Are you and your love far away from one another? It’s ok, I feel your pain. I was in a long distance relationship for two and half years. Here are the seven things I did to survive.
1. Communicate. Communication is the most important thing in any relationship. In long distance, it is even more important. The bonus of long distance is that if you don’t learn to communicate with one another, long distance will simply not work. It just won’t. But for shy people, this is the bonus of doing long distance. It’s sink or swim with communication, and you have to learn to do it. The second you are mad about something, don’t wait to share, “hey, that hurt my feelings when you said that!” Your words are all you have. Use them.
2. Look into technology. Long distance is a rapidly growing trend. People need to go where the opportunities are, and can’t necessarily move somewhere for love. As much as we would like to! But, because of this, there is a huge amount of technology available to make couples more connected. From Text messaging, to Skype, to Google Plus Hangout (which lets you watch videos simultaneously), there are tons of things that can help you talk, get sexy, or just play games and chill.
3. Have a potential visit time. If you planned to see each other in March, but you don’t end up being able to see each other in that time, that’s ok! Having a plan, however loose, for when you will see each other next, can really help with your sanity. And give you two something to plan and look forward to.
4. Have a potential end. Long distance can feel endless. This is why it is important to have possible plans, however unrealistic, for when the insanity will end. “Maybe when I finish my degree” or “maybe in another year” is fine. If you can’t put a definite time on when you will finally be living in the same place, that’s totally fine. The point is making sure there is an end goal, and that you’re both working towards it. This type of cooperation will serve you well later on when you have to figure out whose turn it is to do the dishes.
5. Send love letters. My boyfriend and I only did this on Valentine’s Day because we were usually together on our birthdays and anniversary. Had we been apart on these days we would have sent love letters then too! It may seem old fashioned, but there it is truly fun to wait until you are both on Skype to open the letters you’ve sent each other. It’s so fun that we do it every Valentine’s Day now, even though we are together.
6. Be understanding of weekends and parties. A bonus of long distance is that you have time to self-actualize apart from one another. Presumably you have your own groups of friends in your separate locations and you would like to hang out with them. Sometimes it is horrible frustrating when it’s Saturday and you have nothing to do, but your S.O. is at a party having a great time. Especially if there is a time difference! But it is equally as frustrating to be in the opposite position, worrying if your S.O. is going to be mad because you stayed out late. While you may slip up and get angry sometimes, it is important to trust them, and be understanding that they deserve to have a fun Saturday night.
7. Remember that it’s just like any other relationship. Long distance seems to have a stigma. When you say “I’m in a long distance relationship” people respond with “oh god! how do you do that?” or “I could never do that! it’s so much work!” The thing is, any relationship, if it’s a good one, is going to be work. You may not get to see each other in person, but if 99% of the work you’re putting in is communication, then you have that in common with functional relationships that take place in the same state. If it’s worth it to you, then do the work, and have a great time!