Long-Distance Relationships in College

Long-Distance Relationships in College

Many young couples get separated because they need to go to college in different places. That’s how they start their long-distance relationship.

Many young couples start their long-distance relationships because of college. Long-distance relationships can be challenging. And going to college means meeting new people going to parties making friends and possibly having relationships. Having a long-distance relationship while in college can keep you from exploring this new and exciting world.

Teenagers and people in their early 20s can find themselves in a long-distance relationship when they go to college university there is far away from their home. Colleges and universities are places full of opportunities to meet new people and socialise. For younger people, it’s also an opportunity to explore themselves and grow as individuals.

To grow as a person you need to say yes to some things and know to others. If you have an opportunity to mix with different people from different cultures, it opens your eyes to different norms, values, and beliefs.

In a long-distance relationship, you have to restrain yourself from experiencing new things and embracing these opportunities. After some time your relationship will feel like a burden. You’re not going to be happy about having to hold yourself back all the time. You will find yourself being constantly torn between spending time with your partner who is in there and this new world of new experiences right in front of you.

Is it possible to have a long-distance relationship in college?

While it’s possible to have a long-distance relationship in college or university, it may not be the best thing to do. Being in college and university is something you experience probably once in your lifetime. 

It’s a really fun and exciting experience. You share your living space with others who can become your friends for life. You are surrounded by people on your course Who have the same interests as you and do the same things. And of course, there are many club parties and house parties that are hard to get away from, even if you try.

In the long-distance relationship, you will have to prioritise spending time with your partner or going out with friends. You may try to balance all things but it’s not going to be fulfilling, nor is it going to be easy.

And of course, there is a very strong emotional aspect of being in a long-distance relationship while in college. On one side if you go to college you will be torn between doing all the things we mentioned above and staying home and video calling your partner who is miles away.

On the other side there is your partner who isn’t having as much fun, doesn’t have so many temptations in opportunities, but who is more likely feeling alone, waiting for your call. They may end up feeling jealous and you may feel guilty.

If you are going to different colleges at the same time, it’s even more unlikely you’ll find the time to talk to each other often.

Long-distance relationships in college are not only hard, but they may also be unhealthy and unnecessary.

So yes, it’s possible to have a long-distance relationship in college, but is it worth it and is it for you?

Is a long-distance relationship in college worth it?

A short answer is no. If you’re going to college or university you should embrace and explore everything it has to offer. And if it’s your partner who goes to college or university then you should let them do it out of love for them.

But of course, you and your partner should decide together whether or not it’s worth doing a long-distance relationship. The best thing you can do is have a sit-down, and talk about it. Consider all the pros and cons of staying together or ending your relationship.

Do long-distance relationships in college work?

Many couples who aren’t sure what college and university life is like, decide to stay together and maintain their relationship long-distance. What tends to happen, is that they discover that it’s not working for them and break up after a few months.

If you do it this way, you probably have to go through some fights, arguments, and disagreements. Once you are in the long-distance relationship, the separation starts to take its toll. The tension and pressure don’t come overnight. It grows little by little gradually making your relations more and more toxic.

The advantage of talking about its long-distance relationship before you go to college is that you can have an understanding between the two of you and can still remain friends. Staying friends after all the emotional turbulence would be a lot harder.

Do long-distance relationships last in college?

Long-distance relationships can last in college or university for a few months. If you were in the relationship for a while before the college begins, you might want to stay together. You may hope that you can maintain your long-distance relationship for a few years because you love each other. You became attached, and that makes it harder to let go of your relationship.

In reality, the person who goes to college university is going to experience firsthand what freshman year is all about. And what it’s about, is a lot of partying with a bit of studying, at least in the first year of college.

It’s a very busy and exciting life. Next to this excitement, relationship with the person who isn’t even there will seem boring to say the least.

Some couples, particularly older ones, tend to show a bit more commitment which makes them stay together for a bit longer. Others realise what college life is all about and break it off soon after going to college.

Having a long-distance relationship in college

Having a long-distance relationship in college or university as a young person is different from having a long-distance relationship when you’re an adult in a serious long term committed relationship.

If you are in a serious long-term relationship or even married long-distance relationships can be a challenging experience. If you are a teenager or in your early 20s, the excitement and the opportunities of being in college or university can make it even harder for you to remain in a long-distance relationship for a long time.

Either way, having a long-distance relationship with a romantic partner for a long time doesn’t work. A romantic relationship involves physical intimacy. In the long-distance relationship physical closeness is reserved only for when you visit each other.

If you are an adult and you’ve experienced life and had many relationships, meeting new people can be fun, but probably nothing too revolutionary. If you’re a teenager having all these new experiences, your long-distance relationship will be more of a drag.

Open long-distance relationship in college

Open relationships sound like fun, but in reality, they require even more understanding and even better communication for them to be healthy. And open long-distance relationship and college is something you should consider with your partner. It’s a way for you to stay together while still seeing other people.

The biggest problem with that is when you start seeing other people you may like them better and enjoy spending time with them more than on the phone with someone who isn’t even there.

So as an idea, and open a long-distance relationship and college is worth considering. But in practice, you should be prepared to let it go as soon as possible if it doesn’t work.

Long-distance relationship after college

You could meet someone you fall in love with while in college or university. You might be in different years and one of you will finish earlier. If you decide to stay together you will need to have a long-distance relationship for a year, or maybe more. 

