Starting college or university is an exciting time. For many young students, this is the first time they leave home and the prospects of studying, living (and partying) in a new place can fill them with unbridled anticipation.
But if you’ve been in a long term relationship, or if you’ve only just started seeing someone over the summer, moving on to college or Uni can produce mixed feelings.
What will this mean for your relationship? Will it work? Can you cope with a long-distance relationship?
What if one of you is going to a new place to study while the other stays at home? What if you both go to study at opposite ends of the country? What if you both go to the same Uni then break up?
Talk it out
You and your partner will no doubt be worrying about what the future holds for your relationship. If you haven’t talked about what you plan on doing once you start University, now is the time to start. Tell your partner what your worries are and ask them how they feel about the situation. What they say might surprise you, so be prepared in case what they say isn’t quite what you hoped for.
Try a long-distance relationship
If both you and your partner feel that your relationship is strong enough to last, then you can try having a long-distance relationship. Thanks to modern technology, we can easily stay in touch by text, phone or email pretty much wherever we are, so there will be plenty of opportunities to connect with each other while you are apart.
The amount you and your partner communicate during this time may be a cause of conflict. When you are studying in a new place you will want time to pursue new interests, make new friends and – most importantly – study. You will want to take advantage of these new situations and gain new experiences – but this might make your partner feel left out and they may worry that you’ll forget about them.
Once you start communicating with each other at long distance, you’ll find a balance that’s right for you.
If you are unable to visit each other during term time, start a countdown to the next time you meet during the holidays and plan something special!
For tips on how to cope with a long-distance relationship visit our Couples Living Apart microsite.
Think long and hard before making any rash decisions
It can be easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and declare that you’ll transfer to another college so that you’re closer to each other – or give up your studies altogether. However, at this early stage in your education, you really need to think about whether that’s really the best decision to make.
Time to split?
If you both decide to go your separate ways, there are ways to cope. Find out more by reading When relationships end – What to expect.