Relationships are tough; adding distance to the mix doesn’t make them any easier. It’s hard enough to trust the partner you live with. Imagine trusting the one who lives a world away.
Because of this, some may say that long distance relationships don’t work. But the truth is, all relationships take effort. Some just take a little more than others.
Are you dating someone who is already in college? Is your significant other not going to college, but you are? Are you and your high school sweetheart going to different colleges?
If so, here are four ways to maintain a happy relationship while you’re apart.
Communication is Key
It’s not always easy to keep up with everything that goes on in each other’s lives, but making the time to talk without distraction is an important part of making it work.
This doesn’t have to mean talking on the phone multiple times a day. It does mean taking the time to communicate without distractions. Talking on the phone, texting, video chats, even writing letters, are all ways of communicating that help to grow your relationship.
Video chatting is especially important, because the main problem in distance, is not being able to see each other. You can try Facebook Messenger, ooVoo, Skype, Google Hangouts, or Slack to video chat. Seeing their face makes them seem less far away.
College Visits and Sleepovers
Making the time to see that special someone is also important. If the person you’re dating is in college, then Family Weekend, Homecoming, and Greek Week, are all great activities that take place on most college campuses.
You’ll be able to enjoy each other’s company while getting to know the other person’s campus. Meeting the friends of your boyfriend or girlfriend also helps you to get a feel for their new world in college.
Spending the weekend together in the dorms or at your college apartment, can also be intimate and fun. At your parents’ home, sleeping in the same room can be uncomfortable, or it might not even be allowed. College brings about a whole new world of freedom.
Spending time together in your personal space can make your relationship stronger. It can also help determine if you will be compatible living together, someday. It’s almost like playing house: cooking together, doing dishes, and sharing a bathroom.
If your significant other is visiting your campus, take them to the Student Union, hang out in the dorms with your friends, go to local bars, attend house parties and sporting events, and eat at the local restaurants.
Do not stay cooped up in your dorm room or apartment the entire time. Show off your loved one. It proves that you have nothing to hide.
Give Each Other Space
I know it doesn’t seem logical to give your significant other space in a long distance relationship, but they need it. And so do you.
When I went to college, I was in a relationship with an older guy who dropped out when he was a sophomore, and was working back in our hometown. Although the distance wasn’t too bad, we still had to put in the extra work.
But he wouldn’t let me live. He called too much, got jealous when I went to parties, and visited way too often. We started arguing about petty things; and eventually, we broke up. I believe that if he would have given me space to grow, learn, and figure out who I was, our relationship may have lasted.
It is not healthy to visit your girl or guy’s college campus too often. Just because you can get to the campus in a few hours, doesn’t mean you need to be there every day.
Outside of academia, college is about growing and becoming an individual. Being cuffed up all semester is not going to give you that experience. So visit sometimes, but don’t smother your relationship by overstaying your welcome.
Share Social Media Login Info
Some people may believe that sharing login information is pointless. If you truly trust the person you are in a relationship with, why would you need their login and passwords to all their social media pages?
The willingness to share information, shows you have nothing to hide. If you have nothing to hide, you will have no problem sharing this information.
The fear of being cheated on is a reality in long distance, especially on a college campus. The reason is obvious. There are so many opportunities to be in close quarters with others.
The college I attended had co-ed dorms and we would have girl and guy sleepovers all the time. I was single at the time, but some of my friends were in relationships, and some of them cheated on their boyfriend or girlfriend.
Cheating does not necessarily mean sleeping with someone. DMing on Instagram and Facebook Messenger can get you into trouble, if you are having intimate conversations with someone.
Intimate conversations can easily turn inappropriate. You cannot control what someone else types to you, but you can control not putting yourself in questionable situations.
It’s not about not having friends; it’s about not doing things away from your significant other that you wouldn’t be willing to do in front of them.
Have any of you been in long distance relationships before? Maybe you’re in one now. How did you make it work? Tell me all about it in the comments below.
About the Author
Ta’lor Pinkston graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s in creative writing and a master’s in social work.
Although her passion is working with youth and families, she also enjoys using her writing to support childhood development, anti-bullying, positive relationships, equality, and the empowerment of all women.
You can find her at LADYHOOD Journey, where she writes as Pinkspen.
This post is the first April submission for the Monthly College Mate Writing Contest.