Relationships: What’s it really like to have a boyfriend at university?

Photo by Francisco Osorio

Photo by Francisco Osorio

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d avoid the cheesy posts and instead offer some advice for young couples who are facing decisions over continuing a relationship at university. When I first received my acceptance letters, took those dreaded exams and realised I had got the results I wanted and needed to move on to the university life I had been dreaming about for the past two years of hard slog throughout A-levels. Everyone had been worried – my parents thought I wasn’t spending enough time on my work and revision because of my boyfriend and my friends were worried he would lead me astray. But I sure showed them when I got that A and three B’s – more than I needed to go to the University of Hertfordshire.

Again, my parents were worried about UoH being my first choice because it asked for a lot less UCAS points than I was predicted, even less than I received. I had chosen it based on the course content, the number of live researchers who would be my lecturers, the beautiful campus and accommodation, and of course the great feeling I had when looking around. I’ve always been one for going with my gut when decision-making, and from the second I walked on to the campus and looked around, I just knew this was the university for me. I refused to compromise this for courses that didn’t cover what I wanted to study and for accommodation that looked like a prison, and it worked well because I left with a 2.1 BA Hons in English Literature and Language and Communication.

Photo by Oleh Slobodeniuk

Photo by Oleh Slobodeniuk

But enough about all of that – this post is focusing on the fact that throughout all of my time at university, I stayed with my boyfriend while he lived and worked back at home. I have spoken to several girls since who were just heading off to university and just didn’t know how they would cope with having a boyfriend back at home while they studied – they didn’t know what it would be like. Just as I was asked for advice back then, I will give it again now.

University will test your relationship, probably beyond anything before this time. You will be madly in love with your boyfriend before you go and often can’t bear the thought of breaking up, but at the same time are ready for a whole new adventure – it’s a confusing time for many. For me, it was simple. I loved my boyfriend and wanted to stay with him regardless – I didn’t see why university would get in the way of that. Of course, distance plays a big part in this and I had chosen a university that was just two hours drive from my home town (not chosen because of boyfriend, just coincidence). But if you really want to make it work, it won’t matter the distance.

Becoming an independent woman:

You need to remember that you will be experiencing a whole new world of living away, new-found independence and freedom, making new friends, discovering new passions, keeping up with your course and lots and lots of partying. Your new schedule may not have space for boyfriend time at first with all of the nights out and busy days associated with Fresher’s Week (ours turned into a month). So you have to remember that your other half might find it a bit difficult at first – not only are you off having a new adventure without him, but you suddenly might not have much time for them. It is important to make the effort to keep them updated and make them feel a part of it as well, you wouldn’t like it if they disappeared off to get drunk with strangers for two weeks without speaking to you.

Photo by Elizabeth K

Photo by Elizabeth K

Time-management is the key

A lot of this first month of university (and the rest) is spent getting pretty drunk and the lectures often take up a lot less of your time with more work expected in your own time – often this time is spent in bed, hungover and watching rubbish TV. I know there is a lot of other work thrown in, otherwise how did I get that 2.1? But my point is that your schedules could end up the opposite of each other – I got to a point where I was up all night, either partying or in the library and would sleep most of the day when I wasn’t in lectures – I just seemed to work better at night. This was difficult when my boyfriend was at home working shifts at an engineering company because often I would want to drunk call him after a night out or text him all night but couldn’t because that would wake him up, likewise, he would text in the day but I would be asleep or in lectures. You need to find your own balance that will work for you as a couple.

Don’t forget the importance of alone time

One huge benefit of going to university is having your own space, perhaps you were both living with parents at home and struggled to get time to yourselves. Suddenly, you have your own room in a block of people that won’t disturb you – you can go off for dinner, or cook your own, lay in bed all day and watch movies or do whatever you want. This freedom is great after being interrupted every five minutes at home. Make the most of this time. We had it easier because my university was quite quiet at weekends with many people going home to work in London, so my boyfriend could come up and visit and often we would have the whole flat to ourselves. Likewise, I made sure to come home and visit both him and my family – in my third year I had a car at university so I could nip home at a moments notice, or likewise he could come to visit me without relying on the trains.

Photo by LetMeBeYourSwearWord

Photo by LetMeBeYourSwearWord


This is the main one I get asked about. Yes, there is a lot of temptation at university, especially if you like sweaty blokes who are wearing too much aftershave and have been daring their mates to down dirty pints without being sick on themselves. Not really my type thanks. For some girls, they might feel they are being left out of all the drunken snogging and sleeping around that comes with Freshers but what are you really missing out on other than the Walk of Shame while dressed as Superwoman (as one of my friends had to do) and a bout of chlamydia? It is possible to go to university and not sleep with everyone, it is possible to go on a night out and go home with your girls and a greasy burger, it is possible to spend a night in your own bed. There are a lot of girls out there who get drunk and just need some affection – this was the tough bit, being drunk and wanting to call your boyfriend because you miss him, but not being able to because he’s got work in two hours. But you deal with it and move on. There’s a hell of a lot of other stuff going on that you don’t need to concern yourself with all of this – but if you are tempted, them be sure to end the relationship before making a big mistake and hurting your partner.

Put simply – it is possible to have a happy, loving, long-distance relationship while at university. It isn’t always easy, but in the end it is more valuable than any one night stand. You will have wobbles and strops over seeing each other and missing each other, but you will also have amazing times that you will never forget and you will end up a lot stronger for it. My main advice is to be sure of what you want before you go but don’t be afraid to change your mind when you actually experience university life – choose what is best for you. If you think it is worth it, it probably is. I was two years into my relationship when I went to university and now we are coming up to our eighth anniversary.

Have you been faced with a big decision over whether to break off a relationship or stay together at university? What did you choose?

What do you think about this..?

