We all know relationships can be difficult to maintain at the best of times. Throw in a 3 hour journey just to have a quick cuddle, constant stories about your partners’ nights of drunken antics with people you’ve never met, a massive phone bill and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. You’ve heard it all before; your single friends repeatedly tell you “relationships never last through uni”. So then comes the decision: do you end it with your lovely other half and resign yourself to a string of embarrassing Jesticle- fuelled one night stands? Do you stay with your other half and hope for the best? Become celibate?
If you do decide to stick it out, here are 5 tips that may just help it work.
If you don’t trust them, don’t bother. There is no bigger turn off than an overly jealous girlfriend/boyfriend constantly drilling you on your whereabouts: “You went to the library with HIM?! WHY? WERE YOU ALONE?”. Don’t get me wrong, a small amount of jealousy shows they actually care and we are all prone to moments where the inner psych/bunny boiler takes over but play it cool, ask casually how their day is going or what they’ve been up to. Constantly being accused causes unnecessary tension in the relationship. If you can’t trust that your other half won’t cheat on you, then I’m sorry to say that perhaps they aren’t the one.
Motivation seems a strange word to use when giving advice on relationships, but there doesn’t seem to be another word for it. Every couple needs the motivation to make time for each other . This may have been easy enough when you lived down the road from each other, but can you handle it when it takes two trains and three buses to get to them? Travel is often the biggest deal breaker in a long distance relationship, but if you think it through and organise it carefully it doesn’t have to break the bank. Book tickets in advance to get cheaper deals, buy a Railcard for money off train journeys and take it in turns to visit each other to make the distance more bearable. If you find you or your partner are constantly “too busy” to see each other then, again, perhaps it isn’t meant to be.
Making proper dates out of your visit can really help keep the spark alive and helps beat the monotony of just sitting in your room watching a film together (although this can be nice too once in a while). It may be worth breaking into the student loan for a nice dinner, as date nights split up the routine, giving you a chance to dress up and reminding you both of why you’re together.
Meet the new friends
When you lived at home you probably knew each other’s friends quite well, but as we all know university brings a whole range of weird and wonderful people into your life. All of a sudden you are constantly hearing about your boyfriend’s new best mate Katie, who in your mind has a face like Megan Fox and a body like Kelly Brook. Your partner may worry about you living closely with the opposite sex and the best way to ease their mind is for them to become friends. Regularly going on nights out as a couple is a great way to bond with your partner’s new friends and builds a repertoire with the apparent “threat”. (Katie is a 3/10).
While the old fashioned love letter has its charms, it has never been easier for long distance couples to remain together. With free services like Skype and FaceTime, couples can maintain the closeness while being hundreds of miles away. Of course, you don’t want to take it overboard. Bombarding your loved one with texts and unflattering FaceTime close-ups of your face can feel smothering, so schedule times to have your chats and stick to them.
The biggest thing to remember is to have fun…university can make or break a relationship and, corny as it sounds, “if it’s meant to be, it will happen”.