The prospect of going to university for the first time is a combination of excitement, nerves, and an incredible sense of freedom; couples in long distance relationships, however, can find this time worrying as the future becomes more uncertain. Do long distance relationships hold you back from experiencing university to the full – do they, as Adegoke writes, clip your wings?
It is undoubtedly a test of your commitment to each other and also the strength of the relationship, living at different universities or even separate places means that you both have different experiences and it can become hard to relate to the other’s life. It can become incredibly difficult to balance university life, such as completing your degree and making new friends, with the pressure of continuing to be engaged in your relationship. The most significant danger is beginning to perceive it as a burden rather than a source of pleasure.
Jo Piazzo, writing for TIME, disagrees with the stigma attached to long-distance relationships believing that a couples’ commitment to the other is enriched by having that space between them. The key is communication and planning. The digital age has made it easier to stay connected with texting, Skyping, and FaceTime enabling the continuation of an intimate romantic relationship that cannot be achieved through writing. Video calls remove the ambiguity of the other’s life, revealing your world to your partner and the everyday minutia of it, enables them to be part of it rather than alienated. This is also applicable to visiting. Planning visits is crucial as it removes the uncertainty of the future – with so many things in flux at university, this is the thing that should be the most certain, the most concrete.
The most important part of any relationship, long-distance or otherwise, is the happiness of both of the people involved. For many this is harder to achieve in a long-distance relationship, but it is not impossible, equal commitment from both of you to the other is key. Important to recognise is that if the happiness of either of you, or both of you, is compromised it is time for change or perhaps the relationship has run its course. University is undeniably challenging and so the outcome, good or bad, from any long-distance relationship never should elicit judgement from others or yourself.