Graduate Blog

How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

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Whenever you tell someone that you are in a long distance relationship, they look at you with sympathetic eyes and say, well I hope it works out. But what they really mean is – it will never work out. There is a negative energy that surrounds people’s opinions when it comes to long distance relationships. I am aware that many do not work out and it takes a strong couple to pull through the difficult times that come with it but anything is possible.

I always knew that I wanted to go to university and I wanted to experience living on campus, night outs and meeting new people but I had to leave my boyfriend behind. It felt like the right choice for me but not the best choice for my relationship. I took the risk and I guess we were the lucky ones. We survived the short time that we were away from each other.

During my first year of university, I had the chance to experience the university halls. I definitely had my expectations of what it would be like and at first I loved it. But a few weeks later after the fresher’s feeling had faded, I missed home and I missed my boyfriend. I struggled with being independent, the sleepless nights and the lack of food that I was able to afford. I was miserable most of the time but I stuck it out and managed to turn things around. I made some friends and made a schedule with my boyfriend, we made our relationship work with daily phone calls and regular weekend visits.

After the first semester of my second year I decided to move back home and commute (which also wasn’t easy to adjust too.) I had experienced living the student life and it wasn’t for me and I don’t feel ashamed to admit that. It isn’t the lifestyle for everybody. I was happier at home with the one I loved but I do not regret the time we had apart, it made us stronger.

If you feel uncertain about leaving a loved one behind as you dive into the independent student lifestyle, I have a few tips that will not only strengthen your relationship and make the long distance relationship easier but are crucial to making it work.

Communication – This is essential to make a long distance relationship work. There are many ways to stay in contact, phone calls, texting and video chat. Make the effort and set aside a little bit of time each day to talk to each other. It isn’t the same as being physically together but sometimes the saying is true, absence does make the heart grow fonder.

Honesty – Again, this is another essential part of a long distance relationship. If you struggled with trust before you live away from each other, there is a high chance that this is what will tear you apart. Just be honest and tell each other about your day, always tell each other about your feelings, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Let each other know where you stand at all times.

Spontaneity – There were many moments when my boyfriend turned up at my university to surprise me. This obviously depends on how far away you are but spontaneous moments and surprise weekend visits are important to keep your relationship interesting and unpredictable. Video calls may be great but it doesn’t constitute actually seeing each other. Make an effort to plan fun days out together, it will be hard to keep saying goodbye but a routine will make the situation easier with time.

Expectations – A long distance relationship isn’t the fairy-tale, star-crossed lover scenario that you see in the movies. It takes work, a lot of work. You have to equally want to put in the effort and you need to agree on what you each expect from the relationship. Be realistic and make sure that you still want to be together. Long-distance relationships determine if you are still going in the same direction together or are drifting further apart and enjoying the separation.

Not all relationships are built to last and there is definitely more strain on those who choose to have a long-distance relationship but if you want to make it work then you have to really want to be together, no matter whatever challenges that you face. If it is meant to be, then it will be. Don’t let anyone tell you that your relationship has failed before you have even had the chance to try and make it work. Almost all long-distance relationships fail according to society but we managed to prove them all wrong and I’m sure you will too! We survived the time apart and now we feel strong enough to face any obstacle that is thrown in our direction.

 

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About the Author

Emma-Jane Barlow Emma-Jane Barlow

My name is Emma-Jane Barlow and I am currently in my last year at Edge Hill University where I am studying Creative Writing. During the past three years I have found my voice as a writer and I am now looking to find my place in the industry. One day I hope to be a novelist and see my book sitting on a Waterstones shelf. In the meantime, I am working as a freelance writer alongside my studies. In my spare time I make my way through the unread section of my bookshelf, drink lots of coffee and try to stay sane as I write two novels. My brain never stops spinning and my fingers never stop typing. Some may say I am crazy, but I’m a writer, I live for the insanity.

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