  1. i can agree with you 100% on this point, its bloody difficult but so rewarding at the end. while most people i know where sleeping around or going out with boys, i would be the one texting my boyfriend at 2am saying i miss him. love this post, im glad i have someone else who was in the same position as me. 🙂

    • It’s definitely tough at the time, but those weekends with someone you love are worth a hell of a lot more than 10 one night stands.. I knew a few girls who came to university with boyfriends and barely lasted a few weeks because they were getting with other guys. Just not nice, but I’m sure there are a lot of couples out there who have been in the same position 🙂

  2. I went the other way… But looking back – and particularly comparing against my current situation and boyfriend – I now know my boyfriend before university wasn’t the one for me. I quite easily dropped him (of which I’ll always have a little guilt about, I wasn’t very nice at all), so I know he wasn’t enough. Does that make sense? I think everyone has a moment in life when they go a bit mad and get it out of their system – it could be at 16 right the way to middle age, but for me it was when I was ‘released’ from my small city and parents to live on my own. I sometimes cringe at myself, for instance, the superwoman story… I have a similar one. Gaaahh I sound like a trollop! But I wouldn’t change my past because I’m happy that it certainly isn’t my life now and I learnt a lot about myself going through that. So my ‘counter argument’ to your well-written post is, by all means stay in a relationship if you are genuinely in love, but if you in any way have an inkling that you want to be a bit wild, then go for it. Otherwise, you’ll wonder ‘what if?’

    • That is such a great point Anna, it is important to be clear whether you really love your partner or not because university is a great time to break things off on good terms (maybe not in your case) but it offers a natural end for some who perhaps were unsure or hadn’t been forced to make a decision at this point. There is absolutely nothing wrong with “getting it out of your system” – this is a great time in your life to cut loose and really have some fun while getting away with it all. You’re not a trollop – just young and having fun, which is what university is all about – discovering who you are. And you shouldn’t look back on it negatively because you’re right, it made you who you are and led you to this point in your life. I completely agree with your counter-argument, as one of my closest friends at university did. At the end of the day, you need to make the decision that is right for you and to make sure that you don’t look back with regrets – because that is the one thing that never goes away! xxx

  3. I got married to my long distance boyfriend of 3 years just after graduating – it was a long way too! He lived in Sussex and I was in Oxford!

    I knew he was the right person for me and no-one else I met at Uni even came close.

    It was hard, all the travelling, and I know I missed out on some of the experiences my friends had, but being with him was the right thing for the rest of my life and not just for those three years.

    • That’s such a lovely story Denise and good for you guys for keeping with it no matter how hard it got. It’s one of those things you look back on later on and just think it really was worth every second to be together full-time later on. I’m really happy for you xx

  4. This is a brilliant blog post. I was lucky that my boyfriend went to the same university as me but when I dropped out and started a full time job I was concerned about how it would work, but it did.

    Denise’s story is lovely and proof that if you’re right for each other and are thinking about the future you can find a way to make it work for those three or four awkward years.

    Rosie x

    • Thanks so much Rosie – I always think that if you really want to make it work you can survive anything! I’m glad it worked for you because you understand quite how much putting in the hard work pays off in the long-run! Denise’s story is a perfect example of why is is so important to persevere through the hard times if you think you can make it work. I also had a friend who met a guy on a night out just after a bad break up, the next day he went off to Afghanistan with the RAF for six months, she waited for him and they emailed and skyped the whole time. Now they are happily married! Just another example, outside of university, of how patience and seeing the bigger picture can really benefit in the long-run! x

  5. Uni really tested my relationship. I had wanted to split up with my (ex) boyfriend for about two years before I moved and just didn’t have the courage, he made me feel like I NEEDED him to survive. I moved two hours away from him (on a train) and settled in. Come January I realised I liked my flat mate and how much I really didn’t want to be with this lad. I split up with him and it didn’t take long for me to truly find love with my now boyfriend. We’ve lived together since I first moved to uni and we now have a flat to move into this September just us too. It’s prefect. It does test you but for the right reasons. Uni is about learning to be an adult and not depending on others. I’m glad you worked all the way through and stayed together. I think pre-18 it can be difficult to find someone you truly 100% love so I give you that!

    Such a true post.

    Laura xx

    • Thanks Laura for telling us about your experience – such a good example of how uni can work well in another way in terms of relationships. I think it is the first real test any relationship faces and it can be good if it helps end relationships that happen more of convenience or ones that fizzle out as the require more effort. In your case it sounds like uni really helped you get your life on track and made you realise what was right for you which, as you say, is bring an adult 🙂 I’m really pleased for you that you met someone who was better for you! It’s so easy to feel at 18 that the guy you love then will be the one you love all your life, but I think even then my boyfriend and I had the attitude that whatever happens happens and if things don’t work, at least we tried and it doesn’t mean we love each other any less. I think being so relaxed about it all was actually what made it work 🙂 Thanks lovely xxx

  6. Awesome post, you were right – very similar to my own advice on long distance relationships with travel. Really great points there, and I hope it inspires others to realize long distance CAN work!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂 Meg

    • Thanks Meg 🙂 Me too, think so many people give up too easily and regret it, with so much technology available, it is easier than ever to keep in touch and maintain the romance 🙂 x

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  9. I am in a complete pickle about this one, I’m 19 and have been with my boyfriend for a year now and we couldn’t be happier. The thing is we live in Germany and I’m going to be going to go to university in Scotland. I’m so unsure that university is even something that is really for me as the closer my departure comes the less I want to go. But family has expectations and if I don’t go they would be devastated.
    I’d rather just do an apprenticeship and stay here but what if I then miss something that could be absolutely life changing?
    He says he wants me to go, but only because he’s worried that I won’t achieve what I want if he tells me to stay. He also says that he’s sure that we will make it. I’m just praying he’s right…

