to an end if it has to. It might be better for the both of you.

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Can relationships last through uni?

It totally depends on how much you are willing to compromise as a couple and how much you really want it to work. You have to try to visit each other an equal amount and show the same amount of affection, especially if only one of you is at uni.

Most long distance relationships at university don't last. But not all of them end, so it's possible. It's just essential to listen to each other to make sure the relationship is happy – if you stay together to prove a point but you're not happy, then it's not a success.

Long distance relationships

Heading off to university means leaving your loved ones at home, and maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend. If you decide that staying together is the best thing for you, you might have to try a long distance relationship. Here's how you can make it work.

Visit each other equally

If one of you is always the one travelling to visit the other, it won't feel like you're compromising for each other and can put a strain on the relationship.

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Set times when you will talk on the phone or video chat

And stick to it. It will feel like a date and you can get excited for the time when you'll be able to talk. Don't cancel it though, or they'll feel unwanted.

Watch a Netflix series together

And don't watch an episode without them. You can discuss it during and after and it'll be like a date night. Sort of.

Be totally honest with each other

Honesty is the biggest key. Never lie about where you are, or who you've been with. Once they realise this is happening (which they will) they'll stop trusting you and the relationship will crumble.

How to deal with a break up at uni

We all have to go through break ups at some point in our lives, and it's really really hard. Whether you ended it or you were broken up with involuntarily, you still need some support.

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The first thing to do is probably to call your parents or whoever in your family you're closest with, if you're close with them. It's good to let them know you're hurting so they can reach out to regularly.

Next, tell your housemates and have a good old chat with them. Talking it out and having a proper cry is always the

How to get a boyfriend or girlfriend at uni

Talk to as many people as possible

If you're looking for love, it probably won't fall into your lap. You need to get out there and talk to lots of new people to find who you're attracted to.

Get to know someone

Before you jump into a relationship, get to know someone really well. They might seem perfect for you initially and turn out to have really different views on life.

Don't be afraid to make the first move

You won't know until you try. If you make a move and they don't like you, well it wouldn't have worked anyway. And if they do like you, they'll immediately be flattered and you'll know it's mutual.

If you feel them stepping back then take it easy

Not replying to texts and not wanting to meet up is a sign they either don't like you in the right way, or they just need a bit of space. If you pull back a bit and wait for them to get in contact with you, you'll know if they're serious about moving forward with you, and you can recognise what pace they want to go at in the future.

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How to pull during Freshers'

Just be yourself, be confident (but not presumptuous) and be respectful. If someone turns you down, don't pursue them.

Feeling lonely at uni

If you're feeling lonely at uni, please refer to our guide, How to make friends at uni.

Unsure about which uni you're going to?

If you're unsure which uni you're going to, read our guides to choosing which uni you should go to, how to use UCAS, A-Level results day 2018, UCAS clearing and the ultimate guide to Freshers' Week.

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1) What to take with you to uni: The ultimate checklist

2) How to make friends at uni

3) How to deal with anxiety at uni

4) How to budget at uni