By Daisy Farrow, Croft Editor
The Croft Magazine // Daisy Farrow gives a guide on how to maintain a long-distance relationship whilst at university based on her own experience. She emphasises communication, creativity, and commitment.
The few weeks spent getting ready for university are an exciting time. You’re picking out bedding and finding ways to decorate your room, trying to find the people on your course on Facebook, and spending the next few weeks getting drunk at every opportunity because oh my god you still can’t believe you passed your exams.
But for some it can also be a daunting time. The prospect of saying goodbye to your significant other can be scary; whether they’re staying at home while you’re away, going to a different university themselves, or one of you is going on a year abroad. But never fear. Here’s a handy guide to making it work, and making sure your time apart isn’t totally terrible.
1. C O M M U N I C A T E
Seriously, this seems like an obvious one but it’s easy to fall into the trap of not communicating with each other. You could call each other every day and talk for hours, but if you’re not being honest about your frustrations and worries, then it’s not going to work. And trust me, there will be frustrations.
Communication is the best way to ensure you’re both on the same page and that you understand how each other are feeling. Without the ability to actually read someone’s facial expressions and body language, sometimes you have to spell it out for your partner- I M I S S Y O U.
2. Carve Out Time for Each Other
If you’re anything like me and like to plan ahead, then this tip is perfect for you. Set aside a designated time of day/week that you and your partner will call or facetime, and make sure you stick to it. It can be really easy to get caught up in your job, your university work, or spending time with your friends. And while you’re out having the time of your life, your partner is on the opposite side of the country waiting for you to call. Pick a time and stick to it. Not only does it give you something to look forward to, but it shows your partner that they’re still a priority.
3. Don't Be Afraid to Get Creative!
Personally, I am a fan of the old-fashioned methods. Writing a letter to your significant other may seem a bit outdated, but not only is it super romantic but it also gives you something to hold onto and keep forever.
Writing not your forte? Treating your partner to a thoughtful gift, a box of chocolates in the post, or a classic bouquet of flowers (yes, boys like flowers too) are all great ways of showing your partner that you’re thinking of them. Romantic gestures don't have to be expensive, but they’re a great alternative way of showing your appreciation.
'It shows your partner that they're still a priority'
4. Plan Something Special
Whether you’re going to be apart for a year, 6 months, or two weeks at a time - planning something for the two of you to do once you’re reunited really is the best way to keep positive and attitudes light.
For me and my boyfriend, we would go out to dinner every time we saw each other over the summer. It made for something to look forward to as well as something fun to plan when you’re researching where to go and how to show off your hometown to your partner.
5. Do Things Together
Most people think that being apart means you can’t do things together, but this isn’t necessarily true. You and your partner can arrange to do things at the same time together. It can be as simple as cooking and eating dinner together on Facetime, or something a little more creative like watching the same TV show together and talking about it on the phone. (This one was a little tricky for me and my boyfriend when watching Love Island, as his stream was always a few seconds ahead of me and would spoil any big moments). Just because you’re not in the same city, doesn’t mean you can’t watch TV, play games, eat dinner, or even go for walks together. Intimacy is still achievable.
6. Realise That It’ll Make You Stronger
It’s cliche, but it’s true. Going long distance is the best way to test your relationship. You have to have an unlimited amount of patience with each other, the understanding that you both have lives going on outside of the relationship, and you both need to be able to occupy yourselves and try and take your mind off of it as much as you can. It’s hard. But, once you’re back together, it’s definitely worth it.
Featured: Epigram / Hendrike Rahtz
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