If you’re earning your degree with UAB Online, then you can live wherever your relationship takes you. However, if you and your partner are studying in separate cities, then you have to learn how to make it work.

Long distance relationships are extremely hard — everyone knows that. What everyone doesn’t know is what you need to do in order to make it work, and how you know whether or not they will work. There are specific ways that you need to behave and ways that you need to treat one another, and if you can’t manage that much, then the relationship is not worth the strife. Here are 5 tips for making a long distance relationship work in college.

  1. Plan Communications

Most long distance couples try to communicate often, which is very important. However, what’s even more important is that you know when to expect communication. It’s nice to get the spontaneous call or “I love you” text here and there, but most of your communication should be planned. This way you can always be present for one another and work your daily schedule around your time to connect.

  1. Respect Each Other’s Boundaries

In a long distance relationship there are all kinds of ground rules that you need to set. If you don’t mind your partner kissing other people but your partner doesn’t want you to kiss anyone else, then you need to respect that boundary. If your partner doesn’t want any calls after 10pm, then you need to respect that boundary. If there are any boundaries that you or your partner cannot respect, then you need to rethink your relationship in a very serious way.

  1. Share Travel Responsibilities

Most people get to see each other from time to time when they are long distance. Whether it’s every other weekend, once a month, or strictly over the holidays, you need to make sure you alternate with who hosts and who travels. This way, you both get to be invited into one another’s space, and you both get to share the burden and expense of traveling. It is always nice for your friends to meet your partner and for you to meet all of your partner’s friends.

  1. Maintain Trust

The only way that your relationship can stay alive, no matter how near or far is if you maintain trust. You not only need to remain a trustworthy person, but you need to trust your partner. If for any reason you or your partner starts to doubt each other’s honesty, then you need to talk about it from a calm and loving place. You might not be able to make the relationship work if one or both of you cannot respect boundaries or keep promises.

  1. Be a Source of Positivity

One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind is that at the end of the day you should feel fortunate enough to have one another in whatever way that you can. Just having someone you love and trust to call at the end of the day is worth its weight in gold, and if you don’t constantly maintain a feeling of positivity when you think about each other or talk to one another, then you’re not suited for a long distance relationship.