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Long Distance College Relationships

Updated on March 3, 2014

Define The Relationship

Maintaining a relationship in college can be pretty difficult at times. Adding long distance to the mix might make it feel impossible. Whether you and your high school sweetheart are leaving for separate colleges, studying abroad, or apart for any other reason, long distance college relationships take hard work. Because of this, the first step in approaching long distance college relationships should be to define the relationship. Establish clear and mutual goals for your relationship and determine whether or not it is worth the extra time and dedication needed. There are a few downsides to long distance college relationships, and they are definitely not for everyone. However, if you both decide you are ready to give it a try, there are also some wonderful benefits!


  • You don’t get to do common things that other couples do. There are few things worse than watching other couples spend time together, knowing you don't have that option. You may feel like you're missing out.
  • You are more likely to become jealous. While you may fully trust your significant other, it is almost impossible to never feel jealous or uneasy with the idea of not knowing what the other is doing.
  • It is harder to have meaningful conversations. Talking on the phone is a great way to cope with long distance loneliness, but sometimes it just doesn't cut it. When important issues come up, it is often hard to express your true feelings over the phone. Words can be taken in the wrong way and you may be left feeling frustrated.
  • You miss out on important parts of each other's lives. College years are often the best years in a person's life, filled with exciting changes and new experiences. It can be hard to not experience these important moments with the person you care about most.


  • You can build/strengthen your relationship on deeper levels than just lust or physical attraction. Just because other couples might see each other more often doesn't necessarily mean they are able to have a stronger relationship. There's a lot to say for a couple who's still deeply in love after months of not seeing each other.
  • You have more time to focus on yourself. One of the temptations that some couples face is becoming too dependent on one another. They find their value in the other person, rather than being content with who they are as an individual.
  • You have more time to build relationships with friends. It can be easy to want to spend every waking moment with your significant other. Because that is not an option in long distance college relationships, delight in the time you can spend with your friends. Friendship is not always as easy to find as it is when you are in college. Appreciate this unique time in your life and meet as many new people as you can.
  • Being reunited feels SO good. The moments you do get to spend together are not under-appreciated. You can learn to appreciate each other more and treasure the precious moments spent together.

Tips for Making Long Distance College Relationships Work

  • Trust each other. Do everything you can to maintain the trust of your significant other. Don't give them a reason to question your faithfulness. Saving yourself for marriage may be something you want to discuss.
  • Recognize when your significant other needs reassurance. Sustaining faith in your relationship can be tough. Be sensitive to the needs of your partner and try to recognize when they need reassurance or words of comfort through tough times.
  • Be open and honest about everything. Try your best not to keep things from your significant other. Show them that you care about them by telling them important (and not so important) things going on in your life.
  • Make time for each other in some way every day. Whether it is through text, email, skype, a written letter, or quick phone call, show your partner how much you value them by making time to communicate with them in some way.
  • Be flexible. College is a busy time and there will be days when big exams, essays, midterms, and social events might get in the way of your time together. Take the pressure off your significant other by showing them you can be flexible and understanding.
  • Stay positive! Although many people do not prefer them, long distance college relationships CAN work. Be patient and stay positive!

Together While Apart

There are plenty of fun things you can do together, even when you're miles away:

  • Go for a walk while on the phone
  • Watch your favorite TV show
  • Eat the same meal over skype
  • Play online games together
  • Write love letters
  • Plan your next trip to see each other!

“Missing someone gets easier everyday because even though you are one day further from the last time you saw them, you are one day closer to the next time you will.” -Laura Stafford


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