I will be graduating this May from the great Alcorn State University with a degree in Computer Science. I have enjoyed my tenure at Alcorn and have learned a tremendous amount about my major. I have made lifelong friends and made memories that will last a lifetime. My dilemma that I am facing is my girlfriend is only a Junior and I’d be leaving her behind. In the last year and a half we have become inseparable and we plan on marrying one another one day. I am from Florida and she is from Louisiana. I plan on moving back home to begin my career but the thought of not having her there with me breaks my heart.
How do I make a long distance relationship work? Will we be able to keep that same fire between us thousands of miles away as we did while we were at Alcorn? Please give me some advice that will help me in my situation.
Dear Hopeless Romantic:
First let me congratulate you on the achievement of graduating college. You’re closing this chapter in your life and opening a new one. The idea of long distance relationships scares a lot of people and dealing with it is hard. If you and your partner are committed to your relationship then a long distance relationship is worth the time and energy to make it work while you and your significant other are separated. Just because you’re moving, it doesn’t mean your feelings have changed. Though long distance relationships are notoriously tough, there are steps you can take to ensure that your relationship remains honest and communicative while apart.
First, set ground rules. Have a discussion before you leave school about what your expectations are for the relationship? How often will you visit each other? Can you afford it? Second, create a balanced visiting schedule. Visit your partner once or twice a month. If you’re visiting more than that, you could potentially make it difficult to develop a healthy social life at your job and her school. If you’re not going out much, you’re not exposing yourself to the situations that create a rich life at your job or her at her college. Next, be open and honest. Honesty is important because this is somebody you love and feel strongly about and you don’t want to hurt your partner. Hurting may mean holding on when you need to let go. Being honest doesn’t mean just saying if you kissed someone else. If you’ve started to have feelings for another person or things are changing, be honest about that. But try not to over share. It can be hurtful to be too honest. Lastly, stay calm and levelheaded. Don’t make assumptions when you aren’t together about why something’s happening. For example, if you don’t hear from the person you’re dating as often as you did before, that doesn’t mean that she is necessarily hooking up with someone else. Take the time to find out what’s wrong. That’s one of the big causes of relationship drama. Because you’re apart, it’s easy to make up stories in your head about why something is happening and that’s the kiss of death.
As important as this relationship is, realize that you’re entering a totally new world and it is complicated to reconcile the old and the new. Be honest with yourself, even if you love her think to yourself is this what I want? You’re not doing your partner any favors to stay with her because you feel guilty. Good luck in life and with your relationship. I hope my advice helps you.