Many young couples get separated because they need to go to college in different places. That’s how they start their long-distance relationship.
Long-distance relationships in college can be challenging. College life involves studying, meeting new people, going to parties, making friends and having new romantic relationships. Trying to maintain a relationship with your long-distance partner while in college, can keep you from exploring this new and exciting world.
Teenagers and people in their early 20s can find themselves in a long-distance relationship when they go to college or university that is far away from their home. Colleges and universities are places full of opportunities to meet new people and socialise. For young people, it’s also an opportunity to explore themselves and grow as individuals.
To grow as a person, you need to say yes to some things and no to others. If you have an opportunity to mix with different people from different cultures, it opens your eyes to different norms, values, and beliefs.
Everything we are mentioning in this article are ideas for you to consider when having a long-distance relationship in college. None of this is set in stone and things may work differently for everyone, depending on your particular circumstances, goals, priorities and of course your feelings.
Is It Possible to Have a Long-Distance Relationship in College?
It is possible to have a long-distance relationship in college or university, although it may not be the best thing to do. Being in college and university is something you experience probably once in your lifetime.
It is a really fun and exciting experience. You share your living space with others who can become your friends for life. People around you and on your course have the same interests as you and do similar things. And of course, there are many club parties and house parties that are hard to get away from, even if you try.
In a long-distance relationship, you will have to prioritise spending time with your partner or going out with friends. You may try to balance all things but it’s not going to be fulfilling, nor is it going to be easy.
There is a very strong emotional aspect of being in a long-distance relationship while in college. On one side if you go to college, you will be torn between doing all the things we mentioned above and staying home and video calling your partner who is miles away.
On the other side, it’s your partner who is probably not having that much fun either. He or she does not have so many temptations or opportunities and is likely feeling lonely, waiting for your call. They may end up feeling jealous, and you may feel guilty.
If you are going to different colleges at the same time, it is even more unlikely you’ll find the time to talk to each other often.
Long-distance relationships in college are not only hard, but they may also be unhealthy and unnecessary.
If at any point you have doubts about your long-distance relationship, here is a workbook that will help you and your partner assess the health of your relationship, so you can decide the best thing to do going forward.
So yes, it’s possible to have a long-distance relationship in college, but is it worth it and is it for you?
Is a Long-Distance Relationship in College Worth It?
A short answer is no. If you’re going to college or university, you should embrace and explore everything it has to offer. If it is your partner who goes to college or university, consider what it would be like for them to live a college life while trying to maintain a long-distance relationship with you.
In a long-distance relationship in college, you have to restrain yourself from experiencing new things and embracing the opportunities. After some time, your relationship will feel like a burden.
You are not going to be happy about having to hold yourself back all the time. You will find yourself being constantly torn between spending time with your partner who is not there and this new world of new experiences right in front of you.
But of course, you and your partner should decide together whether or not it’s worth doing a long-distance relationship. The best thing you can do is have a sit-down, and talk about it. Consider all the pros and cons of staying together or ending your relationship.
Do Long-Distance Relationships Work in College?
Many couples who are not sure what college and university life is like, decide to stay together and maintain their relationship long-distance. Many discover that is not working for them and break up after a few months.
When you are away from your partner, after some time, the distance will start taking its toll in your relationship. This could manifest as extra pressure, more arguments, sexual frustration, gradually making your relationship toxic.
The advantage of talking about a long-distance relationship before you go to college is that you can have an understanding between the two of you and can still remain friends. Staying friends after all the emotional turbulence would be a lot harder.
If you are seriously considering putting in the effort to make your long-distance relationship work, this complete step by step guide will help you out.
Do Long-Distance Relationships Last in College?
Long-distance relationships can last in college or university for a few months. If you were in the relationship for a while before the college begins, you might want to stay together. You may hope that you can maintain your long-distance relationship for a few years because you love each other. You became attached, and that makes it harder to let go of your relationship.
In reality, the person who goes to college or university is going to experience firsthand what the freshman year is all about a lot of partying with a bit of studying, peer pressure and falling in love.
It’s a hectic and exciting life. Next to this excitement, relationship with the person who is not even there will seem boring, to say the least.
That said, there are ways to spice up your long-distance relationship. So, if you would like to give it a go, this guide will help you do that step by step.
Some couples in more serious relationships tend to show more commitment which makes them stay together for longer. Others realise that college life is more fun for them and break up the long-distance relationship soon after they start college.
Here is an article about how long long-distance relationships tend to last.
Starting a Long-Distance Relationship in College
While starting a long-distance relationship in college is common, it is also common for it to fail. It does not mean that you should break up if one of you goes to college. What it means is that you should talk about reality and agree on how you will handle the distance and the change of feelings.
