Tips for those about to go long distance Watch

Jasmineadams
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In a few weeks you will be leaving your home and unceremoniously replanting yourself somewhere you have never been. Chances are your SO isn’t going to the same place. The distance might be 50 or 500 miles, but in any case the relationship dynamics are about to change and whole new set of minefields are going to pop up for the two of you to navigate.

First of all you have to totally upfront and honest with each other - is this worth it? It can be far less painful to admit either that a long-distance relationship (LDR) is not for you, or that you think you’re just not stable enough as a couple to handle the inevitable hardships.

Having spent an extra year at home and watched my friends break up over common problems that weren’t talked about before shooting off to uni, I’ve decided to create a list of things to discuss and think about before heading into an LDR.

1. Practicalities
This refers to those financial and distance related problems that are going to have an impact, but often aren’t thought about, and pushed into the giant abyss of ‘cross that bridge when we come to it’ (SPOILER - it’s too late by then).

- Budgeting. At uni, it is common for students to set out a weekly or monthly budget for food, accommodation and the bus fare. It is easy to forget relationship costs. It may be deeply unsexy, but it’s necessary to plan to sacrifice a significant amount to cross-country travel, presents, eating out, and ‘spontaneity’.

It is useful to look into the coach services or booking train services a month in advance. Take advantage of the internet; look into free activities in the area. Also work out the splitting of costs over all. Will one of you be paying for travelling and other pay for food during the trip?

- Schedules. Right now, you know where your SO is going to be the majority of the time. You guys had a set routine and knew when to randomly call, and when not to bother. That’s about to change. The settling in period at university can be extremely random at times. They can’t do that Skype session because they’re sleeping all day to recover from a society night out. It will probably be a few months before there is a set routine again, and that can put a strain on your relationship. Anticipating it already puts you ahead of the game. However don’t worry if your routine is different from your flatmate and their SO. If it works for you, then it’s fine.

2. Expectations
Many of my friends broke up due to not communicating their expectations about where their relationship was currently at, where it was moving, and how it would change with the distance. Some believed nothing would change at all. They didn’t work out. Those who did talked beforehand. It is also important to talk about the ‘semantics’ of cheating. Are you the kind of couple that are naturally flirty, or is talking to another girl in a particular way unacceptable?

- Time for each other. There can be a vast disparity between two people’s ideas about how much time they need to set aside to talk, meet up, or even watch a movie simultaneously over Netflix. One friend, on an extremely intensive course, was totally fine with not talking for days, even weeks on end to study, whilst their SO was more of a ‘catch up every half day’ kind of person. This is what led to their break up three months in. It is important to talk about how you expect your hours to work out, and how intense your year will be at various points, e.g. exams. Understanding what the big contact blockers are ahead of time helps massively.

3. Long term goals
- Views. Are you on the same page on the REALLY BIG things? Do you unequivocally not want children, and have known all your life? How do you feel about a traditional wedding? How would you split finances if you lived together? If you discover that you feel very differently about the core issues in your relationship, well, you may have found out earlier than everyone else, but you’re now a lot more prepared for what your life with that person would look like in a decade.

- Individual goals. Even if you don’t know what you what to do with your life, you probably know the kind of person you are by now. You could be very career orientated, and willing to move just about anywhere or drop everything for it, Perhaps you are more ‘career till family’ or ‘go with the wind’ kind of person. Talking to your SO about what you want for yourself is essential, because you may find that your individual paths from now on can never realistically cross.

4. WHAT IFFFF
- Lastly, it’s a good idea to play the ‘what if’ game. This may sound trivial, but running through as many distance-related problems as possible, and discovering what is and isn’t a deal breaker, can save a lot of hassle in the long run. For example, would it bother your boyfriend, if you, living in a flat of all boys, had no one to hold back your hair but them while you throw up into the toilet after a horrific night out? It will surprise you what values people hold over what may seem like the most minor of incidents.

For more advice on TSR visit
http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...3A_How_to_cope

What are your plans for your relationship? Reply below!
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Anonymous #1
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I've been with my boyfriend for about 18 months and we've always done long distance. We're at different unis and have different hometowns too

The easiest thing to do (especially if you're both going into first year) is establish a routine and try to stick to it, but understand that sometimes things don't go to plan, sometimes an unexpected society event or part time work shift will really mess things up and you'll have to go without seeing each other. This can be difficult but it's hard focusing your whole life around another person.

