It’s that “million-dollar” question for new students: can a relationship stand the test of time at university? Going to university for the first time can be hugely exciting. As you prepare for the next chapter of your life thoughts soon turn to new friends, life changing experiences and inevitably an overwhelming amount of sudden freedom.
For those in a relationship, though, it can be bittersweet. If, as likely, you and your partner have decided to part ways, attending separate universities, the prospect of trying to stay together while living apart is an unpleasant one. Even before making that all important move, you’re faced with a dilemma: do you want to try and make a go of it, or would it be easier to break up beforehand and start your student life as a free agent?
You’re either lying to yourself or remarkably naïve if you believe that moving to university isn’t going to affect your relationship. This is one downside to the highly anticipated start of your student journey aka “flying the nest.” It forces you to spend less time with those closest to you. Somehow this only really sinks in when university starts and you find yourself alone sobbing into a large tub of Ben and Jerry’s! I apologise to any fresher sat reading this still in a relationship back home. This, undoubtedly, isn’t what you want to hear. The good news – and yes, there is good news – is that there are ways to maintain a relationship long distance. So, what is the secret to a successful LDR?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to distance. This is because, honestly, maintaining a relationship is hard work at the best of times; throw one hundred miles into the equation and it becomes almost unthinkable. However, if you have decided to make a go of it while away at university there are a few things to keep in mind…
- Talk: As simple as it may sound this is probably the most essential part of a successful long-distance relationship. When you are apart, make sure you put some time aside to talk to your partner about how things are going and what you have been up to. Just hearing their voice can sometimes make everything seem that little bit easier. Speaking on the phone can be expensive when on a student budget so make sure you are on the same mobile network, as this can make those lengthy catch up calls a possibility. If you have a good internet connection, another useful investment is a headset and microphone. With these you can talk for hours if you want to through Skype for free!
- Romantic tip: It may seem old-fashioned in the days of the internet and text messages, but sending a letter can be both romantic and therapeutic. Take the time to sit down and write your partner a letter telling them how you are feeling, what you have been doing, how much you are looking forward to seeing them, and so on. You will find it helps you to get these feelings out and your partner will enjoy reading them.
- But what about fresher flings? The change of scene brings with it a raft of temptations that are bad enough if you currently have a partner. It’s hard to resist the fortnight of mayhem that is fresher’s week – promising excitement, endless rounds of pre drinks and the best nights of your life. However, despite the hype, for some students it can be tempting to throw themselves into a much regretted “fresher fling” in an attempt to fill space between spending time with their partner back home. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should keep yourself locked away. You will meet dozens of new people and there’s no law against having fun. The most important thing to remember is “commitment” and that no matter how good an idea may seem after a few bevy’s you’ll almost always regret it in the morning!
In truth, with every scenario comes a different challenge and not one relationship is the same. So, what comes to mind when you think about surviving a relationship long distance? Let me know your thoughts…