Relationships Series: Long Distance

Welp, my boyfriend fell asleep on me again. I know he’s tired after a long day of work, and he’s a teacher so I can only imagine how exhausting that is! I am not mad at him, I just wish I could be asleep next to him rather than on the other side of the phone listening to him snore. I wish I could say that this is uncommon, but it happens quite a bit. He just told me today how much he hates falling asleep on me. With the stress I feel here and all he has to do there I am surprised we don’t get into daily fights! We don’t fight at all actually, but that’s just because he’s super awesome. My last relationship was also long distance while I was here at Cornell, and that was awful. We fought a lot, and I could tell the trust issues were getting the best of us. These two relationships were very different, the guys are very different, and I felt very different being in one relationship compared to the other.

This is the guide for relationships in college, and I am going to start off with long distance relationships. Mostly all college students have experienced them whether as freshmen leaving significant others back home to come to Cornell, as a transfer with a significant other at your old school, or an upperclassmen who has met someone special at an internship or visit to another city or school. Sometimes it’s a weird mix of a few of these things. Now I’m definitely not an expert on relationships, but I will share my experiences. I’m going to start off with a few of my personal scenarios and then get into the dos and don’ts of long distance relationships in college.

Scenario #1: I was a freshman and my boyfriend was a senior. We both were here at Cornell. He graduated and moved back home to Alabama. I live in Connecticut and never even pass through Alabama. I guess you can see the issue here. We tried for almost 2 years after he graduated and it just wasn’t working. Very hard decisions were made. I didn’t get over it for like 2 years and now I look back at it and want to smack myself for being so heart broken.

Scenario #2: Junior year I lived with my best friends off-campus and I had a boyfriend at home in Connecticut. I got to see him a good amount because I went home for breaks. He was kind of insecure about our relationship and felt I had so many options here that he didn’t even trust me to walk outside. For anyone who knows me I am super independent and I would normally never stand for this, but for some reason I stayed in this relationship for almost 2 years (started before junior year). I finally had the courage to end it and it is, to date, my proudest moment. It really was a game changer for me. I didn’t like who I was in that relationship.

Scenario #3: Now. The present. I am here at Cornell, my home is in Connecticut, and my boyfriend is in Ohio. I met him while I was working at an internship over last summer. He is the most wonderful person I have ever met and I have no problems with this relationship. I love who I am in this relationship and I can appreciate the trajectory I can foresee with him. I already planned on moving to Cleveland when I graduate and I will be there this summer doing another internship, so it seems to be working out pretty well.

Now for my dos and don’ts on how to make long distance relationships work for you in college:


  • Work on communication. Talk to your S.O. every day in different ways (pick up the phone, don’t always just text!) Learn how to be vulnerable and share things you’d rather just keep to yourself. Make your partner feel involved in your life here. Communication really is the key, as cliche as it may sound. If you cannot hold a conversation with your S.O. then get rid of him/her! Seriously…
  • Listen. Don’t just dump your day’s worth of woes on your partner. Make sure you listen to what excited him/her throughout the day. Ask questions!!!
  • Exercise common interests. Do you and your S.O. love to watch the same show? Make a thing out of it! Get snacks, cozy up, and watch the show while on the phone together! All of your gasps and “Noooooooooooooo!” comments will be heard just like old times.


  • Ignore texts/calls. If you’re out having fun with your friends, let your S.O. know and check in with him/her to let you know you miss them and wish he/she was there. If your S.O. continues to hound you or shows signs of disrespect, dump him/her!!!
  • Play the blame game. Forget who was at fault and talk about how you felt instead. Do not go to bed angry and just fix it! If your pride has to take a hit to smooth things over then so be it. You’ll get over it. If you are constantly the one saying sorry and letting your S.O. get away with crap they shouldn’t be getting away with… DUMP IMMEDIATELY.
  • Put their problems in a hierarchy with your problems. Yes, your S.O. may not go to Cornell and he/she may not truly understand what you’re going through, but that gives you no right to belittle his/her problems. Your partner’s problems really are problems in his/her eyes, so treat them that way. Be sensitive. Be compassionate. Be genuine.

And that concludes the long distance part. Next in the series will be about having a partner on campus. If you have any questions or just want to share your stories I would love to read them!!!

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