When it comes to long distance relationships and friendships I consider myself a bit of a pro. In the last two and a half years I have had quite a crash course in what long distance is like and how to adapt to make it work and remain connected while hundreds or thousands of miles away. Since moving to LA from the UK in the summer of 2015, I have been managing long distance relationships with family and friends. Then, last August, my friends and I went to college. We have all had to adapt to it and find ways to stay connected with each other at college across the country in multiple time zones. What’s more, I’m also in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend, who goes to the University of Oregon. Lastly, since moving to live on campus, I have had to adapt to talking to my parents and sister in a new way since I no longer see them every day at home.
I just want to state a disclaimer now- just because I think I’m pretty good at having long distance relationships, that doesn’t mean that I don’t mess up and get it wrong sometimes. Every time it does go wrong it’s for the same reason… lack of communication. When everything isn’t “crystal clear” on either end, it can really change the way a relationship works. If there is going to be a commitment either as best friends, mother-daughter, or romantically, you both have to agree to the same amount of commitment of communication.There are multiple different ways to manage the distance and to make it go by faster whether in a relationship or friendship. Here are some ideas!
- Talk To Them!
This idea is pretty basic, but sometimes when we are so busy with schoolwork and life in general it’s easy to forget during the day, week, or maybe even month. Developing a regular routine of when and what time to chat is a great way to ensure that both sides have time to chat and can stay up to date in one another’s life. In a relationship, taking time to chat is really important since it’s the basic foundation of a good relationship.
Similar to the first one, communicate with each other about the commitment you want and what you think it’s going to be like. If it’s a romantic relationship, are you going to have a closed or open relationship? What are your boundaries? Are you going to talk to each other every day? Twice a day? At a certain time?
- Hang Out With Them
When FaceTiming, it doesn’t always have to be a “formal catch up.” Having times when you both hangout and relax feels more personal and as if the other person is the room with you. Do activities you would normally do like painting your nails or working on homework together. My boyfriend and I often FaceTime each other when working in our dorms, and it feels like he’s there studying with me. What’s more, it is helpful to study with someone because you can’t stop and watch Netflix!
In a long distance relationship, some nights should be “date night.” Forget all the stressful parts of the day and have fun together! Play some games or even set up a date night; watch a movie at the same time or eat dinner together.
- Be Thankful For Technology!
Ok, this is a side note, but imagine doing long distance 20 or even 10 years ago. It would be so much harder to chat with one another without having FaceTime and Snapchat, and not having Facebook to tag each other in memes!
- Tell Them What They Mean To You
Distance can be difficult and can make you feel disconnected from the other person. Don’t be disheartened if you feel this a little, because it’s natural. When you’re not physically with the other person and or able to see each other regularly it can be hard. However, by telling the other person how you feel and that you miss them, it will help both of you feel more connected. Also, don’t be afraid to tell them spontaneously- often it will make their day because you are thinking of them!
No matter what the relationship may be, friends, family or romantic, long distance takes a lot of effort and commitment. However, the weeks which turn into months will be worth it because the next time you see them it will be amazing and like you never left each other!
“Distance means nothing when someone means everything.” – Anonymous
All photos courtesy of pixabay.com