Situation 1: Either you or your partner is about to go to college. A healthy thing to do is to talk about your feelings and also set realistic expectations. If you really want to give your long-distance relationship is shot, you should agree to be honest with each other no matter what.
Situation 2: You have met in college and one of you finished earlier. You can start a long-distance relationship if you have a few months left. That said, if you or your partner are still years away from completing your degree, your relationship can be harder to maintain for such a long time.
Teenagers and people in their early 20s can find themselves in a long-distance relationship when they go to college or university that is far away from their home. Long-distance relationships can be challenging. And going to college means meeting new people going to parties making friends and possibly having relationships.
Having a long-distance relationship while in college can keep you from exploring this new and exciting world.
Colleges and universities are places full of opportunities to meet new people and socialise. For younger people, it’s also an opportunity to explore themselves and grow as individuals.
To grow as a person, you need to say yes to some things, and no to others. If you have an opportunity to mix with different people from different cultures, it opens your eyes to different norms, values, and beliefs.
In a long-distance relationship, you have to restrain yourself from experiencing new things and embracing these opportunities.
After some time, your relationship will feel like a burden. You are not going to be happy about having to hold yourself back all the time.
You will find yourself being constantly torn between spending time with your partner who is not there and this new world of new experiences right in front of you.
That said, if you are facing a long-distance relationship due to college, here’s what you could do…
How to Start a Long-Distance Relationship In College
- Talk to each other openly and honestly.
- Decide if you want to stay together in a long-distance relationship for a few years.
- If you don’t see it working, take a break.
- If you decide to try and make it work, make a plan.
- Agree on how often you will talk to each other and see each other.
- Consider an open long-distance relationship while in college.
Before starting a long-distance relationship, you should consider a number of things. Check out this article for details.
Having a Long-Distance Relationship in College
Having a long-distance relationship in college or university as a young person is different from having a long-distance relationship when you’re an adult in a serious long term committed relationship.
If you are in a serious long-term relationship or even married, long-distance relationships can be a challenging experience. If you are a teenager or in your early 20s, the excitement and the opportunities of being in college or university can make it even harder for you to remain in a long-distance relationship for a long time.
Either way, having a long-distance relationship with a romantic partner for a long time doesn’t work. A romantic relationship involves physical intimacy. In the long-distance relationship, physical closeness is reserved only for when you visit each other.
If you are an adult and you have experienced life and had many relationships, meeting new people can be fun, but probably nothing too revolutionary. If you’re a teenager having all these new experiences, your long-distance relationship will be more of a drag.
If you find yourself struggling with intimacy in your long-distance relationship, check out this guide.
Problems with Long-Distance Relationships in College
Trying to stay connected with your long-distance partner and doing all these things can be challenging.
When you need to study or want to go out with friends, you may start feeling more disconnected from your long-distance partner.
And when you spend time talking to your partner who is away, you can miss out on opportunities that come with being in college.
You get torn between maintaining your long-distance relationship and enjoying life in college. On one hand, you want to spend time with your partner, but then you miss out on exciting opportunities and having fun.
On the other hand, spending time to enjoy your college life can create more distance between you and your long-distance partner.
If you are away for a few months, long-distance relationships can be easy to maintain for that short while. But when you are away for several years, maintaining a relationship with somebody who is far away can be challenging. In most cases a relationship turns into a burden that creates unnecessary struggle and suffering.
When you know what is going on with you, your partner, and your relationship, you can adjust to the changes while maintaining love and respect towards each other. If your relationship is not working sexually, you may consider an open long-distance relationship, or you can be friends, at least for now.
Suppose you are in a relationship before going to college. In that case, you can agree to stay friends or have an open long-distance relationship. This will give you more personal freedom, while keeping connection with your partner.
Many couples try to make their long-distance relationship work in college because they do not want to break up. However, after a few months they realise that it does not really work. And, in some cases, if they choose to carry on, cheating and lying tends to happen.
It does not mean that this is how it works out for everyone, but is something to keep in mind when setting your goals and expectations.
It is almost unrealistic to expect it from yourself to stay faithful to the person who is not there while being surrounded by like-minded people and forming new relationships.
If one of you is not comfortable with a long-distance relationship, it is best to share it straight away.
Here is an article about common problems in a long-distance relationship. Check it out if you want to get a handle on all the challenges that come with being physically apart.
How to Handle a Long-Distance Relationship in College?
When you are in college or university, study is a priority. This is also the time to welcome new relationships and having fun at parties.
So, are you able to do the above and manage a relationship with your long-distance partner?
If you can and happy doing so, that is great. However, if you find yourself struggling to combine the study and a long-distance relationship, you may consider taking a break from your long-distance relationship and embrace your time in college.
College is a place of studying, having fun and meeting new people. When you go to college, you have a lot of opportunities and relationships to explore. When you go to college, you are surrounded by opportunities to have fun and meet new people, and you also need time to study.