    • Hey Sian – so sorry for the delay in replying, I’m travelling at the moment and wifi isn’t great. Thanks for your so meant, I hope I can help. I think you need to really remove your boyfriend from the situation and decide if you definitely want to go to university, or whether you are just doing it to please your family. If you are just getting cold feet but you really want to go then it is important that you do, if you don’t really want to then there is no point. A degree takes dedication and a love of your subject to do well and if you have any serious doubts it could end up being a huge waste of money and time. If you really would prefer an apprenticeship then it is time you stood up and said something, your family might be shocked but they will accept your decision in the end – it is your life after all and they love you and want you to be happy. But if you are just saying your would prefer to stay near home for your boyfriend, I would say this could end up backfiring. I totally understand your fears and feelings about the effect university could have on your relationship, but I firmly believe that if you really want to make something work, that no matter what the distance, you will make it a success. I know several couples who live countries apart because of studies or work, but they are happy and they have lasted because their love is true. For me and my boyfriend, it was never an issue that was up for discussion – I had wanted to study at university for a long time before meeting him and despite our three years together I made my decision to study completely separately. I chose where and what I wanted to study based entirely on me because I knew if we didn’t survive I would regret that hugely, it all turned out well and we ended up staying together for nearly nine years and are still best friends now while I am away and travelling. My advice is don’t worry about the future, if it is meant to be it will work out, if not, university is a great way of gaining perspective and realising whether the relationship is really right for you. This has turned into such a long reply but I really hope it helps you in some way – I’d love to know what you decide to do and I just hope you do the right thing for you. Good luck honey xxx

  10. hey, I’m so glad I found your blog and this post, my boyfriend of two years is going to uni in September and while I’m happy for him I’m also feeling really guilty about the fact that I am getting so upset about him leaving, it might not be far distance wise (about two hours drive) but we got together when I was just getting over the worst of an anxiety battle and he became a huge part of my life very quickly, and I almost rely on him to stay level, obviously it isn’t all about that, I love him so much but all of this makes it difficult to know that he isn’t just one short bus ride or ten minute drive away.
    this post has helped ease my mind but I’m still terrified, I don’t even know why I’m commenting, I just wanted to thankyou for helping a little I suppose.
    I hope you’re enjoying your travels ♥

    • Hey Yazmine – so glad you found my blog 🙂 I totally understand, and it’s okay to feel conflicted about it all, of course you’re happy for him but that doesn’t mean you’re not hung to miss him like crazy! I think it’s often worse being the one left at home because you suddenly have all this boyfriend shaped time to fill while the other person is off having the time of their life, making new friends and partying. I can come,teeth understand it is even harder in your case because he has been such a big part of your recovery and has become more than just a boyfriend, he’s a life support for you. But perhaps you’re looking at this all wrong, instead of seeing the loss, look at what you’re gaining. Now that you’re past the worse of your anxiety battle, perhaps you can start to gain some independence and to work on yourself, having him there as a crutch all the time might mean you never stray out of your comfort zone and try something on your own. We both loved having the time to be our own people and to develop our own independent lives. The biggest message here is don’t worry! Two hours is not far at all, you could drive there in less time than it takes to watch an Eastenders double bill. That means it won’t be difficult to have spontaneous weekends together and if you’re having a bad day you could even meet him halfway for a mid-week date. There’s so many options for you both and in the meantime, it gives you space to be your own person, which is so important! I’m so glad this post could help even in the slightest and if you have anything else you want to chat about, feel free to drop me an email. Thanks so much honey, and good luck! Xxx

  11. Hey, I’m so glad i found this blog- everything else on this subject is so negative! Im going off to uni in september and my boyfriend is staying at home and working. We’ve been together for almost a year and have a chilled relationship- we see each other about twice a week and never tend to argue (at least not over anything important) which is perfect for both of us and he’s my best friend. Im just worried its all going to change and we’re going to start arguing because we’re living further away and having totally different lifestyles. I know i have no interest in other guys because i got that out of my system before we started our relationship, but i worry that because our relationship is quite laid back that it won’t survive us being apart if that makes sense? We tend not to talk that much over the phone or messaging because its better when we see each other face to face -but i feel like thats going to be a problem if we’re apart? The good thing is we’re only going to be an hours drive apart- but because he works monday-saturday 8-5 we’ll on be able to see each other once every few weeks in order not to interfere with the others’ social life. I’m determined not to let my relationship get in the way of making new friends or my degree or anything but i also really don’t want going to uni to lead to us having problems and the possibility of breaking up.
    This post has given me hope though, thank you!x

    • Hey Louisa! I’m so glad you found this post and that its given you hope. The best advice I can offer is not to worry, that just makes you stress out and causes more problems – it sounds like you guys have a great relationship and that you’re pretty chilled like we were. That’s the best way to be, treat it like it’s not a big deal and it won’t be. We were the same about talking on the phone or messaging, and it is hard, you have to get used to making that extra effort and sending a message to remind the other person how you feel or that you hope they have a good day. But it’s worth it, I think being apart makes you value each other even more when you are finally reunited. At the end of the day, you guys will have to see how it affects you both when it happens, but it sounds like you’re going into it with a plan for when you will see each other and a clear mind, be prepared to be flexible and for plans to change, but for that not to be the end of the world. Like you say, you’re only an hour apart so if it all gets to much, I’m sure one of you can drive/hop on a bus and make that distance a bit smaller for the night. Good luck with everything and don’t ever let worrying stand in the way of your happiness xxx

  12. Hey, I’m glad I found this post too. For me, my boyfriend is going off to uni but luckily only between a 40min-1hr dive away (and I drive so it’ll be much easier for me)! However I’m freaking out about him going as we spend so much time together now that I’m worried he’s going to lose interest and meet someone else/people he’d rather spend time with. This is a completely new experience for me and I really don’t want it to get in the way of our relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I am so proud and excited for him to get this opportunity but I’m worried that I’m going to feel left out or get jealous (and I’m not a particularly jealous person!). I mean I feel lucky to not have him going off to the other end of the country but it’s on my mind all the time and I guess like most girls I’m overthinking it way too much! I’m also afraid I may get jealous of all the people that get to spend so much time with him and I really don’t want to be feeling down and worrying about that all the time. Since I’ll be back home working and still living with my mum due to a major family issue that interrupted my education, I have to admit that I am slightly jealous that I’m not going to uni and getting the opportunity to be partying and living away from home…if that makes sense? I don’t know if I’m worrying too much about this or not?
    I just saw that someone wrote a similar post, but I’d like to share this anyway as I feel it might help to calm my nerves.
    This really helped though so thank you so much…I didn’t realise how possible it could all be! 😀 x

