Immie dives deep into how to make a long-distance relationship work while at uni!

Going to University comes with a range of struggles; living with strangers, making new friends, and missing your parents; included in that never-ending list is wondering whether you and your significant other can make it work. It is definitely not easy, and this struggle is heightened due to the new environment you have been thrown into. Will you change, or will they change? Are late-night face-times or once-a-month visits going to be enough? How will you keep the spark alive when you are so far apart? However, let’s put a positive spin on it. Will the time apart actually make the spark brighter, better for when you do see each other? Does distance make the heart grow fonder, and does counting down the days add more excitement?

I am in a long-distance relationship, and it is sometimes hard to keep a positive mindset. No matter how hard you try, sometimes it can bring you down. There is nothing I would like more than to be able to pop down the road to see my boyfriend and have a regular movie night or even see him more than once every two weeks. However, being in a negative mindset, trust me, is not the answer and may even draw a wedge between you. Now I’m not suggesting I am an expert at this (I mean, who is), but here are a few tips that could help.

Long distance can be one of the hardest things any relationship goes through. Compromising is essential. This could be as simple as rotating the person travelling to whom. However, is it that easy, or does life sometimes get in the way? People have different commitments, especially at Loughborough University, with so much going on, which may disrupt your ideally rotated schedule. Working together to understand what is needed to be given up (just that once) is essential. Missing a night out with your friends can be frustrating, especially if you suffer from ‘FOMO,’ I can’t imagine the annoyance, BUT isn’t it worth seeing your significant other? Compromising IS a two-way concept; both partners must be equally willing and involved to make it work.

When speaking to students, many of you have said that trust is the critical foundation of any relationship. It is often a problematic notion to gain during a relationship. It can also be the hardest to keep, and once lost, it can be almost impossible to rebuild. University is full of nights out, and stressing over worst-case scenarios is definitely NOT the answer. It is all well and good to say, ‘just trust them’, but is that realistic? If you have ever been cheated on, I am sure you will agree that every bad situation you can imagine lives rent-free in your head whenever your partner goes out. But doesn’t that drive you crazy? Yes, it can be challenging, and loyalty plays a huge role, but living by the notion of trusting someone until they give you a reason not to could be the best policy.

Now I want to share a little technique my boyfriend and I have implemented. We try to see each other at least twice a month, but with the distance, it is hard. When we first started dating, it was hard to pinpoint when we would see each other, and it ended up being months. Recently we have applied the plan-ahead technique; every time we see each other, we plan for the next time. Having an endpoint of the time apart makes it seem more bearable and gives you both something to look forward to. This can help shorten your separation period, even if it involves making travel arrangements for flights, trains, or buses at a time that feels too early. Knowing when you will see them again is also a settling feeling, and for me, it adds excitement (although I have fallen victim to becoming obsessed with counting down each day).

When you are together, try to make the most of it! Now, this is something that I am preaching but am guilty of only sometimes implementing. Lying in bed together until 12pm is nice, and I’m not saying don’t because they are quality moments, but is that the best way to spend your time? One of the best ways to tackle this (and forgive the cringe) is a ‘date jar’. Yes, I’m not only giving long relationship advice but also giving present ideas. I made a date jar for my boyfriend this valentine’s day, which has given us excuses to get out of bed. There are so many ideas for dates online, and I recommend them. Spending quality time together is essential, whether it’s just a walk around town or a big fancy meal out.

Lastly, I wanted to end on something that is the biggest thing for couples during a relationship, especially for those unable to see each other regularly. Communication. All the tips mentioned above include communication and ensuring you and your partner are on the same page. This can be challenging over the phone or via messaging, so you’ll need to invest the time necessary to get to know your partner in a way you might not usually have to. Being open, direct, and truthful with one another is crucial. It will be easier to determine when they’re not feeling well and when something needs to be fixed if you listen to them and show them that you care, even if it’s not in person. Feeling down? Explain it to them. Worried about something? Make sure to let them know. This avoids any severe conflict further down the line, which could be harder to solve at a long distance.

Being in a long-distance relationship and enduring challenging times is a beautiful display of trust, loyalty, and determination, despite the times when it may seem difficult. Yes, it’s a challenge but don’t be afraid of long-distance. The world is wide; your soulmate isn’t always right at your door.

Edited By: Caitlin Phillips (Lifestyle Editor)

Banner By: Sarim Mangi (Head of Design)


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