Maintaining a long-distance relationship in college can be challenging and unnecessary. College is a place to meet new people, have new relationships, and explore your social world.
When you go to college you should be free to do what you want to do, to say yes to some things and no to other things. This is how you grow and develop as a person.
Having a long-distance relationship in college can be difficult and sometimes counter-productive. You may want to go out with friends or catch up on your studies. However, in doing so, you might be missing out on keeping a connection with your long-distance partner.
To give your relationship the best chance at working out, take a look at this article. It goes through every aspect of a long-distance relationship.
Open Long-Distance Relationship in College
Open relationships sound like fun, but in reality, they require even more understanding and even better communication for them to be healthy. An open long-distance relationship in college is something you should consider with your partner. It’s a way for you to stay together while still seeing other people.
The biggest problem with starting an open relationship is that when you start seeing other people, you may like them better and enjoy spending time with them more than on the phone with your partner who is far away.
So as an idea, and open a long-distance relationship and college is worth considering. But in practice, you should be prepared to let it go as soon as possible if it doesn’t work.
If you want to consider an open long-distance relationship, your communication must be top notch. This guide will help you improve communication with your long-distance partner.
Long-Distance Relationship After College
You could meet someone you fall in love with while in college or university. You might be in different years and one of you will finish earlier. If you decide to stay together you will need to have a long-distance relationship for a year, or maybe more.
Having a long-distance relationship after college is different from having one when you are starting college. After the first year of college, you’re likely to have relaxed a little with all the partying and socialising. It doesn’t stop until you finish your course, but it’s not as intense as in the freshman year.
3 Main Problems with Having a Long-Distance Relationship After College:
1. Financial problems
The person who has graduated can start working and earning money. At the same time, the person who is still studying is likely to be on a budget. This financial imbalance means that the person who is working will probably have to visit the person in college more often than the other way round. This financial imbalance can also cause many other problems.
2. Commitment to your studies
If you are halfway through the course or in your final year, your studies become harder and require more commitment in terms of time and effort. This means you won’t be able to talk to your partner as much. It can also be emotionally challenging to focus on your studies and preparations for your exams while having the emotional space for your relationship at the same time.
3. Finding work in the same place
The last challenge you will face as a couple is to find jobs in the same area after both of you finish your studies. After college or university, job opportunity becomes your priority. You may face a choice between taking a good job opportunity, being with your partner or continue with a long-distance relationship.
Breaking Up Your Long-Distance Relationship in College
Breakups tend to be hard, regardless. Long-distance relationships breakups can be even harder. In a regular relationship, you can talk to each other face-to-face, discuss what is working or not, and together decide to break up. In the long-distance relationship problems grow slowly, and it’s harder to talk about them online.
But, if your long-distance relationship isn’t working and there is no way to fix it, then it could be time to break up.
Long-distance relationships in college break up for several reasons. Ideally, you would talk about the problems as they arise and try to fix them. But more often than not, little things gradually become bigger problems. Unresolved issues lead to negative emotions, and you may find yourself in a toxic relationship.
You may have even hooked up with other people and now feeling guilty about it. Knowing how to break up a long-distance relationship can help you come out of this toxic relationship and move on.
Whenever you find yourself in the relationship that’s not working, this is when you have to act on it. Continuing the relationship with doubt, guilt, and jealousy isn’t the way forward.
How to Break up a Long-Distance Relationship in College
- Write down how you feel and what isn’t working.
- Find a way to express it to your partner without bringing them into the picture. Lots of “me” and less of “you”.
- Take the time to listen to your partner and how they are feeling and what they are thinking.
- Take some time apart for a day or 2 to give both of you a chance to process this information.
- Talk to each other again and hear each other out, and find a way forward that works for both of you.
Breaking up isn’t about letting go, drawing the line, and moving on. Break up is the final step in the relationship, but it is still a relationship.
That was the reason why you got together and created a relationship with each other. So, if you decide to end your relationship, try to do it with just as much love and respect towards yourself and each other as when you started it.
It can take a while to process all the emotions, so give it time. You might find that when you think it’s over, there are still ways you can fix something that’s not working. You may decide to break up temporarily, or you may choose to stop having a romantic relationship and remain friends.
The bottom line is whatever you decide to do, you have to decide together.
College is the place where you meet a lot of like-minded people and form new relationships. Commitment to someone who is not there can become a burden that keeps you away from enjoying your time in college.
So, if you are in a relationship with someone you love and are planning to go to college, consider staying friends or having an open a long-distance relationship.
The older you are, the more experience you have had, so you know yourself better. You know what you want and what you don’t.
