If you’re reading this, you are probably are faced with the choice to enter an LDR (long distance relationship). You are about to enter college and in the middle of deciding if you want to give your high school sweetheart a chance for the long haul. Or you already attend college and are trying to figure out how to make this LDR thing work. Let’s face it. Relationships are hard, and they are even harder when you put 1,000+ miles in between them. Is it possible to make an LDR work? Yes. Is it easy? No.
I have been with my fiancé all through college and we’re still thriving in a long distance relationship. During this time, we have been thousands of miles apart. It hasn’t all been rainbows and butterflies, but it’s easily been worth it. For us a few years of distance just means we will eventually spend the rest of our lives together.
So, how do you know if this long distance thing is for you? I’ve thought up helpful questions to ask yourself. If the decision is “Hell yes!” I’ve also included the things that work best for my man and I when it comes to maintaining a healthy and fun relationship, separated miles apart from each other.
2 Things you should ask yourself before you commit to having an LDR in college.
1. Where do you see this relationship going?
If the answer to this isn’t the alter or a lifelong partnership you should read no further. If you don’t plan on spending your life with this person, then neither of you should waste any more time. College is a great place to meet new people and explore yourself. If you aren’t sure that this is the person for you, do what you must and let them go.
2. What kind of college experience do you want to have?
There’s a chance that you may love your significant other, but one of you or both of you may not be ready for a forever commitment. That’s okay. If you want to go out to parties, join a frat or sorority, a long distance relationship may not be the best choice for you.
You, of course, could be ready for a commitment to a person and still like to drink, party or go out and dance. However, going out and dancing isn’t so innocent when you aren’t with your significant other. So, when it comes to having a successful and HEALTHY long distance relationship, this is not a good way to maintain trust. It’s totally normal to want these things out of college, but doing them while trying to maintain a relationship, miles apart from each other, isn’t the best idea.
On another note it isn’t healthy to deny yourself of these wants in order to keep your relationship afloat. If these are the things you truly want from college, you should not deny yourself so you can stay in a relationship. Doing so will cause resentment towards your partner. If you both are determined to make it work but also want to go out on the weekends, communication and boundaries are key.
Now that you’ve decided to pursue a long distance relationship (LDR) here are tips to help you survive love at a distance.
1. Plan time to talk to each other
The amount of time and how often you plan it is completely dependent on you and your partner. This is a small but crucial detail to make sure you have a happy and satisfying LDR. You and your partner will often have conflicting schedules. Making time to talk to one another is important. It’s best to plan ahead of time so you both know and can agree on a time you’ll be available to talk.
For example, my fiancé and I will schedule an hour out of our day to talk to one another. In the morning, we usually plan the time that works best for both of us and will talk later that evening. This time fluctuates every so often, but doing so is a great way to make sure you are able to give your undivided attention to your partner for the small increments of time that you have with each other.
2. Plan visits
No matter how often or how far apart they are, always have your next visit planned by time your current one is up. This doesn’t mean flights need to be booked, but it does mean you should have an accurate idea of the dates you will next be seeing your partner. This allows both of you to have something to look forward to. This makes the time that you are apart seem to go by faster, and helps to make you realize the distance is forever.
For example my fiancé and I plan visits every 3 weeks. This is a number that works for us, and is something we are lucky enough to be able to do. Whether you can visit weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly, come up with a plan and make sure your next trip to see your partner is set before you leave. The number one reason I noticed couples fighting and falling apart in college my freshman year was from the frustration they felt not knowing when they would see their significant other again.
3. Have skype dates
I’m especially guilty of not keeping up with my care and beauty routine when my man is out of town. Shaving and grooming sometimes seem to be unnecessary chores if I seemingly have no one to impress. So when I talk to my man on a daily basis, let’s just say he is definitely not seeing the best side of me. However, when he’s here I go out of my way to dress up and look good for him so he feels like he can show me off with pride in public. It’s important to show your man you still want to look good for him even miles apart. Consider scheduling a weekly or biweekly “date” where you both agree to dress up and have dinner together over Skype. Just as is if you were going out on the town together. This helps keep the attraction, and the desire alive when you get stuck in the groove of sweatpants and baggy tee shirts. College makes this so easy to do.
4. Make your Visits special
Memories are a REALLY important part to having a successful LDR. Heck they are all you have to go off of 90% of the time! So make them count. On each other visits, make sure you plan things to do together. Take pictures and don’t take your time for granted.
When Adam (my fiancé) comes to town we try to get a months worth of dates into a 4 day period. So while he is here we go out to dinner, explore the city, binge on movies, and take drives to new places. Keeping a variety of activities is great for any relationship, but it’s an essential to pack in different experiences with each other when you’re limited on time. As much as memories are important, don’t forget to enjoy each other. After a busy day of adventuring Adam and I love to catch up on Netflix, or see what new releases are available on Amazon.
5. Create traditions
Just like memories, traditions are an important thing to help you feel connected when you’re far apart. The traditions you create together can be something small you say to each other every day. Or a gesture you do for each other for a certain length of time.
A tradition my fiancé and I have upheld is saying goodnight and praying with each other before we go to bed every night. This makes me look forward to our short sweet nighttime calls and makes him feel extra close to my heart even though he’s so far away.
Do what works for you
Remember long distance relationships in college CAN work. It takes a lot of communication and effort on both sides, but it can also be so worth it in the long haul. Every relationship is different and will need different things to be successful. I hope this article gave you some insight and if you would like any extra advice on how to have a successful LDR feel free to ask me in the comment section below!
Share your story
What things have worked for you in your relationship? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your story.
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