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College Long-Distance Relationships: Are You Ready to Make the Commitment?

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As menial as the subject might sound to the relationally unattached, leaving behind a significant other in order to move on to college life is a real and sensitive issue. It boils down to choosing commitment and dedication. The question to ask yourself is: Are you able to emotionally and physically be faithful to a boyfriend or girlfriend for an undefined amount of time while away from each other?

Here is the problem I’ve found with many rookie college students: Their emotional appetite is bigger than what reality is dishing out. A college student must keep in mind the factors surrounding a long-distance relationship.

New environments, new people, new schedules, new interests are working against the home-town relationship. Pretty soon phone calls become less and less. The once healthy line of communication becomes frustrated and other people become more interesting. Faithfulness and the value of such is diminished. Soon the relationship fails, ending in heartbreak.

Are long-distance relationships doable? Of course. When true, sacrificial love is the foundation. Is this true for your relationship? How can you know?

I have read many articles on this subject and have found a common thread among all of them: trust, being the first and foremost thing to grasp. However, what is not mentioned in these articles is that trust is something that is earned and established, never assumed.

If John, for instance, goes away to college on the west coast and leaves behind Jane on the east coast, and they agree to continue their relationship, John has a responsibility to prove to Jane that he is trustworthy as well as Jane. They’re relationship has entered into a new chapter of trust; therefore, requiring new due diligence in establishing it.

So then, it comes down to how do you establish being trustworthy in a college setting away from your significant other?

1. Consistent and Timely Communication

Communicating is key in establishing trust; however, timely communication, honoring timeframes you have set for the phone call, etc., and never straying from routine validates your efforts.

The actuality in consistent communication via a phone call, etc., and no physical interaction is that the conversations will become mundane and frustrating. The dissatisfaction of not being with each other physically coupled with high emotions can lead to fights or conflicts.

It is best to be intentional in your conversations. Have a plan. Think of projects you can do individually such as reading the same book, seeing the same movie, etc., and then discuss.

2. Make Sacrifices

Making a choice to commit to a person knowing that you will not be able to physically interact with them is a sacrifice. However, in order to continue the relationship at a healthy pace in a long-distance circumstance, it requires a lot more sacrifice in order to reflect love and faithfulness.

Offering up a night out with friends to spend time on the phone with your significant other or planning visits, sending gifts or mementos are all things to consider.

It is important to find a balance between having a healthy social life and a healthy connection with your boyfriend or girlfriend.

Love is Tested

Consistent and timely communication and sacrifice are ways to show your highest efforts of establishing trust on a new level. The next step after putting these concepts into action is allowing love to be put to the test. The saying that “love suffers long” is true, but so many times college age students in their youth mistake euphoria with true love. Once the euphoria dies away, which it will, there is nothing left to win the battle. Suffering through the difficulties and temptations to end strong is a sign of true love and faithfulness, hence the platitude.

In spite of that, if you move on to college, you are making the choice to rise to the next stage in your life. To put frankly, relationships that cannot exist beyond what they are, short of marriage, are only holding you back. If committing wholeheartedly to your significant other is something that you cannot foresee yourself doing, make the decision to end the relationship.

These difficult transitions are the beginning of adult decision-making. Take this opportunity to be intentional about making decisions that would be wise and would be made with integrity. In the end, remember that your goal at college is success!

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