    • Hey Alice, thanks for your comment! First of all, don’t worry, don’t stress about it too much. You won’t know until it happens how you guys will cope and often worrying about it just makes it worse. It is going to be hard, but probably less so for you guys because you have less of a distance between you and you also drive. My final year of university when I had a car and could easily get home to see my boyfriend was the easiest, in my first year we struggled because of the train fares. It’s always going to suck a bit being the one left behind because you don’t have all these new exciting distractions to keep you busy, but don’t forget you’ll have work. Use this as an opportunity to focus on things you want to do – perhaps take up an evening class or spend more time with friends, or take on a second job and save hard for something special. My boyfriend was always jealous of the lifestyle I lived at university but couldn’t have handled the study, but he got the chance to live vicariously through me and to join in the fun and nights out when he came to visit! Just whatever you do, don’t think its impossible! Me and my boyfriend managed so well at university and have now managed to keep the relationship going despite living the other side of the world from each other! It is possible if you want it enough! Good luck! Xxx

  13. hey, I’m so happy i found this blog. I need your advice. So this year my boyfriend will go to a university 4 hours from where we live. I will be a senior this year at high school. After senior year I want to go to dentistry and i can’t choose where should I attend. The first option is to go to the same city as my boyfriend, where is really hard to get in, and I’m not sure if i could do it, but i really really want to. That city was always where I wanted to go, many of my friends are there, and it’s so beautiful. Second option is to go to an other uni, where would be pretty easy for me to get in (almost 100% i think), but that is 6-7 hours away from my home, and 2-3 hours away from my boyfriend. For some stupid reasons in my country i cant attend to both, then decide.So I’m really confused now, i dont want to spend 7 years away from my boyfriend(6 years dentistry here, and this senior year), but i also really want to get in the university, I don’t want to stay at home for 1 year if I dont get in. We have been together for 1,5 years by the way. What is your advice?

    • The best advice I can give is to make sure you make your decision based on what is right for you – if you love the college where your boyfriend studies, make sure that is because you want to be there to study and live, not because he is there. Even though I had been with my boyfriend for two-three years by the time I went away to study, he had no impact on my choice of university and I’m ️glad I did that. If we had broken up a few months later and I was stuck at my second choice of university I would have resented him and my own choice. If you do want to go to the university where he is based, the. Work hard and do your best to get in, you’ll regret it if you don’t try. If you decide to try the other one, don’t worry, just take it one step at a time. I know couples who are making it work when they live thousands of miles apart from one side of the world to the other – if they can make it, perhaps you guys can too. Just remember, if you don’t make it, it doesn’t matter. You’re at a point in your life where a lot if going to change and quickly, including yourself. Sometimes people grow apart and their lives go in different directions but that’s okay, the best is yet to come! Either way, don’t worry.

  14. I am in the same situation, and have found so many articles about how a break up is inevitable, so this post was really encouraging! I moved to Uni 2 hours away from my boyfriend 11 days ago, I have been with him officially for 3 months, but we’ve been *together* since January. He is finding it really difficult not having me there because he relies on me emotionally a huge amount because his parents aren’t very loving and all his friends have also gone off to uni. Last night we had a huge argument because I was getting overwhelmed with him constantly messaging me, he messages me from 8am-11pm all day and we just talk about rubbish, I tried lightly mentioning it to him that maybe we should not talk so much and arrange certain times to talk, like before his work, his lunch hour and after work but he flipped out and got really upset that I was breaking up with him, despite my reassurances that I love him. I want to stay with him, and we have plans for him to come stay every two weeks, but he’s putting too much pressure on me emotionally and I am finding it hard to concentrate on my uni work when he is messaging me needing reassurance that I still want to be with him every 5 mins, what can I do to help him see I want to be with him and make this relationship work for the next 3 years?

    • Hi Megan – ️glad you found this post helpful. It sounds like your boyfriend is pretty convinced you’re either going to break up with him or cheat on him – either way, that lack of trust is something that could destroy your relationship unless he can get ahold of it. If it were me, I would sit him down and have a proper chat about everything, explain how he is making you feel and how your studies will suffer if this continues. Explain that it doesn’t mean you love him any less if you don’t message back straight away because you are with friends or in lectures. The only way a relationship can survive university is if you are both happy and able to give each other space to grow independently. It’s not always easy and it’s not always the happiest way to live, but if you don’t have that space you will end up resenting each other. He sounds like he needs space as much as you do – if only so he can learn to stand on his own two feet and build up his own life so that you are an amazing addition to it rather than the one thing he relies on. Thats too much pressure for you and he needs to understand that, be firm with him and set boundaries early on, if he can’t understand why then the relationship will never work. I wish you all the luck in the world!

  15. Me and my boyfriend have been together a year and a half and are both going to the same uni next year (by coincidence), he wants to live together but I want to live in halls on my own. We are going travelling together in our gap year, and I don’t know why I want to live on my own, it just scares me thinking of living with him, and I’m only 18 so I kind of want to have some time to just be me and be independent, but he thinks that if we live apart we will break up, and that I’m putting uni before our relationship which I kind of am… I’m just getting worried about it and feel like we will break up when we go to uni, I feel really mean because I love him now I just feel that in the future he’s not the one for me? But I’m not sure, it makes me sad to think of breaking up with him! What do I do

    • I think it’s great that you and your boyfriend have made separate decisions about uni – even if they ended up with you both in the same place, the important thing is you chose independently. You’ll have the most amazing time travelling together, but be aware that being that intense with each other, 24/7 in each others’ company will be a make or break for your relationship. It really tests and shows what kind of couple you are, but that’s great and it really helps give you some perspective about yourself and your relationship. My best advice, live separately at uni – it means you both have space to grow as adults and have separate friends and well as ones you share, stops you being one of those annoying couples who are never apart, and if the worst happens and travel,I go breaks you – you don’t have to live awkwardly with your ex boyfriend. Tell your boyfriend that you are more likely to break up if you do live together because you’re not ready for that. Freshers and travelling will soon show if you guys can make the long haul, but to be honest, if you’re having doubts now about whether you guys will last, you may as well cut it off and have a fresh start. Only you can know your true feelings, I can only offer advice but if it were me, I would not stay with someone unless I wanted to be with them because it’s not fair on either of you, and I would never live with a boyfriend at u I easily. I know people who have and they never socialised with other people and barely made any friends compared to those who lived apart. Good luck.

