20 Jan

Maintaining a Long Distance Relationship

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The idea of studying abroad can be daunting, especially when you’re in a relationship. For some people the deciding factor in whether to study abroad or not lies within maintaining their relationship. Maybe you think the miles between you could cause problems of jealousy, sadness or faded feelings.

Many people tend to dismiss relationships when they’re becoming an international student, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. Many relationships grow stronger with distance, and after all, what could be much better than a kiss of reunion? Whilst it’s not all that fun missing a partner and being on the other side of the world from them, there are some very easy ways to make it manageable if you’re prepared to put in the effort. 

IDeas to help your long distance relationship

1. Always plan their visits: Although it might seem like a life time before you get to see your partner again, make sure you always plan their visits. Ensure that you can both give your full attention and devotion to the visit (by making sure there are no chances of a night out or a work party instead). Make sure you plan some nice things to do with your partner, to spend some quality, one-on-one time with each other without any distractions. This could be a day trip travelling around the city, putting together a picnic, or having a date night where you can both catch up properly. Quality time is one of the most important things in a relationship, and with a planned visit there is no chance of it being overlooked.

2. Communicate on a regular basis, but not too much: Communication is key when you’re in a relationship, whether you’re studying abroad or live you next door to your partner. When you can’t have physical contact with your partner, communication becomes the most vital part of maintaining a relationship. Make sure you share important things that are happening in your life, sharing your new experiences abroad. Make sure you restrict your time talking to your partner, otherwise you’ll end up missing out on other important aspects of student life, for example socialising and putting your fullest effort into studying. Communication with your partner can be time consuming, and if you begin to talk too much you could become resentful about them not being there. Make sure you communicate but limit yourself!

3. Use technology: Make sure you make the most of technology to stay in contact. The internet is such a good way to stay connected to your partner, so make the most of it! It allows you to chat and flirt throughout the day, reminding each other you are thinking about each other. Whether it’s joking on WhatsApp, or sending a cheeky picture on Snapchat, use technology and all it has to offer to maintain connection in your relationship. There really is no boundaries for sharing!

4. Have understanding and be patient: Missing each other can lead to arguments, and of course it’s healthy to argue from time to time in any relationship. Having the distance between you can essentially make the arguments harder for you both, as you’re not physically with each other to sort it. Just remember to have understanding and consideration for your partner’s feelings, putting yourself into their shoes. Make sure you’re patient and listen to their troubles, without jumping to conclusions and becoming defensive. You studying abroad will be hard for both of you, just take a step back in any argument, be patient and try to resolve issues quickly. The last thing you want whilst you’re pining for them is to be in the middle of an argument as well.

5. Trust each other: As an international student, you will be meeting new people, making new friends, and of course being sociable. This may be going out for lunches, or this may be going out and getting well and truly intoxicated. Of course, this is also part of student life and often breaks the ice with lots of friendships. What you have to remember is, your partner is probably at home worried about the friendships you’re forming. They’ll have a million questions going through their head like What if they meet someone better than me? Will they realise they prefer single life to relationship life? Jealousy can sometimes be a good thing, but of course in moderation. You need to learn to trust each other from a distance. In reality, would either of you be trying to maintain a long-distance relationship if your heart wasn’t really in it? And if it turns out their heart wasn’t really in it, grab a bottle of wine and say goodbye! You’ll be better off without them.

6. Learn how to be happy and functional without each other: Yes, you’re in a relationship. No, you aren’t going to be permanently attached to each other… especially since you made the subconscious decision to study abroad. Although you can’t be together all of the time, this doesn’t mean you can’t function like a normal human being. Yes you will have a few bad days where you miss them more than usual, but you need to realise you a complete person on your own, and not just someone’s ‘other half’. Be content knowing you have someone you care about wanting to maintain a relationship with you from a distance – that should be enough for you to realise you can be happy without them for a while. 

So there you have it. Six tips on how to maintain your long-distance relationship, having made the decision to study abroad! Just remember - everything happens for a reason, and if a relationship is meant to be, it will be.

Stick to the tips knowing you’re giving your relationship the best chance possible, good luck!

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Emily Hymus

Hi, I’m Emily, I'm currently a second year Communication and Media undergraduate at Bouremouth University. I work part-time as a Barista in the south alongside my degree. I've started writing for AEECIC for pleasure and I hope you enjoy my articles throughout your chapter abroad! 

Website: www.blog.buprojects.uk/2016-2017/emilyhymus/

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