How to Make Long Distance Last

Long distance relationships can sometimes feel like a roller coaster that keeps throwing you through loops. The ride seems to never end and there is no way to get off. It is more than a challenge to get through the scary lows that loom at the bottom of the hill, but those thrilling highs are what keeps you along for the ride.

I am here just to give you a few tips that I’ve learned from almost three years in a long distance relationship. This is my sixth semester of long distance with my boyfriend and I wouldn’t say I am a relationship expert by any means, but I have learned so much about myself and my own relationships because of the challenges we have faced.

A huge aspect of long distance is staying connected to each other, even when you are far away. One way my boyfriend and I stay connected is having a journal we write notes to each other in. When we are apart one of us has it and writes in it. Then the next time we see each other we pass it off. There is something about handwritten, old fashion love letters that are just so good for the soul. Not all of them are even love letters. They can just be "I thought of you today when..." or "here is something funny that happened to me." It is a more intimate way to connect to one another and it's different.

One of the most important things to learn is how you and your partner should communicate. This was a huge for me. I am a very busy person, as most people are in college, and I couldn’t be texting all day everyday. I would prefer a phone call at the end of the day. This doesn’t mean I never texted my boyfriend. But we did need to discuss our communication methods as our relationship changed. This conversation came up because of a shift in my day to day life that made me busier than I had been before. There were many days I just couldn’t text him back for hours and he was feeling somewhat neglected. We had to have a conversation explaining that it wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk or that I wasn’t thinking about him, but that I was genuinely too busy. Which is why we settled on texting when we can and phone calls at the end of most days.

Another piece of advice would be to make future plans. One big thing for us is knowing when we're going to see each other next. Being able to have a countdown to something to look forward to is so nice. If that isn’t possible for you, maybe set a goal for a holiday or talk about things you want to do together when you do see each other again. That way you have an exciting list of dates to go on.

My last and probably most important suggestion would be to remind yourself, and more importantly your partner, of why you are doing this. If you’re in a long distance relationship, it is most likely because you truly love the person or feel like you have found something you want to hold on to. So, reminding each other of why you are together, why you are doing this and how much you care for them, is key. It especially helps keep romance alive in times where you feel like giving up or are really missing your significant other. Ways to do this can be as simple as writing a cute text telling them why they mean so much to you or just letting them know that you’re glad you have them in your life.

Long distance is not an easy thing to overcome in any type of relationship you might have, whether it be romantic, friendship or family relationship. However, if you found something you feel is worthy of holding on to, it can be so worth it in the end.