Long distance relationships can be rough. It sucks to be apart from one another for weeks or months on end. Many college students are in long distance relationships because their significant other is going to a different college, is still back home, or is in the military. Statistics show that 25-40% of all relationships in college are long distance. According to the Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, 37% of long distance couples split up within the first 3 months. This is compared to 21% of traditional couples. However, if you make it past the first year mark, only 8% break up after the first year compared to 25% of traditional couples. So, the first year is critical to make it long term. For whatever reason you are apart from the one you love, these tips may help you get through it.
Being Dependable– You have to be able to trust in order to survive a long distance relationship. One way to establish trust is to be dependable. Being dependable means you need to follow through with what you say you’re going to do. Commit to specific times to communicate and visit and then stick to them. Missed calls and canceled visits lead to mistrust in a long distance relationship. Also set boundaries. Be smart and don’t put yourself in tempting situations where you may end up breaking your commitment to your relationship. College is full of temptation and you want to be careful to avoid sticky situations. If your partner knows you are making certain sacrifices on campus, it will erase a lot of worry and doubt.
Road Trip!– Make plans to see each other as often as possible. Decide early in the relationship how often you can realistically see each other. Use an online calendar to help you track the dates of when you get to be together. Don’t go too long between trips to avoid depression from setting in. If there has to months between visits then definitely follow the next step!
Use Technology– Today it is much easier to stay in contact with someone who is even thousands of miles away. You can text, email, send photos and videos, instant message, use social media sites, and Skype to stay in touch. Skype is a perfect way to talk to each other and really be able to see the person’s nonverbal messages as well. Many couples use Skype to have long distance “dates”. Stay on top of the communication and try never to cancel a long distance “date”.
Share Stories– While using all that modern technology to stay in touch, remember that if you aren’t being open and honest, no amount of technology can save your relationship. In a long distance relationships you don’t get to see each other in different situations. You may be unfamiliar with the environment your boyfriend or girlfriend is in. Share your feelings, good or bad, about your experiences throughout the day or week. Use details to help your partner feel included and part of your daily life. Really talk and open up with one another to build the intimacy.
Try it Old School– In the day and age of email it is really nice to get an actual letter or card in the mail. Snail mail can really make that person feel special because it takes extra effort to communicate that way. A hand written note is a lot more personal and shows your boyfriend or girlfriend that you really care about them. Share the love!
Distract Yourself– You will have a lot more time to spare in a long distance relationship. Independence is important in any relationship, but even more so in a long distance relationship. Make sure you go out and do things with your friends to distract yourself from missing your sweetheart. Don’t miss out on living life and having fun. Stick to your established communication time with your partner, but at other times, try to focus on other things. School should keep you busy, but make sure you also make time for your friends.
Stay positive– This time will end and you will be together more often one day in the future. Keep that date in your mind and strive to make the best of the situation until that time comes. A lot of people are in your tough situation. Hopefully when you do get to see your boyfriend or girlfriend every day you will appreciate every second!