According to a report published by USA Today, 70% of college students have been in long-distance relationships at some point. This means that there is a chance that this year, you might find yourself in a long distance relationship.
While a long distance relationship (or LDR as they're commonly called online) may seem daunting at first, here's what you can do to make your LDR work:
1. Keep in contact.
You don't have to constantly be on the phone with your significant other, but having daily or weekly phone or FaceTime calls will help make the distance seem closer.
2. Set your ground rules...
Some couples are 100% loyal in LDRs. Others allow each other to dance with people at parties, engage in light flirting, or be in an open relationship when they're apart. Talk over all of this with your significant other, and make sure that you're both on the same page. Remember that healthy relationships involve clear communication and respect!
3. ... and follow them.
You don't want to end up on a "babe he was so cute and you're so far away and I just needed someone to talk to in person" phone call. If you and your significant other have decided to be 100% loyal to each other while you're apart, be 100% loyal. If you've decided that dancing with other people at parties is okay, you can dance with that cutie at the bar, but nothing else. Respect the boundaries that you've both decided to set.
4. Remember birthdays and anniversaries.
If you're going to be away from each other for birthdays and anniversaries, send a gift or a card in the mail. It's okay to put off a birthday or anniversary dinner until you're together again.
5. Make a visiting schedule that works for BOTH of you.
Take into account distance, transport, personal schedules, and your schools' guest policies. If you decide that you want to visit every week, go for it. If every month works out better, that's fine too. Remember that sometimes a scheduled visit might need to be canceled, or that traffic might delay an arrival time. If you decide to go for a "surprise visit", make sure that you aren't coming at a time when your significant other might not have time to spend with you.
6. Remember that you're in a relationship.
Yes, you're not at the same school as your significant other, but remember that you're still in a relationship -- so act like it.
7. Make friends with their friends when you visit.
Knowing and being friends with your significant other's friends will help you feel less awkward when you visit.
8. Know each others' schedules.
This will help with scheduling calls and visits.
9. If you break up, be careful how you go about it.
You don't want to ask your significant other over for a visit just to tell them "hey, this isn't working out anymore", but you also don't want to be too casual with the break up. If anything, tell them "we need to talk", and prepare to have a long phone or FaceTime conversation. As with any breakup, be courteous and careful with how you phrase things.
10. Don't let people discourage you.
There are always going to be people who say things like "oh, an LDR isn't worth it" or "wouldn't you rather date someone who goes to school with you?". But, if an LDR is working for you, and you love and are happy with the person you're dating, ignore these people. Everyone finds a relationship that works for them -- and an LDR works for you.