Long distance relationships (aka "LDRs") aren't anything new. Almost anyone that's been in the dating game has experienced this situation at least once in their lives. But for some reason, college LDRs seem to be worthy of their own sub-category in dating. It's one thing to be far from your significant other while going through the routines of daily life but it's quite another to be dealing with this situation and preparing to begin college. Although college LDRs aren't perfect and can be quite a handful, with proper planning and communication, the connection can stay strong, no matter the campus location.
Just as it's important to plan in advance for college, the same goes for your relationship. Once the decision has been made by the both of you to put your situation under the LDR category, it's time to put your heads together and start planning your next steps. After you've both been accepted to college, schedule a day to get together and plan out your class schedules. Focus on the following to increase your odds of success in your college LDR:
Breaks: Want to make sure you have the time to connect with your sweetie? Then don't schedule a full day of back-to-back classes. Can't avoid a full day? Then do your best to schedule only 1-2 days out of the week where you'll be in classes all day. Otherwise, see if you can both arrange for at least one long break a day, depending on how often you want/need to communicate with one another.
Online vs. Traditional Courses: Addicted to being online? Signing up for online courses is a convenient way to get your studying and assignments done without the need to be physically present in a classroom. An added perk to online courses is the ability to chat with your partner when you're both online. This is a great and fast way to keep up-to-date on each other's daily happenings. However, if this proves to be too much of a distraction, learn how to discipline yourself in order to balance the two.
Lay Those Ground Rules
Not all couples are the same so it's important to tailor your college LDR ground rules to what's realistic for you and your boyfriend/girlfriend. The word "realistic" is a major player when it comes to LDRs. Too often couples set impossible or impractical guidelines or ground rules. Doing this is a quick way to set yourself up for failure.
Be honest with each other when discussing this stage in your relationship. One helpful way to produce favorable results is to list each others strengths and weaknesses in your relationship. Use that information to create your ground rules so that they are unique to not just yourself but how you operate as a couple.
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