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How to Long Distance at University

A statement like “I’m in a long distance relationship” can either lead to a response of respect or a sympathetic “awww”. What is seen as the typical university lifestyle of degrees, sex and alcohol doesn’t work when it comes to mature, trusting LDRs. Since we’re still in the week of Valentines (I’m really pushing it here tbh), this post is dedicated to the minority of us students who were ‘taken’ before they arrived at university and determined to keep it that way.

So some backstory:

I’ve been in a LDR for the past 2 years with my boyfriend. I was at a time in my life where I had gotten over the teen phase of wanting a boyfriend because that was ‘the thing to do’ and was happy with myself. I wasn’t looking for anything and neither was he. Yet somehow on one fateful day in London, we met and instantly clicked. Both of us knew it would be difficult if we were to start dating since not only did we live in different parts of the UK, but he was also about to leave for his Year Abroad. However even with the odds standing against us, we were determined to make it work knowing that one day there wouldn’t be any distance left to travel to one another. So now to the present day, I’ve entered university while he has graduated (timing was never our thing :P ) and although we’re further away from each other, we’re still acing our LDR.

Now for what you really came to the post for, how to keep up a LDR!

1. Communicate!

I can’t emphasise this enough, COMMUNICATION IS KEY. Regardless if you’re just updating them on what you ate at lunch, tell them about the details of your day: flatmates, lectures, messy kitchens, nights out etc. By putting in this kind of effort, not only are you making them feel more involved in your life, you are also creating other conversation starters and soon enough you’ll accidentally realise you guys have been talking for hours on end. Communication also applies in other ways such as telling each other how you really feel. By holding grudges, you’ll start to take everything your partner does negatively.

2. Discuss Expectations

If you chat beforehand on what you expect, neither of you will do things that will take the other person by surprise. From small things such as when on a night out, if you want them to text you when they leave and get back or not, to the more important stuff like “Are we exclusive?”.

3. Trust Each Other

Trust issues, no matter how profound and deep you think your love is, are omnipresent in LDR’s. It’s natural and the best thing you two can do is be fully open yourself to each other.  Talk it out on the spot and reach a place where both of you have an understanding of each other’s views. I always try to come out with some kind of solution that we can both work on. Don’t just end the Skype call and hope it will resolve itself. When your significant other does things without you, don’t start over-analysing and stalking people in their photos. Take a step back and trust in your relationship, you need this deep sense of trust so that your relationship won’t fall apart quickly. If you really are sceptical, just lightheartedly ask them about it :)

4. Alone Time = Me Time

Take the LDR as an opportunity to find yourself (#3deep5me). Missing someone can leave you with zero motivation to get up in the morning for lectures so instead of moping around, find things to do! That’s the part where being at university helps because there is so much on offer! From working a part-time job, going to the gym, joining a society to volunteering, and going out to the SU, there’s always something going on! Your relationship should definitely not be co-dependent but instead it should hit the sweet spot where you have your own identity and that you share certain aspects of your life with your partner.

 5.  Things to Do Together

- Watch Videos/Films (I’ve mastered counting down to 1 so that we both hit the start video button at the same time :P )

- Play Online Games

- Study Skype!

- Answer Questions from those articles on ‘What to ask your partner’

- Write each other old-fashioned letters

- Download Couple (a messaging app where you can draw together, send e-kisses, share your location, create lists of your first times doing things together and things you want to do together in the future)

6. Set Goals

“How long are we going to be apart?” “What about the future?” These are questions you two need to ask yourselves. No couple is in an LDR forever, eventually we all close the distance. You don’t have to go overboard and start looking at houses and baby names but definitely have in mind when you will next be seeing each other and when would be the most likely time that the distance could be closed. Counting down the days doesn’t feel so bad when you have a goal in sight.

Hopefully I’ve been able to give you some tips on how to LDR and if you have any tips or stories to share, comment down below!

Till the next post,

Wendy xx

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