Long-distance relationship as a teenager can be hard and unnecessary. It’s your time to explore the world, meet new people and do different things. Long-distance relationship sometimes looks like being stuck at home with a laptop, trying to have a relationship with someone who is not even there. And while you do that, the real world goes by around you.
If you are in a serious relationship and you are in your 20’s+, you may try to keep your relationship and make it work long-distance.
While you can make it work practically, being apart may give you a different perspective on your relationship.
When you are in college or university you meet a lot of different people. So there’s a good chance you might find someone else that you get on with even better than with your current partner. You can try having an open long-distance relationship, but you should consider its challenges beforehand.
If that’s the case, it won’t be healthy for you to keep restraining yourself from something you feel like doing. It won’t be good for your partner either, being with someone who wants to be with someone else. It’s most definitely not good for your relationship.
Having a long-distance relationship in college can get in the way of you growing as a person. You need to experience new places and people to grow and develop. You need to say YES to some things and NO to others. That’s how you grow as a person and develop your personality and self. It’s also how you learn about your boundaries.
If you meet someone special during your studies, you may find yourself in a long-distance relationship after college. It has different challenges to having a long-distance relationship when going to college or university. But if both of you have enough patience and understanding, you can pull through a year or two, build a healthy relationship, and live happily ever after.
The one thing you need to even have a chance at making your long-distance relationship work in college is knowing how to handle the distance. While it is commonly missed by long-distance couples, it may well be the reason so many long-distance relationships fail. For more reasons, check out this article.
And, if you need help managing the distance in your relationship, here is a step by step guide to help you with it.
How Healthy Is Your Long-Distance Relationship?
If you are having doubts about your long-distance relationship and are not sure if you should try to fix it or let it go, here is our step by step guide to help you and your partner reassess your relationship and make an educated decision that works for both of you.
Relationship Coaching for Long-Distance Couples
Long-distance relationships are hard to maintain without knowing exactly what they involve.
However, once you understand what long-distance relationships are, what they are not and how to navigate them, you are a lot more likely to make it work.
We specialise in helping long-distance couples create and maintain a healthy relationship by building intimacy, trust and effective communication.
If you are starting a long-distance relationship or are already in one, send us a message to book an individual coaching session for yourself or a couples coaching session for you and your partner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I start a long-distance relationship in college?
You should start a long-distance relationship in college if you have a special connection with another person and your relationship won’t get on the way of you completing your studies and if you have less than a year to finish your course.
Should I have a long-distance relationship in college?
Long-distance relationships in college are hard and unnecessary. While in college you can spend your time studying and meeting new people. Trying to hold on to a long-distance relationship while keeping on top of college life can be exhausting. College and university are the places to meet new people and have new experiences. Being in a long-distance relationship can hold you back.
Is long-distance relationship worth it in college?
A college is a place full of new experiences and opportunities. College and university are the places where you can meet like-minded people who share the same interests. Starting a long-distance relationship in college seems counter-productive when you have so many people you can have a real relationship with.
A long-distance relationship in college can be worth it if you can balance your relationship while embracing everything college has to offer.
How to manage study and a long-distance relationship?
Managing a long-distance relationship in college can be challenging. You can manage your long-distance relationship by spending most of your time on your studies and college life and a little bit of time catching up with your long-distance partner. Avoid your long-distance relationship keeping you away from enjoying your college life.
How do you make a long-distance relationship work after college?
To make a long-distance relationship work after college you should consider moving in together or living in the same area. Being close to each other will allow you to get to know each other better, develop your relationship and make a plan for your future together.
Why long-distance relationships in college don’t work?
Long-distance relationships don’t work in college because it’s hard to balance education, college life and an online relationship. When you are in college you need to find to study and enjoy a social life. Trying to maintain a long-distance relationship on top of that will create extra pressure in your life.
How to Maintain a Long-Distance Relationship In College
Trying to maintain a long-distance relationship in college might feel like it is holding you back from doing the things you like to do with people you like to do them. In doing so, you could miss out on opportunities to make friends, have different relationships, and have fun with your peers.
If you are in a serious relationship, you can give your long-distance relationship a go. Remember to be honest with yourself and with your partner should your feelings change.
Do not miss out on things because you feel obliged to talk to your long-distance partner. This is not good for you, and it’s not good for your relationship.
It is much healthier to be honest and upfront with your long-distance partner about your needs, rather than sacrifice them just to find yourself cheating and keeping it a secret.
How to Cope with a Long-Distance Relationship in College?
Coping with a long-distance relationship in college can be challenging and unnecessary. Long-distance relationships work well for a short while. But, when you go to college, you are going to be away from your partner for a few years. At some point, your long-distance relationship may feel like a drag that keeps you away from living you college life instead of an experience that brings you joy and fulfilment. As long as you maintain trust in a long-distance relationship, you can deal with most problems that come your way.