Dealing with Distance

Five simple tips on surviving long distance love

As a second year, my entire university life so far has been spent in a long-distance relationship. Throughout first year, I looked at other people who weren’t, and saw how much easier they had it in their relationships than I did, and I have to admit I was hugely resentful.

But, being rational, if you’re still struggling with the transition to a long distance relationship, there are a few key things to remember which will make it a lot easier.

1)      Be Realistic. Let’s face it, long distance relationships take a lot of work. You’re being introduced to so many new, interesting people, some of whom will be very attractive, you’ll be going out and (probably) getting drunk, you’ve got piles of work to do and there’s a lot of temptation out there. How serious are you about this relationship?  Dedication and trust is essential here: in yourself, in them and from them; don’t abuse their absence, and if you do, it might be worth considering why. Also, just remember that your student loan can only go so far and travel is expensive so bear that in mind before you decide you’re going to see each other every weekend – work visits around both of your finances and workload.

2)      Communicate! You know what’s a beautiful thing? Skype. It doesn’t have to cost a bomb to speak to each other between visits. It’s easy to get so distracted by everything you suddenly have going on; remind your partner that they are important to you too, but don’t neglect lectures or assignments in order to do so.

3)      Try not to sweat over the small stuff. The likelihood is you will probably find little things annoy you that probably wouldn’t have bothered you before in your relationship. Before you make a remark, think about it and rationalise. If you wouldn’t argue normally about it; consider why you’re concerned about it now. On the other hand, if something does continue to bother you, well… Might be worth talking about.

4)      Make the most of your independence. You’re paying to be at university and you should make the most of everything it has to offer and the course you’re studying. This is probably the first time you’ve lived away from home; enjoy it! You and your partner should encourage each other, too. There will be times when it gets a little overwhelming and the familiarity between the two of you is priceless.

5)      Always look on the bright side. It will be difficult, but if your partner is from home, consider the whole long-distance thing as being part-time. You’ve still got all of Christmas, Easter and the summer holidays to spend with them whenever you want. Take it a day at a time and don’t lay on too much pressure on…absence makes the heart grow fonder!

Remember, this works both ways, so be understanding of your partner’s feelings and inhibitions here too. Long distance loving is an emotional game, so there’s no need to worry about a few minor slips every now and then. Good luck!