  16. Hi, my boyfriend and I have been together since February 2015, and I’m in my final year of sixth form. He’s in the year below though, in Lower Sixth, so he’ll have another year, and then he wants to take a gap year, too, so that would put us two years out :/
    We had some trouble with our relationship initially, but as a result of overcoming them it’s really strong now, but I’m not sure what to do… I could either go straight to uni up in Leeds/Durham and he stays in Worcester for U6, my second year is abroad in Japan, and he’ll visit me during his gap year, then he goes to uni, though he’s not sure where, probably London, and has a three year course, so I finish a year before him… But I wanted to stay near to him, so I’m thinking of deferring a year, taking a year off to travel and earn money, going to SOAS in London, which if he goes to london is half an hour from him, and then we can rent together in his first year and his final year? And every year we’ll have the opportunity to decide if we’re still happy in the relationship. But I just mentioned it to my mum, and she started crying and said that I was throwing away my future and being stupid and now I’m really confused and stuck. It’s not like any decision is being made right now, it’s just an application, so I can choose what to do closer to the time. But I wonder if that plan is really so unreasonable?

    • Sofia – I’ll be honest with you, I think you’re planning way too much and not taking into account that you are about to make a huge change in your life by leaving all you know to study and live with people you have never met before. It’s great that you are thinking so much about the future, but you’re planning a future with someone who hasn’t event left yet. So much can and will change over the next few months, let alone the next few years. Your decision should wholly be based on what uni you want to go to and what you want to study, not on how you can stay with your boyfriend. Boyfriends come and go, but your education and your experience will stay with you for life – if you guys really want to go the distance, you will regardless of distance and time apart – trust me. It’s good to have space and time apart even within a relationship, especially when you both need to build up your own lives and make new friends. The fact is, you’ve been together for six months and now you are planning the next five years together despite admitting you had problems right from the start – when I went to university I had been with my boyfriend for nearly three years and I made all my decisions separately from him – I chose to study where and what I wanted regardless of him – we made it work and stayed together for in e years, only breaking up when I came travelling. You’re not throwing your life away, but you’re wasting opportunities to live the best life you can live in the next few years and I can understand where your mum is coming from – she just wants you to have an amazing time and study abroad and do all these amazing things – listen to her – mums talk a lot of sense! Good luck xx

  17. Hi, i really loved this post and it gives me a lot of hope. Just wondering if you could give me a bit more advice. I’m just finishing my A levels this year and have been in my relationship for about 9 months. I’m his first girlfriend. He’s off to uni next year but i’m probably going to end up taking a gap year. We go to the same school and see each other pretty much everyday. I honestly think i’m really going to struggle next year and i have a hard time trusting my boyfriend because he often looks at other women and he’s told me he thinks about having sex with other women which makes me super uncomfortable. It makes me think he will cheat on me at uni cause he’ll be so overwhelmed with the chance to go wild. I know i sound super crazy and paranoid but i do love him so much and i know he loves me like crazy but i just don’t know how i will cope next year and whether or not to break it off before so i don’t hold him back or risk getting cheated on.

    • Thanks Rachel. Okay well I’m no expert on all this but I’ll tell you my first impressions of your situation – I’m sorry if its not what you want to hear but id rather be honest with you. The fact that your boyfriend looks at other women obviously in front of you and tells you he thinks about having sex with other women – this suggests to me that he is a bit immature and doesn’t really respect your feelings. it sounds like he is the kind of person who would struggle when overwhelmed by all the new girls at university, not saying he will cheat but he may not be able to stop himself from flirting which will make you crazy and paranoid. Trust is the most important element of a relationship when you will be spending most of your time apart and there is nothing but temptation surrounding you – if you can’t trust him now when you’re together the how will you feel when he is off every night partying and doesn’t reply to your texts? I’m not saying in any way your relationship is doomed, but if you have feelings like this then the best things is to talk about them with your boyfriend and address the problem – if he appreciates your feelings and does what he can to make you feel it will be okay then perhaps things will work but if he jokes about your feelings and doest assure you, perhaps you can do better. I’ve been in a long-term relationship and I’ve been single – both of them have made me equally happy and being single is not something to dread or fear, especially if the relationship is making you less happy than being alone. you should look at this time as the perfect opportunity to start afresh and begin a life where you have complete control – build a life you love and want to lead whether that means your boyfriend remains in it or not.

  18. Hi,thanks for this post it really has given me hope. But I would just like to tell you my sitution and an opinion on it please. I have been with my boyfriend for over a year now and we do both truly love eachother, we both will be going uni this septemeber and I dont know which to choose. Either nottingham where he will go or bath where I always thought id end up. I have visited both unis and researched them both and my thought of either one is pretty equal and so I was thinking if it is then why not go where my bf is going and have a bonus. I dont know if its just my heart saying that though, and people say remove him out of the picture and see which uni you prefer but I just cant seem to do that, also we are a strong couple but I dont know whatl happen if we’re 3 hrs apart with no car. Finally I feel like i would be making many sacrafices all the time for us but I dont know if he definately would. Thanks for hearing me out.

    • My pleasure Bella, hope it has helped. I’m no expert on this, I can only tell you what I know based on my own experiences. My best advice: Don’t make any of these decisions based on your boyfriend. As much as you love him or he loves you, you should not base your choice of university on a boyfriend you have been with for so short a time. I had been with my boyfriend for over three years by the time I went to university and had he had absolutely no influence on where I went or what I studied – I chose for me and no-one else. YOU are the one who will have to study and live there for three years, what happens if the worst happens and you guys break up after a month at university and you are stuck on the same campus with the same friends? University is the breaking point for many relationships because you have no idea why you are about to experience – often it changes you as a person and highlights differences you never knew were there. Most couples I know ended up breaking up through university, mine was one of the very few relationships that survived. Which is why I would never advocate making choices based on something that might not withstand the test of time, no matter how much you love each other. Being at different universities may actually make you a stronger couple – not only will you have space and independence to grow individually and as a couple, but you will also have the excitement of getting away to visit each other. I’m sure there are trains/buses and other forms of transport that can take you between the cities so there is no reason to worry that you don’t have a car. My other half came to spend a weekend with me every fortnight and I would go home every month to see him and my family – that worked well for us and we always used the trains with no problem. If you really want to be together you will find a way of keeping your love going but I rally don’t think basing your choice of university on your man’s choice is a good idea. If you always thought you would end up at Bath Uni, you should be there! If you are the one making all the sacrifices you will only end up resenting him and it will drive you further apart – my partner and i never once held each other back from making decisions like this and we were together for nine happy years. We only parted ways because i wanted to travel and he wanted to study, but even now we remain the best of friends. I wish you all the luck in the world and a happy time at university – you will love it!

