My boyfriend is my best friend and my biggest cheerleader, so when college split our paths, we resolved not to break up over something so trivial as different locations. I remember being completely disappointed with the reactions of friends, family, and strangers when I told them my boyfriend and I would be staying together in a long distance relationship. Many people were doubtful of a positive outcome and others just pitied us. The YouTube videos, blogs, and advice I researched and received was all disheartening. I frantically searched the internet for a sliver of hope. Luckily, I wasn’t easily discouraged, so here are some words of advice to both guys and gals to help you weed through the negativity, get down into the nitty gritty of long distance, and figure out how to make yours work.
The biggest supporters of my relationship has actually been my college friends. They are the best support system I could ask for. Half of my closest friends in college are in long distance relationships. It shocked me how many people came into college in a relationship. They understand all the worry, exhaustion, frustration, and sadness that comes from being away from your significant other, but they’re there to celebrate the good times too. Usually single people don’t care too much to hear about the latest letter, phone call or care package, but, most of the time, your friends in relationships are there to help you celebrate that. They are my secret weapon to keep myself from insanity.
Another great aid in making it through long distance is a countdown. Knowing the exact number of days until your significant other comes to visit is like a little sprinkle of hope. Especially if they are coming to visit you. My boyfriend, Hunter, recently came to visit me in Arizona, and it was so uplifting. It really felt like he was a part of my life and routine again. It made me confident he can fit into my life no matter where I am.
NOTE: Beware on going home to visit too soon after you’ve moved in. If you go home to visit less than a month or so after your move in, you may feel like college was just a vacation. Settle in to your new life before visiting back home.
Some people don’t have the time or money to make visits consistent. Don’t let lack of face to face time keep you from continuing to talk. Texting, Snapchatting, FaceTiming, Skyping, calling or any other type of interaction you can get. Having constant, not clingy, interaction will help you keep your sanity. You don’t need to keep tabs on your significant other’s life 24/7, but hearing about their day and telling them about yours is comforting. A great way of keeping in touch is snail mail. Having something physical from your boyfriend or girlfriend, be it a t-shirt, stuffed animal or letter, can help ease the fact that they aren’t there with you. Make sure to display or incorporate those things in your life as a reminder of them.
Lastly, count your blessing. Your patience and persistence will be tried time and time again in college. If you are ever feeling discouraged, remind yourselves why you’re doing long distance. Having an end goal will keep you motivated. Hopefully it’s because you feel like your girlfriend or boyfriend is someone you could spend the rest of your life with. Remind yourself why they are so special. If you are ever feeling like your long distance relationship isn’t working out, talk to your significant other. Being completely open is a big deal. Having a mature relationship is a requirement of long distance. Don’t be petty, jealous, or controlling. Count your blessings.
I know Hunter and I are just starting our race, and I will have updates on all our trials and tribulations as they cross our path. I encourage anyone else considering or in a long distance relationship have to have faith, trust, and a whole lot of patience. It’s been tough, but I’m a big believer that things do happen for a reason. If your relationship is meant to be, it will work if you do.