I moved to Glasgow in September for university, but I’m worried about my relationship. I’m still with my boyfriend from home, and we now live a few hours away so can’t see each other as often. Everyone jokes about it and tells me our relationship won’t last, saying “if you don’t cheat first, then he will”. I hate this attitude and it’s making me really anxious, to the point where I’m doubting myself. Is this attitude still present later on at uni? And what can I do to stop myself from worrying about our relationship?” – Long Distance Lover
Relationships and uni can be a difficult balancing act to manage, especially in your first year. All of a sudden you’re in a new city with hundreds of new people, most of whom are ready to shag anything with a pulse and a name (that they may or may not remember in the morning). Many people move to uni thinking that they’ll be up to their eyeballs in sex; the potent mix of raging hormones, newfound freedom, and a sea of unfamiliar faces means that sex and relationships are often at the forefront of many freshers’ minds. This may explain why people can be dismissive of the idea of coming to university already in a relationship, especially a long distance one – how could you possibly stay committed when there’s so much new sex to be had, right?
The good thing is that as you begin to settle into university, people come to realise that (spoiler alert) being a student isn’t all about having all the sex all the time with all the people. Other things begin to take priority, and relationships may develop, or sometimes going out to pull just gets boring. You’ll be pleased to know that as this happens, people will become less concerned with your choice to remain in a long term, long distance relationship – you may even find that some people are envious that you’re in a committed, fulfilling relationship.
Of course though, it can be difficult to sustain a long distance relationship at university. Whilst comments like these from friends may seem insensitive, you’ll probably find that they have their basis in concern – your friends may be worried that you’ll miss out on part of the ‘uni experience’, or that you may get hurt somewhere down the line if things don’t work out. This doesn’t mean you should give up on your relationship though; just that you may have to work harder at it now you both have busy new lives in your respective towns. On top of this, it’s important to make sure you don’t lose sight of what you have here in Glasgow, be that your uni work, friendships, hobbies or social life.
Only you and your boyfriend can decide on the best way to make your relationship work despite the distance, but communication is key. Skype is brilliant for keeping in touch with your bae and getting to see their lovely face (and their other bits, if you so wish) in between visits. You may find your timetables differ though, so figuring out when you’re both free and making Skype dates may be useful. There a number of other digital aids for long distance relationships too, such as websites that allow you to watch films together, and apps for sharing a calendar, so if you want to make plans you know when you’re both free.
If possible, be sure to arrange visits to see each other, or coordinate your trips back home. How often you do this is up to you and will depend on money and other commitments, but saving up and booking transport in advance can make it a lot more manageable. Sustaining a long distance relationship, especially whilst in uni, might feel like torture at times, but it all feels worthwhile when those visits come around.
Above all though, tell them what’s on your mind. Long distance relationships bring with them a whole new range of obstacles, and it’s important to talk about any concerns with your partner to find a solution and put your mind at ease. Being open and honest is important in any relationship, but it’s vital for the survival of a long distance one.
Be careful though – it can be easy to become wrapped up in a long distance relationship and forget to focus on your new life in Glasgow. First year is all about getting stuck into uni, making new friends and finding new hobbies – you don’t want to get to the end of your year and feel your work or friendships have been neglected because of your relationship. As long as you both put the effort in though and find the balance between all of these things, you should have no reason to worry about your relationship, or what other people say about it.
[Hannah Burke – @hannahcburke_]
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