Talking Points

A university student having a video date with long-distance partner while laying on sofa

How to make a long-distance relationship work at university

Whether your partner has got a job back home, is attending a different university, or has moved abroad for university — a long-distance relationship when you’re at uni can be tough.

However, it’s not impossible. If this year has taught us all anything, it’s that we are all very capable of maintaining relationships while being physically distant.

Being apart could even strengthen a relationship, but you’ve both got to be willing to put the effort in. The moment one of you starts ditching calls with the other to go out with your mates, the cracks will start to form.

In this article, we’re sharing our top tips for long-distance student relationships.

Stay in regular contact

This should go without saying, but your relationship will only work if you remain in regular contact with each other.

As national and local lockdowns begin and end, you will find that when one of you is busy, the other is sat at home twiddling their thumbs, so always be aware of how your partner might be feeling and make sure you stay in touch — especially when they are in lockdown or self-isolation.

At the very least, you should schedule a weekly video call with each other; that way, even if one of you has a manic week and can’t text much, you know you have that time booked in for each other for a proper catch-up.

It’s OK if one of you has to miss the occasional weekly call but make sure you reschedule it instead of missing a week.

Also, if missing calls becomes a regular issue, then you may need to have a chat about why.

university student sat on sofa having video call on laptop with partner

Trust each other

Without trust, there’s no point in even attempting a long-distance relationship.

However, that’s not to say it isn’t hard when your partner is establishing a new life for themselves elsewhere, with new friends, and your mind can be left imagining the worst — however much you trust them.

Get to know your partner’s new friends, if possible, and you’ll soon relax and realise they are no threat to your relationship.

Don’t be tempted to start checking up on your partner, demanding to know where they are and who they’re with all the time — that displays a lack of trust and will do nothing except push them away.

See each other regularly

Seeing each other in person may be difficult to achieve in the current situation but, as things get back to (a new) normal, you must start to plan regular meetings again.

If your partner is abroad, then meeting up will certainly have to be less regular than if they’re in the UK.

As a student, cost will probably play a big factor in how often you can see your partner, so make sure you take it in turns to visit each other — this keeps it fair.

Always check the latest government guidelines, so you’re not breaking the law when you meet up.

Let them know you’re thinking of them

Letting your partner know you are thinking of them will strengthen your bond so, whenever you think of something to tell them or see something that makes you think of them, text them and make them smile.

Another way to do this is to send them little gifts in the post. These don’t have to be expensive; it’s the thought that counts.

If you’re not the romantic type, it doesn’t have to be flowers either — if your partner loves a certain Disney character, for example, send them a pencil case or some socks with that character on.

This will remind them of how well you know them and will give them the warm fuzzies inside!

Another option to consider is sending a handwritten letter.

This old fashioned method of communication is probably the most romantic because receiving a letter means that your partner took the time to sit down with a pen and paper and write to you about their thoughts and feelings.

male university student on video call via phone outside, next to brick wall

Remind yourself it’s not forever

When you’re in a long-distance relationship, it can feel like you’ll never be reunited. Hence, it’s always worth reminding yourselves that the situation is temporary — at some point, you’ll be together again.

If you know the exact date when that will be, count down to it together! You can also have mini-countdowns for each time you see each other in person.

Be honest

It is just as important that you are honest with each other in a long-distance relationship as it is in a relationship where you see each other regularly.

If you’re feeling down, tell them. If you’ve had a bad day, explain why. If they’ve annoyed you, let them know.

These are the conversations that add depth to a relationship, and by missing them out, you deny yourselves the chance to really connect.

Enjoy yourself outside of the relationship

While you must nurture your relationship, it’s equally important that you have a life outside of it.

So, make lots of uni mates and schedule lots of fun into your days.

Not only will you enjoy it but you’ll have something to talk to your partner about when you next speak to them!

On top of that, if the worst happened and you split up with your partner, you want to have built a solid life of your own at university.

Remind yourself of the benefits

If you are ever having a wobble, it might be helpful to remind yourself or yourselves of the benefits of being in a long-distance relationship.

Benefits include:

  • You won’t get sick of each other because you’re not spending too much time together.
  • You will probably have more days out together and proper dates than short-distance couples.
  • You have an excuse to get out of social events you don’t want to attend! “Oh sorry, I can’t go to the foam party on Saturday. I’m going home to see Simone”.
  • You’re less likely to feel homesick.

If you’re heading to university in Leeds and looking for student accommodation, you can browse our wide range of student properties in Leeds online today.

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