  19. Lovely story and a real help as i have been struggling for months now. Thank you, I hope you can help. My boyfriend and I are 2 hours away from each other and I am finding it so so difficult! I know I am going to see him again, usually every 2 weeks but i cant bare the though of leaving him again whenever I see him. It’s killing me, I try and fill my time but no matter how busy I am all i can think about is wanting to be with him. I’m really not enjoying myself and constantly upset counting down the time until its over 🙁

    • Thanks Martha – I’m glad it helped you, I’ll do my best. I totally understand – it was really hard at times being separated from my love, but the best thing for it was to throw myself into uni life. Join clubs, meet people, start study groups, plan trips – all of this just helps distract you from the pain while building a life at university. It’s so important not to waste the experience of university – trust me, you might not feel it now but it is incredible. But you only get out of it what you put in so give 100% and thats what you’ll get back! I didn’t give myself time to miss my boyfriend properly and it worked, we spent our time planning our next reunions and looking forward to them rather than lamenting the separation. Remember, university goes quick, those three years whizz by and if you’re a long-standing couple it will barely be a blip in the relationship. We found it hard at the time, but the three years I spent there was nothing in a relationship of nine years! Good luck and I hope it works out xx

  20. Hi Lucy! 🙂

    Thank you so much for this amazing post, it’s nice to see something positive about the uni-home boyfriend situation as every other website seems to have such negative views about it! Me and my boyfriend both fell in love with Newcastle uni when we visited it but he’ll be going a year before me. He keeps reassuring me that it’ll be fine and we both want to stay together but sometimes I feel a tiny bit anxious that maybe he’ll find someone better when he gets there. Do you please have any advice on how to deal with jealous/ anxious thoughts during the process?

    Thank you so much,

    Theresa xx

    • Hey Theresa! My pleasure, I know the feeling, so often people focus on the negatives of long-distance instead of the ways you can make it work. I think my best advice is to communicate, all the time, honesty is the best policy! The more you guys talk and share what you’re going through independently, the closer you’ll become and the more secure you will feel in your relationship. Sometimes it can be really hard to talk about feeling jealous or worried because you don’t want to face up to your feelings, or don’t know how to deal with the situation but talking about it and voicing the problem can often be the best solution. Sometimes just having the other person acknowledge how you feel can make all the difference – and you may find your boyfriend is going through exactly the same emotions. Hope that helps! xx

  21. I love the positivity of this post! I have an issue 🙁 I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year and a half and we are so in love and we’re at our happy point together, and are together 24/7, I’ve always wanted to go uni and chose one that’s 2 and a half hours away by train. he was so happy for me but he started crying and hugging me saying he feels like he’s loosing his best friend 🙁 I feel so bad and I’m so worried in case university ends our relationship! I wouldn’t be able to visit him every weekend because of expensives, I’m now thinking about doing a gap year to try and get a car but I’m worried incase I don’t go back!

    • Thanks Jessica – I completely understand what you’re going through. I know it’s hard, but you need to put yourself and your education first, two and a half hours is not far from each other and if your relationship is strong it will survive the distance. Often it is the best way to see what a relationship is really made of, when times get difficult do you battle through together or let it drive you apart. Don’t take a gap year, if you’re doing it simply for your relationship you will end up resenting your boyfriend and feeling stuck. What will you do in a year when you still need to go study but have put your life on hold? No true love would expect you to do that, they would just support you and be excited for you. My university was two and a half hours away by train, we managed to see each other every other weekend or sometimes less often but we made it work and stayed together for nine years – it is possible but success does depend on your maturity levels, on how much you genuinely love each other and your attitude to making things work. Don’t hold each other back, if it is meant to be it will work out 😊 Good luck!

  22. Hello Lucy I just a wanted to say that i’m so glad that I stumbled across your blog and I just wanted to say thank you because you have really helped me to feel a little more positive about my situation. I’m 17 years old and my boyfriend Is 18 and has only recently just started going out clubbing and going to the pub with ‘his boys’ to enjoy the last couple of days he has living here at home, I understand that he is trying to make time for everyone before he goes away to university and I guess I have to start getting used to him not being there when i need him or want him to be and obviously partying and clubbing is going to be a huge thing when he goes to uni he was telling me today that he has booked his freshers ticket which is nice for him, but you know how it it i guess i will always feel a little left out whenever he goes out without me and i see pictures of him and his new friends.. anyway I just wanted to tell you my situation and was wondering if you had any advice or anything which can help me put my mind at ease I would be very grateful. We have discussed the whole uni thing a few times before in which case we both got really upset and have ended up in tears most of the time, we have both decided that we are going to give it a go and he says to me all the time that we are going to make it work and that we will be fine, I really want things to stay the way they are I love him with all of my heart we have been together for a year and 9 months (nearly 10) and he is my first real boyfriend and he says that i am the first real girlfriend he has ever had and properly loved. He told me that he got upset and spoke to his dad about the whole situation i don’t know what was said but he told me he started crying because he is so worried about moving away and things changing. It’s getting nearer and nearer to the day that he leaves and I just need some reassurance and some honest opinions on what i should do or feel? he leaves next weekend and I’m so so worried I don’t know how i’m going to be without him there annoying me. I trust him with my life and know he would never do anything to hurt me the only thing i get upset about is him being a friendly guy and wanting to be friends with everyone, I get so jealous and upset when i see or hear any other girls mentioned i think thats normal though i guess i just need to keep it to myself.

