Going the Distance: How to maintain a long distance relationship in college

Rebecca grew up on Long Island, NY, but attended college at The University of Scranton in PA. She graduated a year ago with a B.S. in Political Science and minors in Spanish, History, and Communication. Rebecca just returned from completing a Fulbright Fellowship in Madrid, Spain where she taught English at a secondary school. In her free time, she loves reading, cooking, baking, and traveling.


Did you or your significant other decide to go to a college across the country? Or maybe one of you is studying abroad and the other is stuck at home. Can you still maintain the spark? The answer is yes! With some extra effort by both of you, you can keep the love alive. Here’s a list of helpful tips for long-distance lovers.

  1. Skype dates

When you commit to a long distance relationship, Skype becomes your best friend. You can maximize Skype dates by planning the chat as if it was a real date. Set a date and time, clear your schedule, and even get dressed up. Missing dinner dates? Plan for both of you to have dinner while skyping; you may not be able to hold hands, but you can still have some great eye contact.


  1. Use the postal service

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love getting mail. Keeping your relationship alive could be as simple as bringing back the age-old tradition of love letters. Yes, we have email and texting, but there’s just something special about getting a handwritten letter from your loved one.


  1. Don’t forget holidays

One of the hardest parts of being apart can be missing holidays together, particularly ones that you don’t get vacation for, such as Valentine’s Day. Don’t let the fact that you’re not together stop you from celebrating! You can still make the day romantic if you plan ahead. Send a series of small gifts and instruct your significant other to open them at specific times throughout the day. It will make him or her feel like you are with them all day.


  1. Cherish your time together

There is one positive thing about long distance relationships: they force you to really appreciate the time that you do have together. So, make that time special. Plan a romantic trip together that will allow both of you to remember the trip for ages. Take plenty of pictures to give you visual reminders of that time. Most importantly though, try to stay in the moment. It will be tempting to begin worrying about how little time you have together or what will happen when your trip is over, but do your best to push those doubts away. When you have such a small amount of time together, your best bet is to cherish every moment.


  1. Fight Right

Long distance relationships, like all relationships, come with their fair share of arguments. And arguing across states or even countries can sometimes make a stressful situation even worse. While there is no one correct way to fight, you can make it easier on the two of you by keeping a few thoughts in mind. First, try not to argue at night. If something is bothering you, your best bet is to bring it up when you know your significant other has time to talk it out with you. Nothing hurts more than hearing that he or she can’t talk because they have an early morning or are already asleep. Try to stay away from the “we need to talk line,” but carve out a time when you are both free to listen to one another. Another tip: don’t text and fight. While arguing through text messages may seem easier, especially for those of you who are non-confrontational, try to simulate a face-to-face discussion as best as you can. Things like voice tone which usually signal how a person is feeling are completely lost over text. And if you are fighting about how difficult the distance is, try to remember that it won’t last forever, and you can get through it.

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