Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

A long distance love: separated by distance, not by the heart

After a long and hot summer break, coming back to university is daunting on many levels. After months of potential carefree flings, crushes and relationships, it is hard to gauge the changes that may come when returning to university. From the impending workload that comes with the winter term or parting from a partner, there are ways to keep the summer alive and keep your relationship fun, regardless of the distance. Whether it’s maintaining a relationship with a significant other, or even just staying in contact with family or friends, despite such heartbreak we see in films and TV, long distance relationships can work if you so want them to.
Like any regular relationship, the key to making it work is fun. Whilst you can’t always be together in person, this doesn’t mean your significant other can’t experience things without you. If one of you is going to a special event or even heading out on things as simple as a run round the park, bring your partner with you. FaceTime became the third part of my relationship when I moved away for a year, involving your partner in your day-to-day activities makes them feel as if you never left and reminds them that even miles apart they’re on your mind.

From personal experience after being a six hour journey from my partner for 10 months, I found spontaneity kept my relationship exciting despite the distance

One of the hardest things about a long distance relationship is finding time when both of you are available. Especially with university timetables and schedules, allowing time to check up on your significant other can often feel to be a task so ensuring you are honest about your availability is so important. While you should never sacrifice time that you deem to be important for other activities, finding time even if when walking between lectures can be crucial in keeping the relationship going. Dropping a text before you head off in the morning or leaving a voicemail when you’ve tried to call can be little things that let your partner know they are still important. After long days of work and little play, finding a voicemail or voice note from a partner can remind you just why you’re working so hard to keep the relationship.
From personal experience after being a six hour journey from my partner for 10 months, I found spontaneity kept my relationship exciting despite the distance. If you are in the position where you are able to travel to see your partner, make this a surprise. Impromptu date nights are always the best kind and you can travel home knowing the wait was worth it. If you’re not in the position to do this, give them a taste of where you are. Send them postcards, write them letters and send them pictures of the life you’re living without them, make them feel as if they have a place there with you too. Keep the relationship surprising and spontaneous, whether this means turning up unannounced or sending a Dominos to their door without notice, it’s the little things that mean the most and make the distance worthwhile.

Honesty and trust are at the heart of the relationship so never feel ashamed to admit maybe things haven’t worked as you planned

Finally, surround yourself with things that make you feel like you never separated. Buy your partner’s signature perfume or aftershave and spray the hoodie you stole without them noticing, keep your favourite picture of them by your bedside and never lose sight of just how far you have come.
Long distance relationships aren’t for everyone so don’t pressure yourself to keep it going if it doesn’t feel right. Honesty and trust are at the heart of the relationship so never feel ashamed to admit maybe things haven’t worked as you planned. Just like any other relationship, it will be hard but the reward is worth the wait.

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