    • Hi Megan! You’re so welcome, and I’m so glad you found this post. I comp,steely understand what you mean and I know it must be hard to be on that side of things, I was the lucky one who was going away to lots of excitement but it can’t feel great to be left behind. The most important thing here is your attitude – you need to look at this as time to work on you, time to build your own independent life separate from the relationship and to grow as a person. Take the time to fill your life with friends, activities, hobbies and passions. If you’re not in a job you love, take steps to get into a role you do. Bored in your free time – take up a dance class or language class, plan some travelling, do something just for you and make new friends along the way. Fill your time with excitement to distract yourself from jealously and missing him too much, then watch as you become more content with the long distance relationship. There’s no denying it’s hard, but sitting around moping and looking at photos on Facebook from his nights out won’t help. I was with my boyfriend through the whole of uni and for a total of nine years, so it is possible to do this and be happy but you have to have a good attitude. Don’t be jealous unless he gives you a reason to be, it isn’t fair on him and will drive him away, focus on the positives and plan fun things for your first weekend together! You will get through this, and if you don’t then it obviously wasn’t meant to be. Don’t let it worry you too much, I know at this age a relationship is your whole world and you cannot imagine life with anyone else, but you will reach a point when you feel differently, when you may even realise this isn’t love it’s just teenage infatuation – growing up changes your perspective and your feelings sometimes – but that’s okay, it’s just part of life. Live in the moment and enjoy every second together! Good luck xx

  23. Hi,
    Thank you so much for this blog. I’ve just started university and when I was applying I wanted to be single. However, it didn’t turn out that way, I met an amazing man who I worked with and we got on like a house on fire. Before we got together I told him I was going to uni and he said he would support me no matter what. Both of us really want to make it work and even though we haven’t been together for years and years, we are both are in love. Its been hard reading stories for people breaking up as well as most people at uni being single. When you was at uni did you feel like you missed out of things because you went home to see your boyfriend or when he came to you? Also was it hard not having other people in your situation, like were you around single people? I’m not interested in anyone else and I do see us having a future together, just getting through uni is going to be a massive challenge. I don’t want to miss out on uni life and i’m so happy that a relationship didn’t stop you, I hope I can do the same.


    • You’re welcome Rebecca – I hope it’s helped a bit. I personally don’t feel like I missed out on anything at all, I was lucky as my uni was quiet on the weekends as a lot of people went home to London to work, so there wasn’t much to miss out on if I went home to visit him or if he came to visit. You don’t have to miss out on any uni life if you trust each other, I partied every night of the week and my boyfriend trusted me not to go off with other guys, likewise he partied with his mates and did everything he wanted to do. We aimed to see each other every other weekend, but never minded if life got in the way and we had other plans. You just need to be flexible with it. For me, university came first. I knew our relationship was strong enough for me to put my studies first, and if it wasn’t then it wasn’t the right relationship. I was surrounded by single girls and guys but that didn’t matter, they were my friends and I never felt the need to hook up with anyone. My friendships were solid and my relationship was, if nothing is missing from your life you feel no need to cheat. But I did like to go out and party a lot, I did have a lot of male friends (always have done) and I did live on a completely different schedule to my boyfriend who worked shifts as an engineer. So we needed trust and we had it luckily. You’ll know soon enough if your relationship will cope with uni, there’s not much you can do until it happens and then you just have to wait and see 🙂 but if it’s mean to be it will work out! We were together for nine years in the end and only broke up when I went away travelling, still the best of friends.

  24. Hi Lucy 🙂

    This blog was so lovely to read and gave me a lot of hope with my current relationship and our situation! My boyfriend and I are both 18 and have been together a year now and we’re still going strong. He started university only a few days ago whilst I’m still at home taking a gap year and working. Before he left we were both confident and completely determined that the relationship would still work because we’re so happy together and love each other very much. We knew the distance would not be a problem as he is only an hour and a half away by train. Also, I recently moved away from him a few months ago due to circumstances with my family and moving closer to them so we have been doing the long distance thing for some time now anyway and nothing has changed. However, he’s been so busy with freshers week, meeting new people and partying that he’s barely had any or no time to talk to me and I’m already feeling that he is drifting away and getting too caught up with the whole uni life; it just feels like he is forgetting about me already, which he says he could never do, but my anxious mind thinks otherwise. I give him his space and don’t constantly message or call him because I don’t want to invade and i want him to have fun and enjoy this experience, but because of my anxiety i can’t help but overthink the situation and worry! especially since we used to talk nearly all day, everyday. Am I just being paranoid and worrying too much; is it simply the fact that he just doesn’t have the time right now? I wanted to ask if you were just as busy during your first week of university and did you talk much with your partner? Does it get easier after the first few weeks?

    I really appreciate any advice you can give! 🙂


    • Hi Carlie – thank you, I’m so glad you found it helpful, it was just so important to give the other side. There’s so many who think it’s over just because you go to uni but that’s not always the case. I completely understand how you feel, it will be tough at first but as you say, you guys have already been doing long distance so you already have a stronger basis for your relationship surviving at university. It will feel like he’s forgotten you and is getting swept up in it all at first – just understand it would be the same if you were the one at university. These first few weeks are very important at university – the best friends I made at university are the ones I met in the first few days and lived with throughout. It’s important to go out and party, to get into your studies and adjust to student life. It doesn mean less time for you at first but this will settle down in a few weeks. Trust me – me and my boyfriend had it much harder – he was shift working as an engineer so up at the crack of dawn to work while I got in from nights out at that time. It was hard because we were on totally different schedules but it does settle down. You are being paranoid and worrying too much, it’s totally understandable but you should use this time for yourself. He genuinely just doesn’t have time right now and needs you to understand that while he takes on this huge change in his life, he will have plenty of time for you later on and he will be excited to tell you all about it. Why not get out there yourself and do something different, it’s a good time to take on a new hobby or something just for you, then you’ll have lots to tell him about as well 🙂 trust me, it will be okay, it’s just a short-term thing where things are very busy and intense for him xxx

