We asked people in long distance relationships how on earth they manage

Don’t be clingy


Coming to uni with a long-term boyfriend/girlfriend back home or living elsewhere isn’t unusual, but unfortunately neither is somebody cheating on their bae. To prepare anyone hoping to keep their long distance relationship going strong (while still having a social life), here’s some advice about the do’s and don’ts.

Lauren, 20, Royal Holloway

tab article baeI dated my ex for 2 years, it was getting serious and we had the conversation about long distance when I was finalising where I wanted to go. He wanted me to stay close to home, but I wanted to go to London.

In the end we split because I don’t think either of us were willing to really try to make it work. My most recent relationship started at uni, and when I was at home it was really strange going from speaking every day at uni to a desperate attempt to keep that up when living in opposite ends of the country. At times it got really stressful – we decided to have a “break” from each other.

Advice for freshers

Both of you need to be equally committed to making it work. You need to talk about it and establish your thoughts on being apart and whether you want it to work. You need to understand the other person will have a life outside of you when you’re apart, and that’s OK. You need trust to pull it off. If you’re not happy, then talk about it.

Charlie, 20, Royal Holloway

tab article charlieWe’re only long distance during the holidays, but it’s hard when you’re so used to seeing them every day and you go from that to nothing. It’s just maintaining that communication and talking to each other as if you were physically in the same room as them.

So far we’re very happy – we’re best friends and we love each other. I think having certain times in the year where we are long distance actually helps because, as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. You learn to appreciate that person more, and you learn more about yourself as well, thinking about what you want from life and sharing it with them.

Advice for freshers

Live every moment, take lots of pictures, be able to say no to things and be your own person. Uni is totally different to school, you’re judged far less and are actually admired if you just express yourself naturally.

Rosie, 20, Royal Holloway

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I was in a relationship for eight months with someone who lived 24 miles away, and it definitely impacted both how I acted in freshers and the friends I made throughout the year.

Advice for freshers

Don’t get in a relationship with someone who lives far away once you’ve already started uni.

Serena, 20, University of Surrey

tab pic serenaA long distance relationship is a daunting thought for many students as you’re moving away from home to start life at university. For me, the journey between us was a maximum of two hours but it wasn’t so much the distance which I dreaded, it was the time we’d spend apart.

While I’ve made plenty of friends at uni, a lot of my weekends were spent away from uni visiting my boyfriend. I missed some events, and while it may seem you’re always traveling, I looked forward to being around different people. My boyfriend was starting uni and I understood he needed time to settle down and make friends, meaning his focus may not simply have been me.

Advice for freshers

Long distance relationships simply require more effort from both sides, which means making time to see each other and calling as you walk home from lectures. Understand the other person may be busy with work, or social activities, but that doesn’t mean they think of you less. Lastly, Facetime is a godsend when you are apart – that little camera will be your best friend.

Ailbhe, 19, Royal Holloway

tab pic ailbhe

You really have to be 100 per cent on the same page with each other. First year, and particularly Freshers’ Week, is a time where you kind of have to be selfish – socialising with absolutely as many people as possible. Here’s where communication and trust are key, because if they’re stubborn, clingy or jealous, you’ll immediately feel the impact of this on your social life.

I feel as if I spent most of first year feeling guilty for being around people of the opposite sex. This made me extremely reclusive, because I thought it would prove to my then girlfriend I was a trustworthy person – isolating yourself is possibly the worst way you could deal with it.

Advice for freshers

If you try to overload on contact to make up for not actually being there in person, your relationship will begin to feel like a routine and a chore really quickly. You need to find a middle ground.  If you’re both wrestling to understand each other’s needs while also wrestling a degree, you’re going to find yourself very depressed.

Not only that, but you’re likely to feel resentment towards each other, and that isn’t fair on either of you. If you really love your partner and are committed to them, you should try to stay optimistic.