Relationships at any distance are hard work, but once you add the pressures of the first year of college and 3,459 miles (Manhattan to London) between us, it’s going to be the hardest thing my boyfriend and I have ever done. However, it feels like the right step for us and there’s a good chance it could be the same for you, too.
1. You’ve been dating for a considerable amount of time.
There’s almost always no use in pursuing an LDR with someone you’ve only romantically known for a month or so. You may not know enough about each other’s quirks to help maintain each other’s sanity from across the country. Moreover, if you’re not already feeling completely attached to the person, there’s little to no helping that once you’re separated.
2. You’ve dropped the L-bomb.
There’s a reason everyone takes saying “I love you” so seriously. It genuinely alters the course of your relationship. What once may have felt purely fun and exciting is now serious, yet wonderful. It’s difficult to describe. Once you start taking your relationship that seriously in person, over FaceTime or Skype, it’ll just come naturally. Which brings me to my next point…
3. It’s the 21st Century!
There are a myriad of ways to contact someone out of your city, state and country nowadays. Letters, emails, texts, iMessage, Kik, Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, FaceTime and ooVoo are just a few. Even for trans-continental relationships, like mine, the Internet has provided so many ways for us to keep in contact. There’s really no excuse.
4. You’ve pictured a future together.
This can mean anything from moving in together to naming your children. It centers around your interpersonal relationships, specifically between you and your partner. It’s not a generic meshing of jobs and music tastes, but a comparison of views on relationships. If you and your significant other are comfortable and connected to the image of having such an adult future together, there’s a good chance you will both push to make your LDR work.
On the other hand, there’s a chance…
5. You see an end.
Not to the relationship, but to the long distance part. For example, although my boyfriend and I are both from California, he is going to school in Manhattan starting his freshman year. Meanwhile, I’m going to London for my freshman year — and then to Manhattan! After this first year, we’ll get to spend the rest of college in the same city. If you’re going to Chicago and your SO is headed to Seattle and you both want to stay in Chicago and Seattle for the rest of your lives, there’s a good chance it won’t work out. It’s not fair to put yourselves through a relationship where you will hardly see one another.
6. They were your high school sweetheart and you feel obligated.
A relationship should never feel like a chore. If you want to explore and meet new people in college, you have every right to do so. Just be respectful of your current partner’s feelings. People change just as easily as the weather does. What once made you happy in close proximity may not be doing the same trick once you’re at separate schools and that’s reasonable. Don’t feel pressured to stay in a relationship. It will only hurt the situation.
7. You or your partner have a history of cheating.
If there was ever a time in your relationship where one of you was caught cheating, it’s extremely important to assess the effects of that on your potentially long-distance relationship. The innocent partner may feel hesitant and distrustful. On the other hand, there may be cause for them to feel this way. It’s up to the two of you to discuss your feelings regarding faith once you’re separated. If too much of the bridge is burned, it may not be strong enough to uphold an LDR.
8. You want different things.
Freshman year of college most people know what they want to be doing in five or six years. Whether it’s applying for a graduate program, working or becoming a homemaker, each person tends to have an idea of their near future. If both of your futures seem too different to intertwine, perhaps it would be best to end the relationship before putting it through a tough four years. For example, my boyfriend and I both want careers that place us in the same place and on the same time frame. If you want to be an army doctor and your partner wants to settle down and have a peaceful family life, again, this is something you should discuss before committing to a LDR. It just wouldn’t be fair to either of you to have to sacrifice your dreams in the future.
When it comes to relationships, the most important part is communicating with your significant other. Making the decision to go long distance needs to be done in an understanding and flexible manner. By that same logic, you have to be equally as supportive in not pursuing one. Although you may genuinely love the person, the timing may just be very off. It’s like the old saying, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it was meant to be.”
Lead Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television
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