Long Distance Relationships: Stay Connected!

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Doing the Long Distance Relationship Thing Successfully

Don’t be fooled: they’re not easy and, like a new Spanish professor, they take time to understand. But, ultimately, a long distance relationship is rewarding. If you truly care for the one you’re away from (which apparently you do, since you’re in such a relationship) then it shouldn’t be hard to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel… whether that means getting together in the summertime, over winter or spring break, or for the coming weekend.

Like me, I’m sure you’ve heard these pieces of dating advice before:

1) If it’s really meant to be, it’ll work out,

2) Don’t worry, every relationship has its ups and downs, and

3) Do whatever makes you happy.

Good advice, all. But there’s just one thing wrong with these generalities: they don’t really mean anything.

What you need is some solid, tangible advice to put into action; some real tips for making your relationship as smooth, loving and trusting as possible… because that, my friends, is the key. Below are a few ways to really show your boyfriend/girlfriend that they matter.

Communication

If you can’t be honest with each other, then what else is there? I’ll tell you, the weather. That’s it. And that sucks. (S)He doesn’t have to know every minute detail of your waking campus life, but it should be easy to share thoughts, ideas, compliments, frustrations and day to day observations with him/her. Chances are, if you’re holding back on these little things, you’re holding back on much more important things, as well. Here are some really easy ways to keep the lines of communication open:

  • Call. Whether you’re saying goodnight, calling just to say hello or to freak out about straight up acing that final exam, it’s always good to hear your reassuring gf/bf’s voice.
  • Leave voicemails. It’s so easy to hang up just as the automatic greeting comes on, but take those few extra seconds and leave a message. Instead of saying, “hey, Β just calling to see what’s up” say something like, “just walked by [insert campus object here] and thought of you. Give me a call back when you get a chance because, well, you’re pretty and you rule.”
  • Send ‘Good Morning’ Texts. When you wake up, send her a good morning text message with some adoration and encouragement for the day ahead. It doesn’t have to be a long, complex love letter, just show her that she’s on your mind.
  • FaceTime. Today, most smartphones have video calling features. This is a game changer for long distance relationships. You can actually see the person you love right there in front of you!
  • Send a Letter or Package. This is super old-school, but a letter could be just what she needs to remind her how much you care. After all, hand written letters are more exciting to receive and feel more personal than an email or text message. Similarly, if (s)he’s really stressed over exams, send her/him an OCM care package with a note for some much needed encouragement.

Freedom

Communication is vital and so is respecting each other’s individuality. This is paramount to any relationship, but especially when it’s long distance. You’ll make your friends, she’ll make her friends, he’ll make his friends and so on. It’s human nature to connect. This is especially true freshman year when everyone is meeting each other for the first time. Don’t spend hours and hours in your room on the phone or crafting an immense email while your friends are out bonding and having a good time. Experience your new environment; don’t worry, you’ll have each other at the end of the day!

Visits

If you’re both from the same hometown and both heading home for break, visits are especially easy. You’ll be hanging out and doing fun things together until the cows come home, or until you have to head back. Bask in this time together; these moments will be great to think about when you’re separated again.

On the other hand, you may go to different schools and live in far-away cities, states or regions (I offer my sympathies to you brave souls). If this is the case, you can easily and affordably plan a trip to meet up over winter, spring or summer break. Whether you decide on a home visit or an adventure, sites like Student Universe and STA Travel make it easy to find student deals on flights, hotels and more.

And if you’re lucky enough to go schools that aren’t too far apart, hop on a Megabus or local train, and make a weekend trip. I promise you it’s worth it.

This is by no means a definitive guide to maintaining a sane, healthy long-distance college relationship. Every relationship is different, and those with 100+ miles between will especially encounter their own twists and turns but no matter what, all relationships take work. However, if you put in the time and effort, it will show and your relationship will thrive; your time apart will fly by; the moments you spend together will make the long phone calls, bus fares and lonely nights worth it.

 

Relationships & College: Splitting up or Staying Together?

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Here’s your scenario: You’ve just been accepted to the university of your dreams but there’s one BIG problem. Your boyfriend of the past year and a half didn’t get in, and is choosing to go to his second pick school. You’ve also applied to said school as a second pick, but really have your heart set on your dream school. By declining the offer and going with your second pick to be with your boyfriend, you could be missing out on some great educational opportunities. Need help solving your dillemma? Here’s a few things to think about before you make that big decision:

long-distance-relationship

1) Your Major and What The University Offers – Deciding to attend a different university than your boyfriend can be a heartbreaking decision to make. It’s important to remember that college is about bettering your future and obtaining the training you need to excel in your career. If your boyfriend is happy with his second pick because they have great athletics or are the top school in his field, you could be missing out on an education tailored to your specific needs.

2) What’s Meant to Be Will Be – If your relationship is strong and built to last, it will flourish no matter where you two are. You could be at a university across the world and with the right amount of dedication and communication you can keep the love alive! Don’t choose a school based on your relationship. If the relationship ends while you’re at school, you could be heartbroken and forced to see him (or her) all the time and wish you went to your top school.

3) Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder: I know you’ve heard the saying before, but it really is true. Sometimes when you’re around something all the time, you accidentally start to appreciate it less than you would if you missed it some of the time. Going to a different school than your significant other would allow you to grow as an individual and learn to be self-sufficient. You can make sure you’re adequately focused on your studies and attribute the attention required to complete all of your classes and responsibilities. The best part about being at different schools is that you can visit each other and get the best of both worlds. You can trade off visiting each other, getting to know both campuses and meeting a bunch of new people.

At the end of the day, you need to weigh out your pros and cons for what works best for you. Think about it 4 years down the line: which university will make you feel the most accomplished once you get your degree? Which college has more resources and more tailored classes for your major? What about on-campus activities and organizations? Before picking a school, it’s important that you figure out what’s important to you. Whatever decision you make will be a big one. That school will be your life for the next 4 years, and you have to make sure you’re comfortable with your new home away from home.

What about you: Have you been in a similar situation before? How did you handle the decision? What were the outcomes?