Long Distance8:14:00 PM
For the past seven months, my boyfriend and I have been doing the whole long distance thing. I'm not going to lie, long distance relationships are a challenge. You can't give a hug to your beloved if they're having a rough day. Kisses and holding hands become a rare treat. You miss what it feels like to have them physically be there. But, long distance does prove to you the strength of your relationship. If you can maintain a strong emotional connection and a deep level of trust with 1,000 miles between you, you'll be in a great place. Here is a compilation of advice I've received and things I've learned along the way.
Before you're officially doing long distance:
1) Define your relationship
One of my good friends told me that before you start long distance, make sure you define your relationship. How do you see your relationship? How does your significant other see it? If you're not on the same page long distance is going to be rocky.
2) Communicate your expectations
This really ties in with defining your relationship. What do you expect out of long distance? How many times a week will you talk on the phone or skype? How often will you visit each other? What actions aren't ok? What are deal breakers? If you set guidelines and have a game plan, it will be a lot easier to maintain trust in the long run.
While going the distance:
1) Talk everyday
I know life gets busy but I promise this is the best thing you can possibly do especially in the beginning of going the distance. Even if it means talking for 5 minutes and just summarizing your day and telling your loved one how much they mean to you. After a few months, if you find that it's hard to talk everyday figure out how many times a week you need to communicate. Every couple is different and needs different levels of communication.
2) Use technology to your advantage
Skype and Facetime are a god-send if you're in a long distance relationship. Seeing your significant others reactions to a goofy story or even just staring lovingly into your beloved's eyes makes a huge difference. Want a study date? You can skype while you're doing work. Emailing funny links or articles you think they'd like is a great way to stay connected. Sending sweet texts lets them know you're thinking about them!
3) Send each other snail mail
What a great excuse to write love letters! Care packages are also an awesome way to your sweetheart how much you love them and miss them. They don't have to be elaborate: some candy, a cd with "your songs" and maybe a few little things from where you're living.
4) Plan visits
My boyfriend and I try to schedule a visit once a month. That might not be realistic for you depending on logistics but even the process of planning a visit is a great way to stay positive. When one of us is planning on coming for a weekend we talk about things we're looking forward to doing together. We look up restaurants and fun things to try in our respective cities. Not only does the planning process get you excited but it also motivates you to try new things and make new memories together.
5) Cherish your time together.
When you spend so much time apart the moments that you're physically together again are incredible. Every time I get to pick up my boyfriend from the airport I get butterflies in my stomach. When I wait for him at baggage claim I can barely contain my excitement. When I finally see him walking towards me, I'm practically sprinting to be in his arms again. Those are the kinds of moments that you need to remember when times get tough or you're in a fight. Remember the butterflies in your stomach and the amazing sensation of finally being together again.
Hope you found that advice helpful!