I recently read a newspaper article about long distance relationships at university. The article basically shunned long distance relationships and then went on to provide a number of examples where these kind of relationships didn’t work out. I realised how negative the article was and also how absurd it was.
I have been in a relationship throughout my whole time at university, my boyfriend and I got together six months before moving away and now we are approaching the three year mark. My boyfriend studies at Sheffield Hallam University and as you know I study at University College Birmingham. We are both independent people but our contrasting personality traits bring us together like two jigsaw pieces, he’s the biscuit to my cup of tea, the milk to my cereal and the fish to my chips.
Although living apart isn’t an ideal situation, when both parties make the effort there is no reason why it can’t work. The article described how “the world of sex, drink and degrees simply doesn’t mix with the perceived patience, maturity and trust required for an ‘LDR’” (long distance relationship) however, I think this is really unfair and if you go to uni with this mindset it will never work!
My boyfriend and I discussed some the top things that we felt help to make a long distance relationship work well. Firstly, we discussed how it’s better to lower your expectations of how often you need to see each other. In first year I used to get really upset and worried if I knew that I wasn’t going to see my boyfriend in a few weeks however, then I realised the lump of work I had on my shoulders the lump of work he had too. You can’t let yourself get frustrated that you can’t see each other for one particular weekend because sometimes you need to prioritise and be productive, it’s only fair if you let them focus too. You can’t be selfish, you only have three years to get your degree and then you have the rest of your life ahead of you.
This leads me onto my second point. When you do see each other really make an effort, I know looks aren’t everything but when I see my boyfriend I try to always look nice for him so that I don’t get lazy. Furthermore, we always like to make sure we do things every day together, it’s like the dating part of the relationship all over again. It’s fun and exciting and if you’re having a weekend away from uni, you must make the most of it!
I would also recommend not comparing your relationship to others because I feel this puts unnecessary pressure on the relationship. Every relationship is different and what is normal to you make not be normal to some one else and vice versa. I had a friend in second year who used to call her boyfriend every morning and evening when at uni, this alarmed me because if I have a minute to call someone I usually call my mum or my sister. But then I realised me and my boyfriend text all day every day which may sound demanding but that’s just what is normal to us. Besides, I like chatting to him all day!
Hope this helps!