Leaving home for college is daunting enough, but things are worse if you and your high school sweetie are starting a long distance relationship.
For many out there, going (back) to college means saying goodbye to their loved ones. It also means that the physical presence – touch, hugs and kisses are all gone.
You will most likely get overwhelmed by all these questions in your head:
what will it be like to be 100% on your own?
What to do if I miss him a lot?
Will he miss me the same way?
Who am I going to share my feelings and life with?
What if I feel LONELY?
Are we going to break up because of the distance between us?
If any of these questions hit you, this post is for you.
We are going to talk about how to SURVIVE long distance relationship in college and to make LDR work for you.
(And it’s not the end of the world.)
1. You are not alone
If you are going to college with the assumption that every one is single and ready to mingle, you are far away from the truth.
So you are not the only one that is faced with all the fears and questions. Long distance relationship is actually a COMMON THING.
It is going to be tough, not just for college freshmen, but for others as well. But it’s not some “never-done-before” challenge.
I you are one of the millions who feel sad and lonely because your partner is going to be far away, remember that LDRs do work as long as both of you are strategically determined.
2. Distance destroys intimacy?
On the contrary of common belief, LDR couples have a higher level of intimacy and satisfaction compared to normal couples.
In the research from Journal of Communication, long distance couples feel more connected to their partner even when they are geologically apart.
The study suggested that when physical connections are out of the place, LDR couples switch to texts and video chats as their major communication method.
Just because the time and means of communication has become limited, you will naturally save the best and most profound topics and filter the rest out.
There’s really no room for boring stuff and every second is counts.
That’s how distance makes the hearts grow fonder. And it is definitely a good news.
So don’t be discouraged. Don’t panic. Doing it right, the separation may work for you rather than against you.
3. Arrange *MORE FaceTime or Skype Chat
That’s not something new. We know. But out of all the communication methods, being able to see each other does bring long distance couples closer.
Seeing each other and talking to each other in real time definitely outweighs a thousand words.
Not everyone, especially college freshman with an excessive amount of workload, could afford skyping daily.
Good news is, you don’t need to.
Start from what you have and prioritize the time for your online meet-ups. It’s also a great way to keep up on track with each other and rebuild the connection.
4. Filling up the empty slot
When you start a long distance relationship, the first thing that is gone is the sense of touch.
You’ll not be able to hold hands, hug or kiss anymore. The lack of physical interaction may leave you feeling drained or lonely.
In order to make a long distance college relationship work, it’s important to fill up the blanks.
In a study published in 2015, interviewees have reported different methods to make their Significant Other “touchable”.
Some of the “happy” interviewees have used care packages and gift-giving as a way of showing love and making up for the lack of physical presence.
By doing so, both the givers and the receivers have something real to hold onto rather than simply words and images.
5. Schedule and prioritize
Just like what we’ve mentioned earlier, you don’t need to FaceTime daily if you don’t have the time to do it.
What you can do is to discuss and plan both of your “meeting” schedules in advance. Putting up or canceling an online date can be frustrating for both parts.
In this way both of you have a clue of what’s going on in each other’s life. And no one is left in the blue.
6. Be creative
It’s sad that what other couples can do every day can be a luxury for you. But with a little bit a creativity, you can bring the romance back and keep the relationship strong.
Think about all the things you can do online together besides sitting still in front of the screen and talk about your daily life like a presentation.
Gaming, crafting, even watching movies together online can be so much fun.
7. Have a game plan
Too often we see LDR couples “cope as it goes”. They usually end up breaking up when things are not on the bright side.
Let’s be real here. You are all expecting to reunite some day, right? So when is it going to happen?
Are you planning to move back to the same city when you graduate?
How often do you plan to visit each other?
Are you spending the next Christmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays together?
These are all the questions to think about, plan ahead and both agree on.
In order to make long distance relationship work in the long run, make sure that you are both on the same page.
Have a Plan B when things are not working to your liking. No one will blame you when things change and you have to make the call. But don’t call it a quit because you are under-prepared.
8. Build a life and love yourself
College is the Adulting 101 for many teenagers. This is a place where you start to live on your own, make friends as you wish and develop a lifestyle that works for you.
That means besides being in a long distance relationship, you have a life to live as an individual. More importantly, you deserve to be happy and enjoy the awesomeness college has to offer.
So go outside. Join clubs. Meet like-minded people and make friends. The more you enjoy your life, the less lonely you’ll be feeling.
And don’t forget to squeeze a little bit time for yourself out of papers, exams, classes and your SO.
When you love yourself more, you’ll be able to have a better work-life balance and a clearer vision of your current relationship.
According to the Law of Attraction, great things happen when you start to love yourself the way you should.
You’ll be like a magnet. Your SO will be able to feel your positive energy from the way you speak, from the way you look even when you two are miles apart.
So pull yourself out from self-doubt, self-pity or any other kind of emotional swamp and start practicing self-love. You’ll feel it and see the difference in no time.
So here you go. As we’ve mentioned, long distance relationship in college is not something easy to handle.
Before you two make the decision of dating distantly, ask yourself if your bae is the one person you want to be with no matter what.
If the answer is yes, put in the work, start planning and stick to it.