Keeping Your Relationship Alive When College Drives You Apart

Every August and September it happens... a relationship is affected by one or both people moving on from high school to college. What was once a simple local romance is now complicated by hundreds of miles of distance, or even threatened to end altogether.

Dating Away at College

If you're going away to college, or your boyfriend or girlfriend is going away, it can be a bittersweet time.

On one hand you're excited: college offers new opportunity, new people, and all sorts of cool new freedoms you never had before. But on the other, you have to say goodbye to your lover - and possibly even your relationship - for months at a time.

So can a relationship survive going away to college? Can you stay together with your boyfriend or girlfriend, even when you're far apart and faced with all new obstacles and challenges to your romance?

How can you make a long distance relationship work? Will the pressures of school drive you apart? Will your partner find somebody else, or lose interest in you once they've gone away to another school?

These are brutal questions, and every fall they drive millions of college students to new levels of emotional stress as they struggle to keep their high-school romances together. But the truth of the matter is always this: your relationship is only as strong as you built it up to be.

If you've got a good foundation, and you've built some solid times together? There's a great chance your partner will remain loyal and committed to staying with you, even when they're tempted by the many different aspects of university life. But if you've had more downs than ups? If you've had more fighting and arguing than actual good times? There's always the danger of losing your relationship to this type of separation.

In the end, it's up to you and your boyfriend or girlfriend to determine whether or not you're willing to stay together and try to make the relationship work, even when far apart. It takes both people to agree to this type of arrangement. If one seems wishy-washy, or just not "into" the romance anymore? The other will be destroyed by jealousy and insecurity, to the point where they can't even concentrate on their own schoolwork or college experience.

How to Stay Together When You Go to Different Schools

The first thing to do before anything else is to examine your relationship as it stands right now. Have you been good together, as boyfriend or girlfriend? Have you been loyal and honest to each other? Answering these questions honestly can help determine just how long you'll stay together when distance becomes involved.

Obviously, any cheating or unfaithfulness in the past will strengthen future fears. You'll want to trust your partner when he or she goes away to school, but at the same time you don't want to be blindly taken advantage of. Still, you have to realize something about going away to separate colleges, and that something is this: everything is beyond your control. So no matter what your lover does (or doesn't do) at his or her new school, you'll be much better off not stressing over it or trying to 'figure it out'. You'll only make things worse for yourself, and for your relationship.

Trust is a crucial part of any good relationship. Until your girlfriend or boyfriend gives you reason not to trust them, make sure you give them the benefit of the doubt. Don't punish them for what they might do, and don't make them feel bad about enjoying themselves while away.

So when your partner returns all flushed and excited from his or her first fraternity party? Don't start interrogating them as to exactly who they saw, who they went with, and what they did. They'll only resent you for it, and even worse, they'll start hiding their activities from you for fear of unnecessarily pissing you off.

Keeping In Touch During a Long Distance Relationship

In today's world, you've got more ways than ever to keep in touch with someone. Between cellphones, emails, text-messages and Skype? You can almost overdose on each other after going away to different schools.

Dating at Different Schools
Keeping in touch while apart is important;
just make sure you do it in moderation

Make sure this doesn't happen, or you'll end up driving your partner away. College can be a very overwhelming time, especially when you're first getting settled in. You'll want to call and tell your boyfriend or girlfriend how much you miss them, but you don't want to call them three or four times a day. You also don't want to text them incessantly, until they stop texting you back out of sheer annoyance. You could easily take the non-response as non-interest, and things could spiral out of control from there.

Instead, moderate your contact and keep it limited to times when your lover has a break in their day. Shoot them a quick 'hello', and don't require or expect a long response. Call them in the evening when the day is winding down and things are less hectic, and ask them to tell you about their day. This is a much better way of staying together as a couple, and such contact strengthens your bond rather than chips slowly away at it.

Webcams are another modern tool that allows you to visually see your boyfriend or girlfriend, and this can be both bad and good. Don't overdo this type of contact, or expect it on a daily basis. Also don't start looking over your lover's shoulder and questioning them about everything and everyone you see back there. Once again: college is chaotic. Allow your lover the freedom to enjoy it without having to alleviate any unfounded insecurities on your part.

All that said, DO keep in touch. DO communicate. DO let your boyfriend or girlfriend know how much they mean to you, but at the same time, wish them luck and happiness in everything they do on campus. Expect the same from them too, if you're away in college. In other words, don't allow your boyfriend or girlfriend to make you feel guilty for not being there with them, or for enjoying your own college experience.

What To Do If Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend Wants to Break Up

In some cases, your lover might choose to end your relationship rather than try to make it work while away at school. He or she will tell you the romance "just can't work", or that you'd be "better off alone" while each of you went away to different universities.

The Magic of Making Up

Obviously, they're giving up without trying. Your boyfriend or girlfriend is assuming the worst, and trying to cut loose before the end of the summer so that they can run off to college without any attachments.

This doesn't mean your relationship is necessarily over; in fact, it's probably not. There are lots of ways to know if your partner still has feelings for you, if you're willing to look for the signs.

Just because college is on the horizon doesn't mean your soon-to-be-ex can just coldly cut ties and drop all emotional attachments for you. Certain feelings are always still there, and there are ways of convincing your boyfriend or girlfriend to at least try and keep the relationship alive while you're miles apart at different schools.

Begging, pleading, trying to convince them not to break up with you - these are your worst options when college threatens to destroy your relationship. These types of kneejerk reactions will drive you apart faster than anything else, and worst of all they demonstrate huge levels of weakness and neediness on your part.

Make sure you learn how to reverse your breakup situation using simple reconnection techniques that can change the way your parter sees value in a long-distance dating scenario.

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Jenak    said on 10-13-2011

Whatever you do, DON'T go to the same college for the sake of staying together! BIG MISTAKE!

How to Play Paintball    said on 10-01-2011

If you love each other you can make it work. Distance means nothing if you're both loyal, mature, and dedicated to the relationship you build while still locally together. All you need is trust, and lots of it.

Mali_kaii121    said on 09-13-2011

girlfriend broke up with me a week after getting to school! why didn't she end it before she left, so we could at least say goodbye?

going away for college    said on 09-13-2011

I'm away this year at uni but by boyfriend is still in high school... we trust each other and all that, but it's still good to have my BFF back in our home town to keep tabs on him for me. ;)

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