Managing long-distance relationships while in college

Long distance relationships can be stressful. Taking the time to communicate can help ease some of the stress. Graphic by Emily Wight.

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Long-distance relationships are difficult, especially when moving away for something as life-changing as college.

Most couples throughout their relationships find themselves separated by distance due to academic endeavors or careers. These are obstacles that can be overcome.

Frankie Madeina, a sophomore media studies major from Los Angeles, said, “You have to have reassurance; you’re always on different schedules, but it makes every moment you spend together so much more important.” 

Distance between couples can often create better communication and diminish the possibility of codependency. Personal hobbies and academic focus can create a force of healthy separation from a significant other. College students live in a technologically advanced world where communication can be as simple because of FaceTime and texting.

“I was in school so it was easy to not let the relationship take over,” said Jody Thompson, a sophomore business major from Fontana, California.

College students in long-distance relationships should focus on the pros rather than the cons of the distance; missing your significant other is difficult, but having the ability to spend time with yourself is important. When apart, focus can be diverted to what’s in front of the individual, and in students’ case this may be academics. As frustrating as separation may be, the allotted time for focus and work can be beneficial during school.

Sophie Soule, a senior elementary education major from Portland, Oregon, said: “I have been really able to focus on my hobbies and goals as an individual. It also helped me notice my attachment style and give 100% of my attention to my boyfriend when we’re together.” 

A helpful way to cope with long-distance can be remembering why you are distanced in the first place and the importance of why you chose college and took on the responsibility of separation. The bigger picture is the career and degree you are working towards.

“When I miss him I take myself on bike rides or coffee dates to do homework and spend time with myself,” Soule said.

Remind yourself how your current difficulties will benefit both of you later on. Crafting plans for the relationship can be vital but setting communication through conflict and having trust in the distance can set a strong foundation for a long-lasting healthy relationship.