What it is like maintaining a high school/college relationship at University, from someone who did it?
It is fairly common for a couple who have been together since high school to have doubts about what their relationship will be like at uni and whether they will be able to last. Meeting loads of new people, a new distance between you and very busy lives: is it possible to still have a great long distance relationship like this? Many of my flatmates in uni came in long-term relationships, and yes some of them did split up, but my one friend is still with hers as strong as ever. Despite the fact my ex and I did split up, it wasn’t due to the changes uni caused our relationship, and it actually taught me a great deal about what being in a relationship is.
For me, the distance wasn’t too much of an issue. My ex didn’t go to university, and I only live about an hour from Warwick. She would come to me one week, and I would go back home the next but during busy times we made it so we would just see each other every 2 weeks. For me, like I said, I never found the distance to be an issue as I spoke to her literally everyday still and whenever we needed to talk skype and phone calls were a great way to remain in contact. If the distance is greater, verging on 3/4/5 hour trips to see each other, my friend and her boyfriend would see each other every two weeks. I think it is something you have to find your own balance for, communicating with each other and feeling like you’re still on the same page is key when you are so far apart, and little things make the distance seem a lot smaller. In conclusion, I think distance can be a problem if the two people aren’t willing to put in a bit more effort to maintain a healthy communication, but if you’ve been together for a few years you should be fine with this.
I think this was a huge issue for a lot of young relationships. Trusting your partner when they’re suddenly surrounded by loads of new people, and they are spending all their time with them, posting on social media, it’s hard not to get a bit jealous and defensive. I personally think being a bit jealous is fine, its natural, but its finding that balance between being jealous because you care and being bitter towards your partner and angry at them. Trust is absolutely key, my ex when I went had nothing but complete trust in me, which meant when I was talking about new friends I had made, she knew I was simply just friends with them. Again, communication and honesty are so key at this point. I was so open to my ex about who I was spending time with and speaking to she never had any suspicion, if you feel like you have to hide certain people from your partner, you have to consider if there is a problem here? I think the best way to help alleviate this issue is to have your partner come to your uni and meet these new people, as that then builds a relationship with them and helps them feel involved in this aspect of your life.
For my ex and I, this was by far the hardest thing. She worked weekends, and I was most busy at the start of the week, so it was always so difficult to see each other. When she came to uni, she would have long periods just sat in my room and when I went home I’d be waiting for her to finish work, only for her to be exhausted by the time she got home. Even outside of seeing each other, most of the daytime I would be busy in lecturers or be working, and in the evenings she would be working, and after work, I’d usually be drunk texting her from Tuesday smack (not a reliable way to maintain communication). This meant we had to plan time for each other, which after years of just seeing each other whenever was a big change. We’d have to wake up early on Tuesdays (I say early, I mean before like 12) in order to call before she went to work, but regardless of how difficult it was, we did make it work. With the busy lives, all it takes is just a bit of forward planning, and you can always make time for each other, even if you are both incredibly busy.
The best advice I can give to any couple going into this situation is be ready to be flexible with each other. It’s going to take both of you a few months to really adapt to the situation, and there will times where you get frustrated with the situation and each other. But if it is worth it, you will make it work, its a real test of your relationship and feelings for each other. If you are willing to put that little bit of extra effort in, make time for each other, and trust each other, you will be absolutely fine.
I am not writing this as a way to tell anyone how to live their relationships. Things are very personal, and only you two know what works for you. But if you are approaching September/October, and you’re not sure if things are going to work out, they definitely can and you should definitely at least try. I was adamant my ex and I were going to break up before, and a week before I went she said “why not at least try?” and I am so glad she did. Best of luck to anyone going into it in the near future, and remember to communicate.