When you’re young, we often try to make the most of our own experiences and get to know ourselves better. Today, more than ever, we no longer sacrifice our independence for the benefit of our relationships: we want both.
Going long distance is a very common practice, but it's never easy. Depending on the situation, the characteristics of the relationship may change dramatically, particularly concerning geographic distance and time difference between partners. It can be a long and challenging road, but it's possible to keep the relationship healthy even if you're in entirely different countries. So, here are five tips that will help you manage your long-distance relationship while you're studying abroad!
You're not the only person who has courses, exams, and a busy schedule. Student life often means going out and making encounters of all kinds. As such, it may be scary to know that your partner is potentially surrounded by people who they might be attracted to. This is why trust and communication is KEY. Your partner chose to be in a relationship with you and no one else. No matter the distance. No matter how long.
If something comes up, there's no benefit to sitting at home and making up stories in your head. Instead, speak up. Honesty and transparency about your feelings will prevent the build-up of a cold environment where resentments develop, something which will only harm your relationship in the long run.
On the flip side, you’ll also need to invest in your relationship and earn the trust of your partner. It's a safe bet that your loved one worries just as much as you do, so it's important not to be selfish and to put yourself in their shoes. Besides your busy schedules, make sure to communicate regularly and to make time for each other by always coming up with new surprises or, where possible, arranging trips and visits to see one another.
Some people will have negative reactions when you explain your long distance relationship to them. It goes something like this: ‘Huh? Why?! So much trouble when you could be having the time of your life’.
Since this type of relationship doesn't have a good press in general, 'haters' will often try to change your mind by reminding you of the disadvantages associated with it and the joys of single life. Just ignore them! It may seem complicated, but you should still try to move forward when everyone tells you to step back. You should never sacrifice something that makes you happy just because it does not appeal to some.
However, if you realize that you're missing out on particular experiences and that you no longer want to be in a relationship, remember that you're not alone. Someone else is working very hard at making the relationship work and to trust you, and you owe that person a decent explanation if you decide the relationship is no longer right for you.
It may be tempting to spend most of your free time Skyping your partner, but you need to remember that your time at uni is for going out and having fun with your new friends, and studying of course! There will always be time for phone calls and Skype but make sure you have a right balance between maintaining your social life and the time spent contacting your loved one.
Communicate as often as possible by call, text, photo or Skype and just share your daily life. Since you don’t get to go home to each other and tell each other how your day went, keep them in the loop throughout and let them be as much part of your life as possible. Your experiences are similar in the sense that you are both students so you'll have many things to share!
But find a balance and talk about things that are sometimes light and sometimes not. It's vital that you both keep to the boundaries that you've set so you can communicate openly without doing it so much that you annoy the other.
In the end, being in a long distance relationship when you're still young and studying is probably one of the best possible moments for this. It's in our twenties that we begin to define who we are and what we want, both professionally and humanely.
Such a relationship allows us to blossom in the discovery of the adult world in complete independence, but also to rely on a healthy and comforting intimate relationship, to ultimately enjoy together a healthy and happy couple life.
In short, a perfect balance!