Making the distance work

Living in a different place from your partner is a problem that many university students face when they make the decision to leave home to study. Whether you’re in a different city or a different country, long distance relationships are often hard, but they needn’t be impossible. If you’re both dedicated to your relationship then you can make it work, and there are a number of ways in which you can make the distance that little bit easier on yourselves.

One of the most important things in any relationship, and one that becomes increasingly important with the added factor of distance, is communication. Thanks to technology, there are a number of ways to make sure you keep your partner updated with what’s going on in your life. A quick phone call makes all the difference when you’re feeling the distance from one another.

Similarly, Skype and FaceTime are lifesavers for when you just need a reassuring smile to remind yourself why you’re doing this. Apps like Snapchat allow you the immediacy of capturing a moment that you can then share with your partner to make them feel a bit closer to you, whether it’s the view from your window or just a meal you’re particularly proud of. Or, if you want to surprise them, going old school and sending them a letter or postcard is a nice way to let them know you’re thinking of them.

Photo: Shawn Tron
Photo: Shawn Tron

Another way of making the distance seem smaller, and goodbyes a little easier is by making sure you always have a date to look forward to. Work out when your deadlines are at the start of the semester and work around your other commitments in order to figure out when you can visit each other. Not only does this give you something nice to count down to, but it can also work in favour of your bank balance if you book transport early.

Trains can be expensive, so it might be worth your time to look for cheaper alternatives such as buses. However, if money is a big issue, think about putting money that you’d use to buy each other birthday presents towards tickets to see each other instead. It’ll be worth it if it means you can afford to see each other a few extra times, and there are plenty of other opportunities to buy each other gifts!

Make the most of the time you spend together when you do get to see each other. Try something different and take your partner to a pub or bar you haven’t tried before or go for a nice meal. It doesn’t have to put you into your overdraft, a café you haven’t been to before can be just as nice as an expensive restaurant if you have the right company. Doing something different when you see each other makes the time you do spend together that bit more special, and reminds you both why the distance is worth it.


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December 2021
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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