Having a long-distance relationship after college is different from having one when you are starting college. After the first year of college, you’re likely to have relaxed a little with all the partying and socialising. It doesn’t stop until you finish your course, but it’s not as intense as in the freshman year. 

There are three main problems with having a long-distance relationship after college:

  1. The first problem is financial. The person who has graduated can start working and earning money. At the same time, the person who is still studying is likely to be on the budget. This financial imbalance means that the person who is working will probably have to visit the person in college more often than the other way round. This financial imbalance can also cause many other problems.
  2. The second problem is the commitment to the course. If you are halfway through the course or in your final year, your studies become harder and require more commitment in terms of time and effort. This means you won’t be able to talk to your partner as much. It can also be emotionally challenging to focus on your studies and preparations for your exams while having the emotional space for your relationship at the same time.
  3. The last challenge you will face as a couple is to find jobs in the same area after both of you finish your studies. After college or university, job opportunity becomes your priority. And you may face a choice between taking a good job opportunity, being with your partner or continue with a long-distance relationship. You can learn more about having a long-distance relationship in other articles.

Long-distance college relationship break up

Breakups tend to be hard anyway. Long-distance relationships breakups can be even harder. In a regular relationship, you can talk to each other face-to-face discuss what is working or not, and together decide to break up. In the long-distance relationship problems grow slowly and it’s harder to talk about them online.

But if your long-distance relationship isn’t working and there is no way to fix it then it could be time to break up.

Long-distance relationships in college break up for several reasons. Ideally, you would talk about their problems as they arise and try to fix them. But more often than not little things gradually become bigger problems. And resolve issues lead to negative emotions and you may find yourself deep in a toxic relationship.

You may have even hooked up with other people and now feeling guilty about it. Knowing how to break up a long-distance relationship can help you come out of this toxic relationship and move on.

Whenever you find yourself in the relationship that’s not working, this is when you have to act on it. Continuing the relationship with doubt, guilt and jealousy are in the way forward.

Here are some steps you could take to break up a long-distance relationship in college:

  1. Write down how you feel and what isn’t working.
  2. Find a way to express it to your partner without bringing them into the picture. Lots of “me” and less of “you”.
  3. take the time to listen to your partner and how they are feeling and what they are thinking.
  4. Take some time apart for a day or 2 to give both of you a chance to process this information.
  5. Talk to each other again and hear each other out, and find a way forward that works for both of you.

Breaking up isn’t about letting go, drawing the line, and moving on. Break up is the final step in the relationship, but it is still a relationship.

That was the reason why you got together and create a relationship with each other. So, if you decide to end your relationship, try to do it with just as much love and respect towards yourself and each other as when you started it.

It can take a while to process all the emotions, so give it time. You might find that when you think it’s over there are still ways you can fix something that’s not working. Or you may decide to break up temporarily. You may also decide to stop having a romantic relationship and remain friends.

The bottom line is whatever you decide to do you have to decide together.


The older you are, the more experience you’ve had, so you know better what you want and what you don’t.

Long-distance relationship as a teenager can be hard and unnecessary. It’s your time to explore the world, meet new people and do different things. Long-distance relationship sometimes looks like being stuck at home with a laptop, trying to have a relationship with someone who isn’t even there. And while you do that, the real world goes by around you.

If you are in a serious relationship and you are in your 20’s+, you may try to keep it long-distance to see if it works.

While you can make it work practically, being apart may give you a different perspective on your relationship.

When you are in college or university you meet a lot of different people. So there’s a good chance you might find someone else that you get on with even better than with your current partner. If that’s the case, it won’t be healthy for you to keep restraining yourself from something you feel like doing. It won’t be good for your partner either, being with someone who wants to be with someone else. And it’s most definitely not good for your relationship.

Having a long-distance relationship in college can get in the way of you growing as a person. You need to experience new places and people to grow and develop. You need to say YES to some things and NO to others. That’s how you grow as a person and develop your personality and self. It’s also how you learn about your boundaries.

If you meet someone special during your studies, you may find yourself in a long-distance relationship after college. It has different challenges to having a long-distance relationship when going to college or university. But if both of you have enough patience and understanding, you can pull through a year or two, build a healthy relationship, and live happily ever after.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I have a long-distance relationship in college?

The short answer is no. College and university is the place to meet new people and have new experiences. Being in a long-distance relationship can hold you back. Learn more

Should I start a long-distance relationship in college?

College and university our place is full of like-minded people. Starting a long-distance relationship in college seems counter-productive when you have so many people you can have a relationship with for real. You could meet someone in college and then try a long-distance relationship with them when you complete your studies. Just make a plan for when and how you will get back together. Learn more

Is long-distance worth it in college?

A college is a place full of new experiences and opportunities. If you can balance your relationship while embracing everything college has to offer them a long-distance relationship in college can work for you. Learn more

Why long-distance relationships in college don’t work?

You can try to make your long-distance relationship work in college but it can be unhealthy and unnecessary. Of course, it depends on your situation and what you expect from having a long-distance relationship in college. Learn more

How do you make a long-distance relationship work after college?

To make a long-distance relationship work after college you should consider the problems we discuss in this article. If you love each other enough and have the patience to go through the hoops, you can make a plan and find your way back together after college or university. Learn more

Alex Larryngton

Hi, I’m Alex:) As a Relationship Coach, I am someone you come to when you feel stuck in a relationship and want to find a way out.

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