Sunday, 14 March 2021

How to cope with being in a long-distance relationship

Eleanor shares her experience of being in a long-distance relationship, after meeting her boyfriend at university. She discusses her tips on how to remain positive about the distance.

-Eleanor

Meeting your partner at university can be amazing. You get to experience so much together and have many memories to look back on. If you’re from different cities, it’s nice to get to know their background and where they grew up. But what happens after university when you’re not living in the same city anymore?

The thought of this can be daunting.

I met my boyfriend at the end of first year and I think we had a great relationship at university. We both lived with friends, which I feel was better as it meant we were able to have our own space. Towards the end of third year, things became difficult because we knew that university was going to end, and we had to go home early due to COVID-19. Me and my boyfriend live roughly 2 hours away from each other, which meant seeing each other was tricky.

I’m not going to lie; it was really hard. Not knowing when we’d next see each other made me worry so much and feel anxious. As lockdown eased, we were able to visit one another and we both felt so happy. However, it was still difficult to spend time together because we didn’t always have the same days off work. I wanted to share some tips with you if you’re in a long-distance relationship, or if you will be once you leave university.

The following steps have really helped me stay more positive:

1)     Communicate with each other.

Communication is key. If you feel like there’s aspects of your relationship that could be improved, make sure you let your partner know. From personal experience, I understand that sometimes you think you’re better off not saying how you feel to avoid conflict; but it  can improve the relationship and you always feel better for getting something off your chest.

2)     Stick to a routine

Long-distance relationships can require a lot of texting and phone calls. Sometimes if you’re in a routine it can really help because you’re not constantly wondering when your partner is going to get in touch. This might be a case of choosing a set time you’re going to ring each other or taking it in turns to text.

3)     Be patient

I found the first lockdown difficult, having just finished university as I didn’t know what my next steps were. Worrying about this and feeling like my boyfriend was so far away made the situation ten times worse. Despite this, I remained patient and me and my partner have now decided that we’re going to teach English abroad for a year together and then travel after that. I’m so excited! Sometimes, not knowing what’s next is terrifying, but I really believe that if you stay patient and trust the timing of life then you won’t feel so stressed and anxious.

4)     Don’t compare your relationship to other peoples’

This is something I really struggle with. During the first lockdown, most of my friends were living with their boyfriends or were able to meet them for walks, whereas I couldn’t. It’s very easy to compare your relationship to others, especially on social media. You have to remember that just because people appear to be happy it doesn’t mean that they are, they’re only showing you what they want you to see. You may not live together just yet but seeing each other every few weeks instead of everyday can really make you appreciate the time you have together, and you definitely won’t take it for granted.

5)     Talk about the future

I think having things to look forward to is really important. You might be planning a future holiday together or be saving up for a deposit on a house. Having conversations about the future can be extremely positive and discussing where you both want to settle one day can help you feel more reassured. It may seem difficult now but, keep reminding yourself that this won’t last forever. 

Visit Student Space for further support. Explore online resources, access direct support via text, phone, web chat or email and find the support available at your place of study.


Hi! My name is Eleanor and I wanted to share my personal experience of what it's like to meet someone at university and then have to be in a long-distance relationship once you move back to your hometown. I know everyone's relationships are different, but I thought sharing my tips on how to cope with the distance may help some couples. 

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