For most people, a long distance relationship is pretty much the kiss of death. No casual nights in watching TV? No built-in date to any and all lame functions? Not having someone a text away from showing up at your door with some fries and a some
oral comforting physical contact? Nah. Most of us pass. Those few people who do venture into the scary LDR territory, however, tend to know something that we don’t — that long distance relationships can work. Not all of the time, and not for everyone, but some lucky people can survive the landmines that come with dating someone from afar. And by knowing and accepting these things, your chances of a happily ever after are sure to increase. Or at least your chances or dying alone decrease. Same thing, really.
So maybe I was just having a blonde moment, but it honestly never occurred to me that a long distance relationship definitely comes with a hefty price tag. Sure, I considered buying plane tickets or paying for gas to drive back and forth, but it’s all of the other things that really start to add up. When you first get into a long distance relationship, it’s easy to feel the need to compensate for all the space between you two. I found myself expressing this in things like sending him presents in the mail (so that he would be thinking of me constantly and not that slut Jessica who’s always hanging out at his frat house) or baking him tons of sweets to bring when I see him. Not to mention when you’re with him you have to make the most of your time together. This includes, but is not limited to, cute (but expensive) dates, going to bars where you drink over-priced, fruity drinks, and eating out every meal because you don’t have a meal plan at his dining hall.
Pro-tip: Mailing an occasional surprise here and there can be fun, but if you guys are meant to happen, presents shouldn’t be necessary to keep his attention. If you’re really trying hard to flood his mailbox with love, stick to something simple like a candy bar and a letter. As for food and dates, try going to places where his student I.D. can get him a discount or food on his meal plan.
When you’re apart, you have to make the conversations you have meaningful because you don’t see each other all the time anymore. Starting out, it’s hard. It’s easy to go through a period where you feel like you have to be checking your phone for his texts all the time or telling him how much you miss him. You have to make time for each other to actually catch up with one another, rather than simply reading a “what’s up?” text on your phone here and there. Scheduling FaceTime or phone calls is a must.
Pro-tip: Of course, give him attention, but don’t be afraid to set your phone down sometimes. Don’t be “that girl” at the party who is on her phone in the corner the whole night. I learned the hard way that being super focused on what he’s doing on his campus every second of the day is going to take away from your experience.
It Helps You Grow
I hate to admit it, but in high school I was definitely that girl who spent WAY too much time with her boyfriend. There were a lot of reasons for that and I don’t regret those choices but I love that long distance has made me more independent. Being apart forced me to branch out, make my own circle of best friends, and be okay with getting drunk and going home without a guy all the time. But being apart also helped us to grow in our relationship. I grew an appreciation for the little things I missed seeing every day and I learned to make our conversations and time together meaningful once they became limited.
Pro-tip: You already joined a sorority, so you’ve got the sisters and friends for life thing down. You’ll have time with him when he visits, but when you two are apart, go out with your friends and have fun. Just dance on the bar with the girls instead of dancing on a guy.
Lay Out Your Rules Beforehand
This is one I can’t stress enough. Because if you can’t come to a consensus on the rules before, there’s really not much point in trying it at all. Can you dance with other people when you go out separately? Will you take other people to date nights? Now, I’m not saying I’m a psychotic, jealous girlfriend, but I’m kind of a psychotic, jealous girlfriend. I don’t care if my boyfriend does heroin or robs a bank (well, you know), but God forbid I catch him talking to a cute girl at a party. Not on my watch. But not everyone is like me, and if you aren’t willing to give up going to date nights and functions with a date, make sure you and your boy talk that out before.
Pro-tip: Trust is really important on this one. I know a long distance couple who took a vow of sobriety whenever they were apart because they could only trust each other drunk if they were together. To me, that sounds absolutely miserable. Find what works for you without missing out on big parts of your college experience like date nights, mixers, and parties.
This is one thing I never heard about long distance. In fact, I was told that it WASN’T possible so much that I planned to break up with my boyfriend before college anyways. Needless to say, I’m glad that I didn’t. So rest assured, ladies, long distance is possible. It takes a lot of effort, patience, and someone worth sticking it out for, but I promise it’s possible..
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