How to survive a long-distance relationship at uni

LDRs are tough, really tough. Sometimes Facetime just doesn’t cut it and you find yourself feeling bitter towards couples who have the luxury of daily – even weekly – physical contact with one another. Your Trainline app. is constantly open and you realise you are literally counting down the sleeps until your next weekend together.

Despite what your friends might say, and how you might sometimes be feeling, long distance relationships are possible and can be the healthiest type, as long as you follow these simple rules:

1. Honesty is the key

Any relationship, be it between neighbours or foreign lovers thousands of miles apart, needs communication. Your long distance one is no different. Don’t let resentment foster because of things left unsaid. If you’re feeling upset about something, let them know! That’s the only way problems get resolved. Making sure you talk (a lot) – on the phone, via Skype and even Snapchat – is paramount to your combined happiness. Equally, if it’s not working, then it’s not working and you need to be honest with each other.

2. You-time

We might have said keep in contact, but come on guys, there’s no need to stifle each other. Texting at pre-drinks or during a cinema trip with friends is a no no. If you’re in a committed and understanding relationship, they’ll know that you need some time to yourself. They might even be busy themselves!

3. Regular visits

Let’s face it, you’re unlikely to be so busy in first year that you can’t make time for a quick trip to see each other. Cost can be an issue though, so make an agreement to split travel tickets down the middle, regardless of who travels where. Getting to know your partner’s new set of friends could be a great way to feel included in their new life, and prevent the inevitable drifting apart.

4. Get writing

Sending a good old-fashioned, handwritten letter is a sure-fire way to ramp up the romance factor a couple of notches. It’s also something to look forward to that will make everything a little bit more special. As an extra measure, why not try keeping a diary. Not seeing your partner so often removes that person who helps you to vent all of life’s little problems. Of course you’ll still talk on the phone, but things will get missed, and writing them all down is a great way to get rid of pent-up feelings and agression.

5. Weekend away

A romantic few days in Paris or Amsterdam could be the perfect way to reconnect with a loved one. Why not surprise them with a birthday treat? Or just a spur of the moment flight? Cost could be an issue here again, as travel can get a little pricey. But hey, what are student overdrafts for?

6. Look to the future

Going away to uni is a massive step in anyone’s life, and things are undoubtedly going to change, especially your relationships. So don’t get hung up on what everything used to be like and embrace the change. This doesn’t mean forgetting about everyone you’ve left behind though, relationships are a constant evolving dynamic, and this is what makes them special, so hang on and enjoy the ride, wherever it takes you.

7. No pressure!

Probably the most important thing to remember in a long-distance relationship, is that nobody is under any obligation to do anything! You’re still super young when you head off to uni, and if it’s not working, it’s best just to leave it there and stay friends, rather than let a stagnating relationship drag on until you can’t stand the sight of each other. There are plenty of fish in the sea.