Make sure you keep communication up - we talk at least once a day even if it's only brief. Skype & FaceTime are great to keep a connection going!

Get your SO to visit you & go and visit them as much as you can, be enthusiastic and supportive about their uni experiences - go watch them play their first game of football etc. if they've joined a sports society this will show them that you're open to the new changes uni brings and that your relationship can grow because of it!
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Plumstone
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This is a very good list of things to think about, although, having been in a LDR since the beginning of my relationship, some of this doesn't affect me, since I never experienced life with unlimited access to my boyfriend before I went to university.

I would add that it's important to realise the effects that missing someone can have on you. There were many times when I felt angry with my boyfriend for absolutely no reason and it was only later that I realised that my anger was at the situation and I was just missing him painfully.

I firmly believe that a couple can make it work long distance through university if they are both committed to making it work and think about these issues before they become issues.

The one good thing about LDR at uni is the light at the end of the tunnel when we can FINALLY live together!!!

Edit: also, my biggest piece of advice for anyone considering a long distance relationship whilst at uni is this: Only attempt it if you're certain that you will have a long, happy relationship after you've both graduated and if you really, truly love each other. Otherwise it's really not worth the upset, the pain and the train fares!
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GingerJoe
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What if the other half doesn't want to talk about these things.
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ChocInABox
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(Original post by GingerJoe)
What if the other half doesn't want to talk about these things.
this made me laugh :rofl:
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_infinity_
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don't go to uni in a long distance relationship. It will just ruin your time as you will just miss your other half and you will both probably end up sleeping with other people after a while and feel guilty about it. Just end it before you go so you can actually enjoy your time and not mope around about not being with your BF/GF.
This will probably get some replies saying HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT I AM IN A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP AND ITS GREAT.....its just my two cents. From what I have seen from people at uni. The ones in long distance relationships are often the saddest most home sick people.
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GingerJoe
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(Original post by ChocInABox)
this made me laugh :rofl:
Sort of scuppers the whole things really...
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Blazar
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(Original post by _infinity_)
don't go to uni in a long distance relationship. It will just ruin your time as you will just miss your other half and you will both probably end up sleeping with other people after a while and feel guilty about it. Just end it before you go so you can actually enjoy your time and not mope around about not being with your BF/GF.
This will probably get some replies saying HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT I AM IN A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP AND ITS GREAT.....its just my two cents. From what I have seen from people at uni. The ones in long distance relationships are often the saddest most home sick people.
Um, yeah, no.

Just to clarify, I'm sure that this does apply to SOME people, but I don't think it really applies to the majority of people who genuinely love and care about each other.

One of the keys to a successful LDR is determination. I'm not going to let a few hundred miles of separation put an end to my relationship. Yes, I'm sure it will be difficult at times, but we're already used to spending long periods of time without seeing each other. I'm not really into going out and getting drunk, but even if I was, I would never cheat on my girlfriend. I love her too much for that.

The way I see it, giving up would be the easy way out, at least for me personally. Being in a long-distance relationship just means that I never take time spent with my girlfriend for granted. I don't think that I personally would stand to gain anything at all by ending the relationship. All the support and motivation from my girlfriend actually helped a lot in the time coming up to my recent exams, and I emerged with top grades, despite having failed the practice exam in one subject a few months previously.

I don't want to break up with my girlfriend before I go to uni. I want us to make it through the good times and the bad times together, knowing that we have each other's love and support. And when we've graduated and made it into the next stage of our lives, I want to marry her. Like hell am I going to let distance destroy our future together.
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Midlander
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One thing not mentioned here that makes a surprising difference is to physically write to the OH. You know they've put thought into it and it can be a really uplifting thing to get.


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_infinity_
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(Original post by Blazar)
Um, yeah, no.

Just to clarify, I'm sure that this does apply to SOME people, but I don't think it really applies to the majority of people who genuinely love and care about each other.

One of the keys to a successful LDR is determination. I'm not going to let a few hundred miles of separation put an end to my relationship. Yes, I'm sure it will be difficult at times, but we're already used to spending long periods of time without seeing each other. I'm not really into going out and getting drunk, but even if I was, I would never cheat on my girlfriend. I love her too much for that.

The way I see it, giving up would be the easy way out, at least for me personally. Being in a long-distance relationship just means that I never take time spent with my girlfriend for granted. I don't think that I personally would stand to gain anything at all by ending the relationship. All the support and motivation from my girlfriend actually helped a lot in the time coming up to my recent exams, and I emerged with top grades, despite having failed the practice exam in one subject a few months previously.

