Kamila Geremek discusses whether long distance relationships at uni are worth the effort.

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The mention of a long distance relationship at university will either gain you a few “awws” or some doubtful looks and secret judgements of your naivety at actually thinking that your relationship can work. Of course nobody would ever tell anyone their true opinion, but you know what their actually thinking behind the “you’re so brave” comments.

My boyfriend and I had been in a relationship for two years before we became a long distance couple, as I moved away to Birmingham for University. At first, I had strong doubts as I had a certain image of uni which didn’t exactly paint the perfect circumstances for a long distance relationship to flourish. We had several arguments, some more serious than others, and my naturally flirtatious nature didn’t help either.

However, I do not regret sticking through it at all, in fact I believe it’s one of the best decisions that I have made. I’m happy that I always have someone to turn to whether it’s about work, friends or whether I should finish my pack of Pringles (yes that was once an actual question). But it takes a lot of commitment; so here’s how it is possible to make LDRs work and how I have made mine a success.

Before you jump in and miss out on playing the field at uni you must ask yourself “is it really worth it?”. LDRs are great for building a really strong relationship that survives off of trust and respect for one another. No matter how long you’ve been together for, if you believe it’s worth it and you are committed then it can work.

Consider whether you see a potential future with your significant other. Do you both share the same aspirations? Cats or dogs? Children or no? Is marriage on the cards? Although for some it may be too soon to discuss such topics, it can’t be avoided. It doesn’t have to be asked through a serious conversation, just a simple game of truth or dare can get all the answers that you want for your questions. If you don’t share the same dreams, then maybe there is someone on campus that does.

Communication is key. Statistically the average LDR visit each other about 2 times per month and call each other every 3 days. With social media being as well-developed as it is now, there is no reason to not being able to talk to one another. I talk to my boyfriend every day, some days more than others depending on the amount of work both of us have, but no matter what we always check up on each other. It’s these little things that count.

'Communication is key...'

When visiting each other just make sure you avoid arguing as you really want to appreciate the time that you have with each other. Up keeping sexual intimacy is crucial too, especially if you wish for the relationship to be a long-term one. You don’t want any sexual tension that you used to have before being separated from one another. Although it may be difficult to maintain at first, there are many ways to maintain a sexual connection, if you’re creative enough.

Don’t let a relationship prevent your full experience of uni. If you have set boundaries, then there is nothing preventing you from going out. Keep socialising, being your own person and enjoying your separate successes, just remember to share it all with your significant other so that they don’t feel abandoned (communication really is key).

Generally, just try to keep things normal as always. Watch your favorite TV show at the same time, just like you always do, whether that’s by having a phone call/FaceTime or just texting. If you had little traditions of texting each other every morning, then keep doing it even if you wake up at different times. Keeping things normal, makes the process a whole lot easier. I often don’t even feel the distance because things have not changed, even if we are 125 miles apart.

Finally, I would like to stress that under no circumstances am I claiming that being in a relationship at uni is better than being single, it is ultimately down to personal preference. Some people want to experiment before settling down into something serious, whilst others are happy just playing the wing-woman/man. LDRs are based on trust and respect for your significant other. If you’re happy and believe that this person may be something special in the long-term, then no amount of miles should prevent that.

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