Other questions about Long Distance Relationships:
So my boyfriend and I have been together for more than a year now. We love each other and we both know that we want to spend the rest of our lives together. But our families don’t believe that our relationship will hang on through college. I’m going to college to be a teacher after my senior year next year, but he’s going to college to be a doctor next year. We probably won’t get into the same college, so I’m afraid that being in different schools for so many years will be really hard.
Do you have any advice for us?
Thanks for your question.
Your family members are offering their opinions based on percentages, not necessarily because they don’t approve of your relationship. The fact is, most high school relationships don’t last. That doesn’t mean they can’t, it’s just that most people don’t marry their high school sweetheart. Why? Because it’s difficult two keep two people focused, committed, and on the same page, as they traverse through life and gain new experiences. But it’s not impossible.
The first step is commitment. Both you and your boyfriend need to be completely committed to one another. Being at the same school, or in the same town, makes it relatively easy. You see each other every day and you’re constantly affirming your love for each other. But when one person moves away it’s sometimes easy to forget what a great thing you left behind, especially when life is full of interesting new distractions: intense studies, new friends, and beautiful co-eds. These kinds of distractions can easily disrupt even the most seasoned person’s focus and commitment. But for a young person, living on their own for the first time, it’s even more difficult.
So Grace, here are some suggestions to help you keep the connection strong while the two of you are at different colleges. These are not set in stone because life doesn’t always follow a straight and narrow path, but these will help you cover a few important bases.
First: You need to have a discussion BEFORE he leaves on how, and how often, the two of you will communicate. Will it be by phone? By text? Email? IM? And, will you “talk” every day, every other day, once a week? And for how long? And at what times of the day? If the two of you are at different colleges that means your schedules will no longer be in sync. So when will you talk? There will be many times when one of you will be busy with some project or social commitment, etc. How will you handle that? How will the two of you compromise and work this out?
Second: You need to talk about how often you’ll visit. Who will visit whom? Will you alternate visits? And who will pay for plane flights, etc.? You might think this is too basic to even discuss but from our experience the minutia matters. It’s better to discuss something ad nauseum, than be dealt with some surprise you’re not prepared for.
Third: You both need to express your commitment and love for each other often. You won’t be able to rely on touch or proximity when communicating how you feel about one another. So you’ll be forced to communicate verbally or by words on a screen. It won’t be the time to hold back. Be expressive. In order for both of you to feel secure, you both need reassure one another daily about your commitment.
Finally: It’s all about trust Grace. Distance is good at boring holes in the foundation of a relationship. It can cause even the most caring of partners to wonder what’s really going on? But if the two of you work on the relationship daily, and pay attention to how you communicate, the distance shouldn’t crumble your foundation.
We certainly hope this works out for both of you. Sure, life is full of distractions, but if the two of you really love and trust one another, it is possible to make it work.
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