Whether you’re preparing to part ways for the summer, attend separate schools, or you’re contemplating what will happen after graduation, maintaing a relationship is not something to save until the day before you say goodbye. Address these issues before, and keep them in mind while he’s away.
1. Different lives. Part of a relationship is sharing your life together. But when living in separate cities/ states, you no longer have the relationship you once did. Grasping that may take a while, but it is extremely important to understand. The relationship is going to be different. He will be living his life, and you will be living yours. Do not hound him, with “What have you been doing?” and “Why didn’t you call?” Both of you want to make the best of your time away, so do not weigh him down with hours of phone calls and texts all day. Do not anticipate a play-by-play of his everyday life. Talk as much as you need in order to stay in touch, share your day, and remind each other how much you care.
2. Write Letters! Send packages! We wrote letters for 2 years, and I can honestly say it was the best thing we did to keep our long-distance relationship strong. I once got a package of my boyfriends varsity sweatshirt doused with his favorite cologne. Smiled for a week. I’ve sent a ‘Someone Needs To Take Care Of You’ package- complete with band-aids, pens, a picture of us and some peanut butter. Nothing feels better than seeing you have real mail, especially from him. Draw pictures, write poems, find your favorite quotes, and express your feelings in the letters. Any negative feelings about the relationship work well when expressed in letters, because since you cannot speak in person, it allows each of you read and review what the other has to say, without the initial defensive phone response.
3. Keeping it spicy. It can be difficult to maintain a passionate relationship with so many miles between you. But it is certainly not impossible. Do not rely on texting and phone calls, because that will take away from the excitement and intimacy of your relationship. Have Skype dates, video record yourself and send them to his Facebook. Strike up the courage (if you need to) and show him a glimpse of that new lingerie you bought during your next Skype date. During visits take advantage of your alone time. If it’s a physical relationship, plan ahead buying sexy bedroom outfits. He’ll be sure to remember that during his time away. Keeping in contact with each other should be fun.
4. Trust. You absolutely need to trust each other in order to make it successful. Make sure you trust each other before committing to the long-distance. Most of us girls are jealous by nature, and since he’s not there to reassure you he’s not interested in the girl from his physics class- do you’re best to trust him. You’re not around to see what he is actually doing, so you have to trust him, and relax. If you cannot trust him, it is important to discuss whether you can handle the commitment of long-distance beforehand.
5. Do not stalk his Facebook page daily. Anything he wants to tell you, he will tell you. All Facebook stalking does it put crazy, elaborate scenarios in your head- and that’s a dangerous game to play. “Oh, I see he friended a girl named Alexis... Ugh, she’s prettier than me. I wonder if she’s funnier, too? OhMyGod she won Miss Kansas..” If he decided to stay in a relationship with a girl who lives cities or states away, he probably thinks that you’re the funniest and prettiest girl there is. So do not worry.
6. PICK YOUR BATTLES. The phone is a dangerous place to fight. You’re yelling at an inanimate object, so it is very easy to get upset. Remember, you cannot see the person you care about, or their expressions. Only bring up issues that are important to the relationship. Think before you speak, and if it is appropriate, approach him by saying, “I want to talk about ____”. Avoid accusing him of anything. Let him speak, too. Believe me when I say, do not constantly hang up when you’re upset. One day he will stop calling back.
7. Commit! Balance is incredibly important. Make sure to balance the new amount of space that you give each other, with allotted times to talk as well. Make an effort to call and say good morning, or goodnight. Save the money to splurge on a visit! Seeing each other when you can is important. Choose an open weekend ahead of time, save up and go! Do not boggle up your mind with, ‘Is the money is worth the short amount of time?’ I once spent only three nights to go visit in Montana, and it was well worth it. Seeing what his life is like there will make you feel much more comfortable with what he is doing and who his friends are. And seeing him will quickly remind you why you chose to stick it through the distance.
Most importantly: It is going to be a new relationship. Anticipate a different amount of attention, time commitment and communication from when you shared the same city. Times will be stressful, as with any relationship. So, remember that if things are tough, it may not be the right time for a long-distance relationship. But if you both feel confident in it, it can still be an amazing relationship.