I don't want to break up with my girlfriend before I go to uni. I want us to make it through the good times and the bad times together, knowing that we have each other's love and support. And when we've graduated and made it into the next stage of our lives, I want to marry her. Like hell am I going to let distance destroy our future together.
http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/atta...d=323491&stc=1
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hotliketea
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(Original post by Blazar)
Um, yeah, no.

Just to clarify, I'm sure that this does apply to SOME people, but I don't think it really applies to the majority of people who genuinely love and care about each other.

One of the keys to a successful LDR is determination. I'm not going to let a few hundred miles of separation put an end to my relationship. Yes, I'm sure it will be difficult at times, but we're already used to spending long periods of time without seeing each other. I'm not really into going out and getting drunk, but even if I was, I would never cheat on my girlfriend. I love her too much for that.

The way I see it, giving up would be the easy way out, at least for me personally. Being in a long-distance relationship just means that I never take time spent with my girlfriend for granted. I don't think that I personally would stand to gain anything at all by ending the relationship. All the support and motivation from my girlfriend actually helped a lot in the time coming up to my recent exams, and I emerged with top grades, despite having failed the practice exam in one subject a few months previously.

I don't want to break up with my girlfriend before I go to uni. I want us to make it through the good times and the bad times together, knowing that we have each other's love and support. And when we've graduated and made it into the next stage of our lives, I want to marry her. Like hell am I going to let distance destroy our future together.
that was really lovely to read
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Rosasaurr
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in my experience... trying to be in a LDR at uni lasted a month. And that was from when I LEFT - when my then girlfriend left for uni we lasted less than 2 weeks.

I think one of the big dangers I've realised after this experience is that you're vulnerable to displacing your feelings for one person onto another person, as they're physically closer.

my girlfriend rang me up after 2 weeks and said she didnt love me and she loved her flatmate. And he was perfect etc etc.

and then a few months down the line they broke up.

also at uni I became friends with a guy - he broke up with his girlfriend to try and get with me because he 'was in love with me'. He wasn't, he again had just displaced all of his feelings on to me and I told him to try and fix things with his girlfriend. You love her, you miss her. I'm just closer and we're not the same person so it's not going to work out.
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suzannataylor
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I'm going to shamelessly plug this article that I wrote http://www.thirdyearabroad.com/when-...ationship.html

When I wrote it (it's a load of tips for a long distance relationship) I was in mexico and my boyfriend was in the uk, but some of you will still probably find it useful
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Anonymous #2
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I've been with my boyfriend for over 2 years and I'm off to uni while he's decided to stay at home for another year. I know he's the one and we are going to try our best to make it work. We have talked a lot and although we are anxious we are both optimistic
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Anonymous #3
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I wasn't feeling so bad about being in a LDR until I read this thread

How often does everyone else see their OH?
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LavenderBlueSky88
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(Original post by _infinity_)
don't go to uni in a long distance relationship. It will just ruin your time as you will just miss your other half and you will both probably end up sleeping with other people after a while and feel guilty about it. Just end it before you go so you can actually enjoy your time and not mope around about not being with your BF/GF.
This will probably get some replies saying HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT I AM IN A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP AND ITS GREAT.....its just my two cents. From what I have seen from people at uni. The ones in long distance relationships are often the saddest most home sick people.
This 100%
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Anonymous #3
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Ignore my above post I meant to say....


I was feeling GOOD** about being in a LDR until I read this thread

How often does everyone see their other half?
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MrBean1994
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I wasn't feeling so bad about being in a LDR until I read this thread

How often does everyone else see their OH?
It's not as bad as some make out to be, but it's not easy either.

I see my girlfriend every two months or so. She lives in Austria so it's quite hard to see her. You just need to plan in advance when you'll see each other and count down the days and ultimately have an end date in mind for when you can FINALLY be together. Oh and obviously skype lots - communication of the most important factor
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Anonymous #3
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(Original post by MrBean1994)
It's not as bad as some make out to be, but it's not easy either.

I see my girlfriend every two months or so. She lives in Austria so it's quite hard to see her. You just need to plan in advance when you'll see each other and count down the days and ultimately have an end date in mind for when you can FINALLY be together. Oh and obviously skype lots - communication of the most important factor

Thank you xx
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SnoochToTheBooch
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SKYPE.
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