Long Distance Relationships at Uni: How Do they Work?


September is a tough time for many students. Not only do they have to potentially adapt to a new city, make new friends, and take a step up with their education but they may have to make some pretty hard choices about their relationship too.

Long-distance relationships can be challenging, and rewarding, but either way they take some getting used to. To get some insight on the experiences and expectations of students across the country, accommodation provider Liberty Living surveyed 2,000 of them. Find out what they think below.

54% have experienced the long-distance lifestyle

Over half of the students surveyed either are currently, or have been, in a long-distance relationship while at university. Considering how many students make the big move to a different city it’s no surprise so many students have experienced one at some stage. Leaving a partner behind in your hometown, or embarking on journeys to different universities, is a testing time for so many reasons. As perhaps a sign of how much younger students value their relationships, 60% said that a relationship would have some bearing on where they chose to go to university- now that’s commitment.

1 in 6 don’t expect complete faithfulness

While the majority (84%) expect complete and total faithfulness from a partner when they’re in a long-distance relationship, a significant chunk is a little more open minded. 16% said they did not expect complete faithfulness, with 12% fine with flirting, and 1% even ok with one-night stands. In case you wondered, language students are the most open minded, with 20% agreeing that at a bit of flirting, or more, is fine when you’re miles apart.

40% expect at least monthly visits

Generally, students seem quite practical in their expectations- 40% said a visit once a month from partner was fine. 18-year-olds are the most demanding, with 55% expecting biweekly visits or more. It seems that the more mature you get, the less clingy you become, as ¼ of 25-year-olds said they had no problem with not seeing their partner less than once a month.

Students only willing to spend £21.93 and two hours and 12 minutes to see a partner

While we’re aware of just how expensive train travel can be on a regular basis, we were surprised that the average student was only willing to pay just over £20 to regularly see a partner. Travelling can be a real slog, and with commitments at university and a new social life, many students would only commit to spending just over 2 hours on regular journeys to see a partner.

If you’re a student in the UK that would leave your options severely limited. The best places to study if you’re in a long-distance relationship? Nottingham and Coventry.  Both cities are accessible from five other university cities within the budget of £21.93 and the time limit of 2 hours and 12 minutes per journey. Unsurprisingly perhaps, Belfast is the least accessible.

All relationships are different, and the transition to long distance may take time but it’s all about balance. As long as you find time to study, socialize with new friends and see your partner- there’s no reason why, with the help of technology, you can’t make the long-distance lifestyle work for both of you.