7 Ways to Survive a Long-Distance Relationship in College

When you’ve had the most magical high school relationship or summer fling, the idea of separating to attend your respective colleges can feel grim. What if one of you meets someone new on campus? Or worse—what if you go strong until Thanksgiving only to become one of the many couples who part ways during their first school break?!

While any relationship could end abruptly this fall, give yours the best shot with these seven ways to make your LDR suck less:

1. Talk about your relationship boundaries before you leave each other.

Although you may want to spend the remainder of your summer having fun and savoring your time together, it’s smart to talk about the difficult things before they creep up on you both.

“[It’s] a great opportunity to openly and comfortably talk about the new rules you may want to establish,” says Dr. Mariana Bockarova, Ph.D., who teaches relationship psychology at the University of Toronto, of parting ways for college. She sees this crossroads as a growth opportunity for young couples.

Some guidelines may be explicit—i.e., cheating is unacceptable—while others—i.e., how often it’s cool to text each other—may need to be ironed out, she says.

Dr. Bockarova also recommends discussing how often you’d like to call or visit each other, and clarifying any blurry boundaries, like what, in your opinion, constitutes cheating. Otherwise, she says, you risk hurting each others’ feelings.

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