Maintaining Long-Distance Relationships

As exciting as a study-abroad trip can be, many students often have reservations about leaving their friends and family behind for months at a time. This is especially true for students who are in committed relationships and will be missing their significant other on both an emotional and physical level. When you are so used to being around them all the time and talking to them on the phone late into the night, it will definitely be a huge adjustment when you move halfway around the world. However, this doesn’t meant that long-distance relationships cannot succeed, even if it is your first time dealing with such a relationship.

The first thing to remember is that this is only a temporary arrangement. Like any other long-distance relationship, there is always the assumption that at some point the two of you will be reunited once again. And luckily for you, the length of time for a study-abroad trip pales in comparison to couples who are separated due to military service or some other unforeseen circumstance. So rather than look at the situation as one that is absolutely unbearable, put the timeframe into context and realize that you can make it through the few months of being apart.

Having said that, keep in mind that the separation will undoubtedly be a struggle for both you and your partner. With many of your classmates going out every night to engage in hook ups or dates, there may be a temptation for you to do the same. However, you need to do whatever it takes to avoid such impulses. This means finding ways to stay faithful to your partner. To combat the inability to get physically intimate with your partner, masturbate as often as you need to in order to fulfill your urges. If you are like me and had a particularly large sexual void to fill, you could even bring some sex toys along with you for the journey, as unconventional as that may sound. I would be lying if I said that having those toys with me during my six months in Paris was a mistake, because the truth of the matter is that those toys kept me sane while I was away from my boyfriend all that time.

From an emotional side, make sure to take the time to communicate with each other through whatever means are available. You definitely don’t need to do anything sappy like writing handheld letters to one another (unless you want to, which I guess could be a romantic gesture). Given where technology is at today, you can easily message them on Facebook or other websites to communicate with them instantly. Every once and a while you could even make a long-distance call with one another so that you don’t forget what each other’s voice sounds like.

However, I will say that as much as you may feel like messaging or talking to your significant other on a daily basis is a good thing, there is a chance that doing so that often puts a strain on the relationship. This is because instead of going out and exploring the city and immersing yourself in the culture, you will be spending a big chunk of your time just communicating to your significant other instead. If you would rather spend less time staying in touch and more time exploring the city, make sure you communicate that with your partner so that they understand where you are coming from. We aren’t saying cut off communication completely, but rather to manage how often you communicate so that you balance staying in touch with you maximizing your exploration of your new city. As hard as that may seem at first, this will be the very best for both your short-term journey abroad as well as for your relationship long-term!