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Long-Distance Relationships: How to Keep Yours Going Strong

Long-Distance Relationships: How to Keep Yours Going Strong

So you fell in love back at home, but now you’re away at school. Or maybe you hooked up on Spring Break and you’re wondering how you’ll ever make it until summer alone. Or maybe you met online and now you’re counting the days until you meet face to face.

The truth is somewhere between 25 and 40 percent of all romantic relationships among college students are long distance. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because if you’ve managed to stay close with family and friends from home while you’re away at school, you already know something about making long-distance relationships work.

10 ways to keep it together.

Every relationship takes work, and long-distance relationships, like most, require communication, understanding, trust, honesty, fairness, support, respect, commitment and caring to thrive. So how can you keep it together when you’re miles apart?

  1. Communicate often. Establish preferred channels and use them regularly. Make plenty of phone dates, but thanks to modern technology there are many ways to stay connected—think MSM, emails, text messaging, even web cams.
  2. Share your feelings. Superficial conversation can be so-o-o boring! Sharing a good heart-to-heart is a great way to forge a bond that only you two share.
  3. Trust each other. It’s only normal to think about how your significant other spends time without you, but worrying won’t change anything. Trust is essential in any relationship and it’s got to be mutual to be right.
  4. Discuss your expectations. Everyone has different needs. The surest way to avoid misunderstandings and disappointments is to talk about your mutual needs and how to meet them.
  5. Be fair. It’s probably not a great idea to send a thousand text messages when you know your partner is out with friends or busy cramming for an exam. (Some people might even think it’s a tad annoying!)
  6. Be patient. Time can really drag on when you’re waiting to hear from someone you love. It’s easier to be patient if you’re busy doing things you enjoy, like spending time with friends, joining a club, hitting the gym—even reading a good book.
  7. Be supportive. Make it a habit to ask how things are going, and offer praise and encouragement when it feels right. It’s okay to ask for support, too. You can still work through problems together, even when there are miles between you.
  8. Remember special days. Write it on your calendar or on your wall, but anniversaries, birthdays and “first times” are dates to look forward to. Celebrate them together by exchanging cards or setting time aside for an extra-long phone call. Or spice things up and send a surprise package, like a CD of all your favorite songs or a great photo of the two of you.
  9. Make plans. The time you spend apart won’t seem so endless if you know when you’ll be together again. Even if you have to wait until the end of the semester, there’s nothing like anticipation to keep those fires burning.
  10. Stay focused on your time together instead of the time you’re apart. Mark your phone dates on the calendar, set aside a special time to read emails, download your latest photos, work toward a common goal. There are many ways to stay close, in spite of physical distance. Click here to find out more.

Remember, long-distance relationships can be challenging, but they can also be rewarding. For starters, you’re less likely to take each other for granted. And when you finally do get together, it’s likely to seem more exciting. It takes a special kind of commitment to keep a long-distance relationship going strong. But if you’re both willing to make the commitment, your relationship will be stronger for it.