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Gupta ’25: Going the (long) distance: Navigating relationships apart

As students begin to embark on the journey of love, many might find themselves wrestling with the challenges of a long-distance relationship. Perhaps your partner is studying abroad or post-graduation plans take them to a different corner of the country. No matter the circumstance, long-distance is a daunting task that requires thoughtful navigation. This week’s column offers guidance on maintaining a healthy, thriving relationship despite the miles that may separate you and your partner.

The pre-departure rendezvous

Before your partner jets off to their new home for their semester abroad or post-graduation plans, have a pre-departure rendezvous. Maybe it’s a private romantic dinner filled with laughter, shared memories and perhaps a tear or two (it’s good to be honest about how you feel; this isn’t going to be easy!). Maybe it’s a big blow-out party with all of your friends and favorite foods. No matter what suits your relationship, keep in mind that this isn’t a goodbye forever; it’s a “see you later.” Leave them with a token of your love, perhaps a letter or a trinket, to remind each other of your commitment to one another during difficult times.

Communication is key


In any relationship, communication is the cornerstone of a sustainable and healthy connection. In long-distance relationships, this becomes even more crucial. Technology, while no replacement for in-person, face-to-face time together, is a valuable instrument that can help bridge the physical gap. Leverage voice messages and texts to keep each other updated about your lives. Ensure that you’re not just sharing the details of your day but also maintaining an emotional connection that transcends physical distance. Maybe try turning a FaceTime call into a virtual date: cook the same dinner, play a virtual board game or form a mini book club. And don’t underestimate the charm of receiving a handwritten letter or care package; gifts can be a great way to express your love. Establishing a routine for communication can help both partners feel more connected and provide reassurance that you’re actively engaged in each other’s lives. 

Setting expectations

Long-distance relationships require clear expectations and shared goals. Before your time apart begins, have an honest conversation about your expectations regarding communication frequency, visits and the overall trajectory of the relationship. Establishing a shared vision can provide clarity and prevent confusion in the future. Knowing that both partners are committed to making the relationship work can be a powerful motivator.

Planning visits

While it may not always be possible due to academic or financial constraints, planned visits are a unique aspect of long-distance relationships. Unlike the impromptu encounters that are common on a college campus, these visits become cherished milestones. Having a future date to look forward to can provide a sense of excitement and anticipation. These visits allow you to create shared memories and experiences, reinforcing your bond and offering a break from the challenges of distance.

Solo adventures

Being physically apart from your partner doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold. Embrace the independence that comes with being in different locations. Sitting around waiting for your reunion is not productive for yourself or the health of your relationship. Instead, use the time to focus on personal growth, pursue individual interests and strengthen your sense of self. Encourage your partner to do the same. Trust one another and be honest about your experiences and emotions while apart. 

Building a support system

Long-distance relationships can be emotionally taxing, and having a support system can make a significant difference. Cultivate strong friendships to ensure that you have a network to rely on. Being surrounded by friends who can provide emotional support may help fill the void that physical distance creates. We can sometimes get tunnel vision in a relationship and forget the importance of our friendships. This is a great time to change that. Invest in your platonic connections, because they can be just as rewarding as your romantic ones. 

In conclusion


While the challenges of a long-distance relationship during college or after graduation may seem overwhelming, they are not insurmountable. With effective communication, trust and a shared vision for the future, couples can not only survive but also thrive long-distance. Remember that distance is just a physical obstacle, and the emotional connection you build can withstand that. Stay committed, stay positive and most importantly, stay connected.

If you have questions about sex or relationships that could be discussed in a future column, please submit questions to an anonymous form at Anusha Gupta ’25 can be reached at Please send responses to this opinion to and other op-eds to

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