Overcoming Struggles in a Long Distance Relationship

My boyfriend and I are both rather shy, busy and indecisive people. The combination of these factors meant that unfortunately we began dating with only two months left of our final year of high school. Initially, I agreed to go out with him on the condition that we separated before I headed off to university. I didn’t want to do long distance. I had never been good at keeping in contact with people and I didn’t want to ruin the great relationship I already had. While initially we agreed on this, the date began to draw closer and my boyfriend began to make it clear to me that he wanted to keep our relationship. And, despite my worries and fears, I did too.

It hasn’t been easy. In fact there has been a couple of times where I have seriously considered breaking up. But we are still together and going strong. I’m writing this post to prove today that it is possible, but you have to be prepared to put in the time and the effort.

Here is what you need to do to maintain a long distance relationship.

Read on for my tips to make your LDR work
LDR’s are difficult! Heres my experiences and how I’ve learnt to make my relationship work.

Make Time For Communication

Communication is really important. Seriously. Of course the frequency of your communication depends on how busy you both are. You have to make time for it though. When I first moved to university I was super busy, getting to know everyone and enjoying my new freedom away from home. I admit that in that first week I neglected our communication quite a bit. However, previous to that I had been spending all day at home, waiting for my boyfriend’s occasional texts that he sent from work. So of course I was never going to respond with that frequency now. It was a change we both had to learn to accept.

How to do it

A lack of communication can lead to break ups. The other person will feel so far away and unreachable. So you have to make time for it. My boyfriend and I find that texting as often as we can throughout the day is the easiest way to keep in contact. However it is important that if you go this route then you tell your partner if you are going to be absent for a few hours so they understand. We also try and call at nights as often as we can, often on the phone for several hours.  I cannot stress how important communication is in a relationship. Work out what works best for your relationship but NEVER go a full day without some form of communication unless it is unavoidable and if so tell the other person in advance.

Stuck for an activity idea? Watch a movie and text
Technology is a great way to keep your relationship strong

 

Talk About Your Feelings

This was something I really needed to work on in our relationship. I like to come across as tough. If something is bothering me, I will just bury my feelings. We all know this is super unhealthy. Especially in a relationship. Your partner isn’t there beside you. They don’t know that you are upset unless you tell them. If they have done something you are not happy about, they cannot apologise or talk it over with you if they don’t know about it. There was one day that I was a little sad. I had gotten up early so that I could talk to my boyfriend on the phone, but he didn’t call for over an hour. When he finally did I was pretty unhappy. Initially, I tried to hide it. In the end I just told him and we could talk about it. We both promised to be more accommodating in the future.

How to do it

Whenever you are unhappy, no matter what it is, you have to tell your partner. Especially if it is evident in your texts or phone calls. If your partner has done something you don’t like, tell them! It is likely that they will not have realised, and this gives you the opportunity to discuss it together and reach a mutual understanding. Regardless of who or what caused it, telling your partner how you are feeling is a great way to grow closer together. I always feel so relieved after these sorts of conversations because I feel like my partner trusts me enough to confide in me, and we can approach this problem like a team. I promise you are not a burden to them! They want to know.

Always Be Honest

When you are not with your partner daily, they do not know what is going on in your life. So it can be easy to avoid telling them about areas that aren’t easy to discuss. An example of this occurred near the beginning of my time in university. I was out late with some friends and I started talking to another guy since we were the only two sober people there. I was tired and asked him to walk me back to my hall. A few days later he began texting me. He was friendly, so I didn’t want to be rude and ask him to stop, and in the short time that we were texting we only discussed casual university stuff. However, I still felt guilty, especially as I could tell the guy liked me so I stopped our conversation. I wasn’t sure what to tell my boyfriend. I didn’t want him to worry because nothing had, or would happen. In the end I just told him everything, showed him our texts and promised nothing had happened. I felt so much better afterwards and I feel like he trusts me more now.

How to do it

If you ever feel slightly guilty or uneasy about anything that has happened, then just tell your partner. Explain what happened thoroughly and answer any questions they might have. While it is really important that you never cheat or do anything to betray your partner’s trust, there are grey areas sometimes when nothing happened but you still don’t feel happy. When that happens just talk to them! Trust is key here. If your partner ever tells you anything, you must believe them and trust in their account unless you have good reason not to. And if you aren’t happy with their actions or their story, talk to them! Jealousy can break up relationships if you let it.

Find Ways To Connect

There are so many LDR resources out there for “date nights” and activities to try. My partner and I haven’t actually used any of these yet, however this is something I really want to do. It allows you and your partner to make memories and have fun together even though you might be hours away. Another way to form connections is  to constantly be searching for ways to meet up. If my boyfriend is going to be in my city for a couple of hours, of course I am going to go see him. Then during my holidays, I am going home, no matter what. It is important to make memories together because when you are alone and they are far away it is all you have.