  25. Hi Lucy,
    I just wanted to say thank you so much for this post. I am 18 and going to uni next September. My boyfriend and I are already long distance, about 4 hours away on a train. I was so nervous about uni without him, and when he said he didn’t want to hold me back from the ‘university experience’ i didn’t really know what he meant, because I don’t want to sleep around or get so drunk with strangers that I can’t get home safe. But my friends have said I’ll miss out on hook ups and all that sort of thing. Your post has just reassured me that it’s ok not to want to get smashed me sleep around, and that’s made me feel so much better. I love my boyfriend so much, I couldn’t lose him. Thank you so much for this, congrats on your 2.1 that’s amazing! And I wish you all good and happy things for the future xxx

    • Hi Mia, you’re welcome 🙂 how exciting that you’re just off to uni! It’s going to be such a busy and fun time for you. I don’t think it’s so much that you’ll miss out on getting drunk and sleeping with strangers – trust me you’re missing out on nothing there. But it’s more if you spend a lot of time missing your boyfriend and it holds you back from meeting new people and doing new things – that’s where it might inhibit your experience. It won’t necessarily do that if you don’t let it – the whole success of your relationship depends on you and how you behave while you are at university. If you throw yourself into the experience and love and support each other as you have done until now – you’ll make it through. It is hard but you can do it – my relationship proved that. I wish you all the luck in the world with it, and thanks so much lovely. Have an amazing time at university!

  26. Hi Lucy,
    This is a wonderful post and really inspiring. In fact, it’s given me hope for this dark month of January. I’ve been in a relationship for 4 years. My boyfriend and I have both just started uni and are into our second terms. The first term wasn’t easy with expensive train fairs and a distance of around 3hrs between us. But I think there’s hope for us all in long-term, long-distant relationships. It’s not going to be easy but I think it’s true that you have to both want it. I am scared for the future what with study abroad opportunities and a student budget, but who knows! Maybe we will still be together after 3 more years.

    Thank you for the blog, it shows that true love is stronger than a couple of one night stands or short flings x

    • Thanks Bella, I’m so glad you think so. You couldn’t be more right, love is so much stronger than short flings and it’s worth sticking it out for, times are tough when you’re separated but it’s also important to value that time as well. Being apart can really make your relationship stronger, it is the ultimate test and whether it works out or not, you will know the right decision. You guys already have a much stronger basis for continuing the relationship than my boyfriend and I did – we had only been together for two years when I went away to study and we stayed together for nine years in total. Money and distance will make it hard for you, but it will also force you to make more effort and to truly treasure the time you have together. Either way, I wish you all the luck for the future of your relationship, and your studies, enjoy university!!

  27. My boyfriend of 2 years broke up with me 2.5 weeks before uni because Im moving an hour away. We had plans and talked about how we can make it work but out of no where he said he couldn’t do it even though he was the one reassuring me he doesnt see the problem with me moving away. I was always unsure about studying this course and was more interested in something else which was much closer to home but he told me to just try it out so I accepted the course. He didn’t want me to feel guilty if I had to break us up because of the move but it’s only an hour! Could be much worse. He says he wants to find himself without me but that makes me feel like I’m controlling and I don’t make him happy but I don’t and he tells me I don’t. He says he doesn’t know if he will want to get back together but i never want to move on and will wait. But I’m trying to get a straight answer from him by putting on a fake brave face but I need to know so I can at least try to let go so he realised what he lost.

    • That really sucks, I feel for you babe, but I’ll be honest and say it sounds like he’s a bit of an ass and that really he just wants to be a single guy at uni. It’s horrible it had to break up your relationship but if he wanted to make it work, he could have. We were several hours apart and managed to do it. Girl it sounds like you’ve had a lucky escape! If I were you, I would throw yourself into uni, try not to dwell on it. Go make friends with everyone, go sign up to awesome groups, party every night if you want to! Have the BEST time at uni and show him what he’s missing by having the time of your life. He’ll eventually come crawling back, they always do, but by then you’ll realise how awesome it is to be independent at uni and you may even have met someone else! This is a time to focus on YOU, not to worry and waste time on a relationship with a guy who doesn’t value you. Go kick ass 🙂

  28. Me and my boyfriend have only been together 2 months on Monday, but we was talking for about a year before even dating. Well i am 16 and he is 18 and is moving away to college. It would be a 2 hour drive but he doesnt have his license yet so it will take a lot longer on the train. We have spoke about what we will do but unsure if to try make it work or not. Well we havnt really spoke about the day he moves… he has just told ke today (Thursday Morning) that he is moving on Saturday. 2 days away. I can hardly breath, it hurts so bad. I want him to go because he is clever and can achieve great thing’s… but on the other hand im going to miss him like crazy. What should we do..?

    • Hi Niyah, thanks for your comment 🙂 I totally understand, it’s such a hard time for you both, I’m sure you care about each other a great deal. It’s such a big change when someone goes off to study, for both sides. I feel like it can be even harder for the person who stays behind because they are still living the same life minus that person, but they don’t have all the new exciting things to distract them from missing their partner. I gather he will have moved by now, I think you guys need to have a proper adult conversation about where you both stand and whether you will stay together – nothing worse than crossed wires and someone getting hurt in the process. Be honest with him about your worries but say how proud you are of him and how you want him to do well. You guys have been together a very short time, so be prepared in case your relationship doesn’t survive, many don’t when someone goes away to study. It is very hard to do long-distance. It pays off if you both give it your all, but it takes two and if you don’t both give 100%, the relationship won’t work. I really hope for you that it does work, but don’t put everything into your relationship. Don’t be the girl pining for him at home, get out and hang with your friends, make new friends, get new hobbies and fill your time. That will stop you worrying and missing him so much, distract yourself and give yourself the best life you can. Because both of you will be happier if you can be your own independent people who still love each other, relationships shouldn’t be about needing another person, but wanting them in your life. And if worst case it doesn’t work out, you don’t need him anyway, you’ll have an awesome life filled with friends and amazing things. Trust me, the next few years will hold a lot of change for you, whether you guys stay together or not, so don’t worry too much. If it doesn’t work out, it just means better things are coming. Wish you all the luck with it babe xx