Tips for Dealing with Long Distance Relationships at Uni (written by someone who is still learning)

We’re a bit cute

During my boyfriends fresher’s week, I was ‘thrilled’ (note intense sarcasm) to hear that he would be going on a themed night out where he would be handcuffed to two girls. The whole thing was so new to me and I had no idea how to cope with it. I was anxious because as a couple we had been thrown into a whole new situation where he was living in London and experiencing new things, and I was sat at home. The uncertainty of how the night would work, as well as not knowing the people he was with, caused a lot of worrying. Everyone deals with uncertainty differently, but it made me incredibly anxious.

I told him of my worries and what upset me even more was that he himself was beginning to worry that I didn’t trust him. This upset me because never, in the three years we have been together, has he given me a reason not to trust him. So why was I so worried? I think it was picturing him in such close contact with other girls, the possibility of them flirting with him, regardless of him reciprocating. My anxiety makes me think things that aren’t true, and I feel awful that I put my boyfriend through my topsy-turvy mood swings. Being with him is one of the only things that calms me down, so distance is a bitch.

So my first tip on dealing with long distance is this: COMMUNICATE! If you’re worried, bloody tell him/her! If not, you’ll spend countless evenings lying in bed wondering what he/she is doing and driving yourself crazy, when the reality is they’re probably thinking of you and wishing you were dancing along with them. Tip 2: texting is not an effective form of communication.We all know we say things via text that we wouldn’t out loud. You can come across in a moody way even if you’re not meaning to, and things can sound more harsh if you ‘accidentally’ full-stop him/her in the middle of an argument (despite you actually using proper grammar!). So make sure you both take some time to call or FaceTime, perhaps every other day. You’ll find you talk about things you wouldn’t bother to text about, like that coughing fit you had in a silent library earlier. Speaking over the phone is especially important during an argument because hearing each others voice allows you to access how each other are feeling.

Tip 3: Keep them in the loop

Jamie came to see me in Leeds at least once a month in first year

During your first few weeks at uni, you’ll be meeting all kinds of new people, and it is a time for you to put yourself out there as an individual for perhaps the first time. Do things for yourself and don’t be afraid to make new friendships, but don’t forget about your boyfriend/girlfriend at home. In phone calls you could tell them about the people you’ve met, the good and the bad. A good rule is to say goodnight before you go on a night out, that way your partner won’t be waiting for you to reply to a text you haven’t read because you’re having too much fun.
Similarly, if you’re the one staying at home, remember that your partner is experiencing a whole new life, and trust them to do so without leaving you behind.

Tip 4: Keep the romance!
This may come as a surprise to some of you, but postmen still exist! So why not write a cute note and post it to your boyfriend/girlfriend? Or, if that isn’t techy enough for you, send them a Moonpig card! Getting stuff in the mail is always a lovely surprise as it’s something that is becoming rarer nowadays.

Tip 5: TRUST
Has he/she ever given you a reason not to trust them? If not, why worry? Just roll with it and be happy they’re having a good time. A good way to build trust is to be open about new friendships, ask them if you can meet their new friends and try to get along with them. If you can trust the people your partner is living with, you’ll find coping with the distance much easier.

As I say, I am still learning. The person you really need to ask about dealing with long distance relationships is my boyfriend *queue soppy-needy-girlfriend mode* who has this whole thing down (but still misses me, I hope!).

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