How to do it

Check out LDR resources online for activities you and your partner can do together. Some common ones include 20 Questions or watching the same movie at the same time. Try to regularly have a date night where you call or video chat and have some fun together. The most exciting part of any Long Distance Relationship is when you finally get together again so you should constantly be searching for ways to make it happen. Be on the look out for cheap transport options or days off where you can see each other again. Mark it on a calendar and look forward to it! The most exciting part of a LDR relationship is when you can finally see your partner again!

Read on for my tips to make your LDR work
Click to Pin and refer to when you are struggling.

Good luck to all of you in a LDR relationship. I would love to connect with you all. Maybe you could comment down below and we could discuss other challenges that we have or ways to make everything easier. It definitely can be tough sometimes. For all those who are considering an LDR, I won’t pretend it is easy, and I won’t promise that you will succeed. But if you are committed enough and you follow the above rules, then you’ll be fine.

Cheers Alura xx

Why I chose a Uni 17 hours from home

5 Things to Consider When Choosing A Uni

Growing up in my small city, it was always expected that we would attend nearby university or the local institute of technology. There were two major universities near my home town. One was two hours away, the other was eight. The vast majority of students from my home town went to one of those, or stayed at home to study or work. To the disappointment of my parents, I picked a uni seventeen hours from my home city. Here’s why I did it.

Why I didn't choose the university closest to home

1. I loved the city

Now don’t get me wrong, Wellington is not the only city I like in New Zealand. But it is one that has made an impression on me ever since I first visited with my family. I love the culture and identity of Wellington.

what to consider

When you pick a city to study in, it is imperative that you choose one that you like. You will be spending the next few years in this city, and it will provide many memories for you. You will be spending a lot of time in the bars, parks, cafes, shops and whatever else the city has to offer. It is important that the city has locations that you can enjoy spending time at. Of course you will not know of those places beforehand, but you must see the potential in a city to become your home.

2. It fitted my degree well

I am studying Political Science and Anthropology. Politics and Culture. What better place to learn these subjects first hand than the capital of New Zealand where I could see this in action everyday. Not only would this city give me real life experiences to compliment my degree, but it also increased my chances of getting a job after my study. Now as every student knows, that is important!

what to consider

While there may not be a particular city that better suits your degree, it is important to look at how well your university is ranked for your degree as well as for future job prospects. When tossing up between universities, this is an important factor you need to consider because while it might not make or break your career, it could certainly make it easier or harder for you to pursue your career.

3. I liked the identity of my Uni

Here’s one thing you’ll learn about me, I’m an introvert. On a Friday evening I am happy to stay at home reading a book than to go out partying. And when I do go out, cause I do like to occasionally, I like to be in a controlled environment where I feel safe and where nothing particularly crazy is happening. I don’t mind other people drinking, I don’t mind loud music or couples getting physical. But the moment there’s a crazy fight or hundreds of people show up or everyone is completely wasted, then I feel uncomfortable and want to get out of there. The university near my home town was infamous for being a party university, and that was not the sort of culture I wanted to get involved in. Victoria, while I’m sure has crazy parties as much as any city, did not have that reputation. And I liked what I had heard and seen about Victoria Uni, both from their advertising and when speaking to other people.

what to consider

When picking your university, you want to pick somewhere that is a good fit for you. Of course it is possible for any student to survive and even thrive at any university, but do take the reputation of your potential university into consideration when making your choice, especially if you really don’t like the one the university has. However it pays to speak to students who go there to understand how good/bad the Uni actually is because it could be much exaggerated.

4. It was a long way from home

This may sound crazy for a lot of you, but one of the reasons I chose Wellington was because it was a long way from home. I love my family, I love the friends I have at home, and I do love my home town. But I wanted to escape. I wanted to move away where I had to force myself to branch out in a city where I knew only a couple of people. This was also the chance for me to develop my identity, to move away from the person I had been in high school. This is not for one minute to say I did not like that person. I am proud of who I was then, but that is not the same person I want to be now. Plus there was a small part of me that didn’t want to stay too near my home town. I’d receive frequent requests to go home, which was not what I wanted in my university experience.

what to consider

Are you someone that craves home comforts and family time? Or do you prefer to flee the nest and travel? If you will want to return home often, you will have to pick a university near home. But if don’t mind going months without seeing your family, then feel free to look further afield. One note of caution. In the beginning I planned to move away and seldom return. But this was before I got a boyfriend. As a result I am committing to a long distance relationship where we will seldom see each other. Would I have chosen a university closer to home if I had become involved with him earlier? Not sure. It is thinking about anything that might make you regret your decision.

5. I did it for me

I had been tossing up between the nearby uni and Wellington for some time. In the end I asked myself why I wanted to go to a closer university. The honest answer was that it would please my family. This was not good enough for me. Of course I love my family, but this is my life and I was not going to settle for my second choice to please my family. Furthermore, I am looking at a career which will involve lots of travel. If I wasn’t willing to do it while I was studying then when?

what to consider

Where do you really want to go? Where is the best place for you? Make it happen!

Why I didn't choose the uni closest to home

 

Good luck with your studies guys.

Cheers, Alura xx