Keep the flame alive in long-distance loving

I’m currently in my third year of university, and also in my third year of being in a long-distance relationship. “How?!” you may ask and, to be honest, I couldn’t tell you exactly. It takes a lot of work, but in my opinion none that isn’t worth it in the end.

I wasn’t exactly thrilled when, over a year into my relationship, I had to move away to university, leaving him 150 miles away back home to do a gap year. I often freaked out, thinking how on earth we could stay together whilst being so far apart.

When we did see each other, about once every fortnight, we always made the most of our time together. We’d go on cheap dates around Sheffield to make each visit different.  Squashing up into a single bed in halls wasn’t a particular highlight of his visits, but you know what spooning can lead to…

When he eventually went to university last year, he was only an hour’s train ride away, making it easier for us to visit each other. Still, a top tip to travelling on a student budget: get a young persons’ railcard or split the cost of each journey. My boyfriend and I still alternate trips every weekend and the amount of money I save in travel is brilliant.

The best advice to keep things fresh and prevent the passion from dying out is for both partners to get a Skype account. Pros – you get to actually see the other person when you speak to them. Also, it’s free.  Cons – you aren’t actually physically together.

However, think of your Skype sessions as mini dates; there are always ways you can spice things up a little. Granted, your partner will be even more excited when you next see each other.

I also made an effort with my boyfriend’s flatmates, who I actually ended up becoming really good mates with, giving me even more reasons to go visit him.

At this time of year you usually hear of the dreaded ‘Black October’, where fresher couples at separate universities break up.

Staying apart for long lengths of time isn’t for everyone, but it’s always better to put in the effort for at least a few months, giving it a go. When at the end of the day it doesn’t work out, at least you tried.

If both partners are equally willing to put in the time, effort and communication, then it is very likely that you will survive university together.


One Response to “Keep the flame alive in long-distance loving”

  1. Emma

    I’m beginning to wonder whether I wrote this article! I’m also currently in the third year of my degree and the third year of my relationship and my boyfriend also took a gap year (however we were 250 miles apart back then!) before he started university last year about 3 hours away, so I can relate to this entirely. Just goes to show there are lots of us who are surviving the dreaded ‘long-distance university relationship’ where no-one expects you to make it past Freshers’ Week let alone the whole of your degree! Some great advice in your article.. I’d add sending each other letters or planning surprises to that. Communication is key. The only part of your story which differs to mine is the bit about his flatmates – my boyfriend has lived with all girls in both his first and second years at uni, and I don’t really have anything in common with them. So that’s one thing I should probably make the effort to try harder with so I can enjoy visiting him a bit more! x

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