Top Tips: Here’s how to survive your long distance relationship at Lancs

Tips for surviving a long-distance relationship whilst at Lancaster, from someone who is trying their best

Everyone in a relationship whilst at sixth form gets asked the same questions: “Will you break up when you go to uni? Or will you go to the same one to stay together?”

For me and my boyfriend, the answers were no and no. I’m here in Lancaster, and he’s in Newcastle. Roughly a two-hour drive, or a three-hour train, and 120 miles. And whilst that doesn’t sound too far, we both have degrees to work towards: I’ve got a dissertation to write, he’s a medical student on placement, and a student budget or timetable does not stretch to visiting every weekend, but we didn’t we want it to.

We both made sure that our main priority when it came to university was always ourselves: picking the uni that was best for us individually, no matter the distance, and if we could, we would make it work. We wanted to make sure that we each had the best uni experience, but still made sure we had time for each other. We’ve been together for four years now, and two of those have been long-distance. Here’s how we’ve made it work for us, so far.

Make time for each other

Whether it’s a 20-minute phone call while I’m walking from Cartmel to County for my 9am, and he’s on his way to the hospital for placement, or a long FaceTime call in the evening, make sure you are spending some time talking properly to each other each day. In our experience, it just makes life a bit better to have proper conversations, rather than solely relying on text. It’s also a good way to catch up on what each of you are doing with your day and to properly check that each of you are okay.

Make sure you’ve always got plans to visit each other

Having an agreement about when you will see each other makes it so much easier to be apart. You’ve always got something to look forward to, and it keeps you in a routine of spending time with each other. Plus, only seeing each other for brief amounts of time makes us appreciate the time we do get to spend together on these visits, or throughout the holidays. Have nice things planned when they’re visiting as well, whether it’s a walk around Williamson Park, or a night out via Craftys, Greens and Sugar, it’s best to make the time together worth it.

Do things together, when you’re apart

Watch shows on Netflix together over FaceTime, cook tea “together” where you both make the same meal, where you chat together while you cook and see whose looks better in the end. Or, both order a takeaway and eat that together over FaceTime too, watch a film or just chat about your day. It does sound daft, but “dating” while you’re apart really helps.


I know this one sounds obvious, but it’s not as easy as it seems. Things can get misinterpreted over text, and sometimes it can be hard to talk about real things over the phone. This is why you need to communicate your feelings when you feel them, tell them when they’ve upset you, tell them when you’re feeling stressed about uni work, and don’t bottle things up. They’re in a relationship with you for a reason, they’ll help you if they know what’s wrong. We also use an app called Locket to send each other messages throughout the day.

Take an interest in the other person’s uni life

Ben does medicine, which I do not have the stomach to hear about half the time, but because he loves it, I make sure to ask what he’s been doing. Ask questions and try to understand what’s going on (99 per cent of the time I have no idea whatsoever), because I know he appreciates me being interested in what he’s doing.

Similarly, when Ben visits I show him Lancaster: he’s had the full campus tour, we’ve been to Morecambe, we’ve had a Sultans, we go to Sugar and out for food in town. It’s just always nice to show him my new home and my new “life” since I moved here. It’s important for him to see what I talk about on FaceTime when describing nights out in Craftys, so he knows I’m having a good time when I’m here.

Also, get to know their housemates. I was lucky that Ben lived with some friends we went to sixth form with, so I already had a good relationship with them, but it was really important to me that he spent time with my housemates who i spend 24/7 with, so it’s important to me that they can get along when he visits. Ben’s currently last in my housemate’s fantasy football league, and last weekend we all went to Sugar together, so I’d like to think that they do.

Don’t miss out on things because of them

If your course mates are headed to Sugar, and you’re not sure about going because you don’t want to miss out on FaceTiming your S/O, go to Sugar. You can’t miss out on your own uni experience because you’re in a relationship. This is where communication is important: tell them your plans for the night, talk to them earlier in the day, or organise a longer FaceTime the next day. It’s all about making sure each of you is having a good time and making memories with the new friends you meet at uni. And then you can tell your S/O about passing out in Grizedale bar the next day while they laugh at how hungover you are.

These are things that have worked for us so far. We still argue, we still fight, and we’ve definitely had our issues coping with being apart, but we’ve learned that while we’re apart, these few things make it easier.

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