How to manage your long-distance relationship
To go from living in close proximity to your partner to then being a costly train ride away is going to raise questions for you. How often will I see them? Will they lose interest? Will I be able to manage my time correctly? You will only learn these things by experience, though a few tips may make the learning process a bit smoother.
Put yourself first
The first and main thing you should know is to put yourself above all else. This can be in terms of work or making new friends. Spend the first month or so of uni throwing yourself into societies and making friends from accommodation or your course – find your feet. Remember the reason you came to university was to come out with a degree and build yourself, so stick to that.
This doesn’t mean forget your other half, but you both need to come to a mutual understanding that sometimes, for unknown periods of time, phone and video calls will have to suffice.
plan when you’ll see them
Once you have settled in, then it’s time to figure out where you and your partner can fit in meeting up. Consider the travel time, cost and intensity of each other’s courses to work out how many times you can afford to go to each other’s universities. In my experience, for distances with less than 1 hour of travel, couples choose to meet every other weekend, alternating who travels. To begin with, this will be hard and takes some negotiating but just know that you must stick it out for the first few months to get into a routine.
I’m sure you’ve heard this plenty of times before, but communication really is key. With long distance, you must be verbally clear about what you are feeling because the other person will not be there to physically see your mood changing. Also, it is okay to get caught up in your own schedule or with your friends, but when this happens for a prolonged period of time, make sure to communicate to your partner that you’ll get back to them and that you’re not ignoring them, you’re just busy!
So, to make sure your long-distance relationship works, a mixture of balance, communication and understanding is needed. Don’t expect the situation to be easy from the first day, week or even month. This is something that will take practise and you can only learn from your own mistakes. However, if you find it’s just not working out, don’t be afraid to end things.