Ask Becca: Oct. 20, 2016

*Sending advice your way to deal with your dates, deadlines, and dorm mates every week*

Dear Becca,

My high school boyfriend and I decided to stay together despite going to different schools far away, and I am struggling now that a couple months have gone by. Do you have any good advice for me?

Sincerely,
Distance Doesn’t Make The Heart Grow Fonder

Dear Distance Doesn’t Make The Heart Grow Fonder,

I empathize with you. Relationships aren’t easy for people that are in the same area, let alone those who live apart.

First and foremost, make sure you trust each other. If you spend any of your time questioning what he is telling you, then you should also consider if the relationship is worth it. Don’t torture yourself.

Secondly, make a set time to talk to one another. Do you both find that you can set aside some time on Fridays? Good, do so. In college, our days go by fast, and you don’t want to wake up one day and find that you haven’t talked in weeks. I also suggest doing video chat such as Skype if you can. It’s not a perfect substitute for seeing each other in person, but seeing his face on screen will still help.

Third, if you can plan any trips to see each other, do so. This might not be easy for many reasons, but at least approach the subject. Seeing him in person would be too amazing not to try.

Sierra Tishgart in her article “Ten Tips for Maintaining a Long-Distance College Relationship,” gives some tips on this topic as well.

Tishgart quotes Jen Kirsch, a freelance relationship columnist, “Prioritize schoolwork. ‘Check in with yourself and see what your comfort level is,’ says Kirsch. ‘If you plan a visit on a specific date and you get a big assignment that you don’t think you can handle, be clear with your partner.’”

It can be very tempting to put your relationship above your schoolwork, but there needs to be a good balance between the two. Always remember why you are here. Regardless of how your education is paid for, you are putting in all this work to carve out a good future for yourself. Take care of your relationship, but also make sure that you take care of you. Protect your future.

Tishgart quotes Kirsch again, “Share your college experience with your partner. ‘A great way to strengthen your bond while you’ re separated is to send photos of your new life,’ says Kirsch. ‘These could be pictures of you and your college roommate, or your college campus.’”

You won’t always have time for a lengthy conversation, so find different ways to connect, such as with photos like Kirsch suggests.

You could also take a video of an event important to you, and watch it together over the internet to share the experience.

Sending them something through the mail is something else you can do to keep your connection.

How about a hand-written letter? Who wouldn’t enjoy getting something so personal, knowing that you made the effort for them?

Maybe you can get him a piece of ESU memorabilia that you know will make him think of you every time he uses it.

For other tips from Sierra Tishgart, visit www.teenvogue.com to read her article “Ten Tips for Maintaining a Long-Distance College Relationship.”

Good luck! I hope your relationship turns out the way you want it to.

Email Becca at:
rrue@live.esu.edu

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