This is a guest post by Barbara Jolie. If you'd like to guest post on this blog, click here.
There are many aspects of college that are challenging for any young student to cope with. Not only is this typically the first time young students live away from home and family, it is also the first time that students have to manage a college curriculum, share a room with a complete stranger, and generally perform adult-like discipline on themselves.
Adding to the stress of new college life, many eighteen year olds attend college leaving behind their high school sweethearts. With college already being a period of massive change and adjustment, throwing a long distance relationship in the mix can seem nearly impossible. While long distance relationships are no doubt difficult and stressful, all too often LDRs get a bad rep. Whether you are a college student attending a different school than your sweetheart or you and your significant other attend the same school and have to spend holidays and breaks apart, maintaining a long distance relationship is a challenge that takes a little extra effort to overcome. To help maintain a healthy and happy relationship with your long distance SO try these three tips.
1. Make Plans
While this may sound a little too “serious” for many college students, if you are really hoping to make your long distance relationship last then you have to think about the future of your relationship. This is not to say that you should run out and buy an engagement ring, rather talk about your immediate future and establish a common goal that you and your significant other can aim towards. By establishing a basic plan and end point to the long distance situation, you and your SO are sure to be on the same page and can have something to look forward to.
Obviously, individuals who are in healthy long distance relationships wish to at some point end the distance and be close to one another again. Talk with your SO and find a common goal be it moving close to one another after college, going abroad together for a semester of school, living together during a summer break, or whatever it may be. Communicating with one another in this way will foster a healthy line of communication.
2. Establish Trust
One of the biggest challenges in long distance relationships is establishing and maintaining trust in one another. With distance between two lovers, it can be especially tricky to remain confident in your status with your loved one. Oftentimes, couples will doubt one another because they can't see exactly what the other is doing. Of course, this doubt typically stems from a lack of confidence in oneself and in the relationship. This is where solid communication is truly key. Explain your insecurities to your SO, so that they can reassure you about them. A lack of trust in a relationship can be toxic. For your relationship to survive the distance you have to have confidence and trust that it can. In long distance relationships, trust includes more than simply trusting your SO to be faithful. Part of trust in a long distance situation includes being dependable. Make plans to talk to one another or see each other and stick to them. Create a relationship based on trust and reliability.
3. Enjoy Your Time Apart
In this sense, long distance relationships can have the advantage over traditional relationships. A huge part of a successful relationship is being comfortable and capable apart from one another. Independence and self reliability is essential within any relationship (but especially long distance relationships). Keep yourself busy and find outside outlets. Because long distance relationships essentially revolve around impersonal communication, it can be easy to make a habit of staring at your how or checking your email inbox every other minute. Rather than fall into this cycle of disappointment, keep yourself occupied and distracted. In order to truly grow in college, you have to reach beyond your comfort zone. Don't let long distance blues get in the way of having an amazing and enriching experience at school. Also, by occupying yourself and discovering new interests, you will find more things to talk about with your long distance SO. Codependency in a relationship can be difficult to combat. However, some level of independence is essential for maintaining a healthy and stable relationship.
This guest post is contributed by Barbara Jolie, who writes for online classes. She contributes articles about a variety of topics relating to education, leadership, student life, college, music, and artists. If you'd like to contact Barbara please use the Contact Me page and her email address will be forwarded to you.