Loving from a Distance

Long-distance relationships. Sounds miserable, right? From my experience, most people would agree. But for the brave readers who don’t think so and have made the choice to embrace the next few months of your life without seeing your loved one in person, know that there is hope.  Despite popular belief, there are ways to make it work.

The first thing to be aware of when in a long-distance relationship is that communication is imperative. Without this connection, everything will quickly start to fall apart; you will feel detached from your significant other and what is happening in their life which can only create a feeling of distance and negativity regarding the situation. Although talking ranges in all relationships, it is important to establish a foundation that articulates goals. How many times a week, minimum, do you need to talk as a couple? Does this number vary depending on mode of communication? I find that a rule of thumb is that it is important to Skype at least twice a week. This way you can see your partner and it will provide a more fulfilling communication experience since you will be able to hear and see them.

Another lovely mode of communication outside of talking via Skype or calling is messaging. This can be text messages, Facebook messaging or anything of that variety. Regardless of how it is done, make sure that it happens.  It is a small task that requires little time and energy but shows that you are willing to put in the effort to keep in touch. It is important to message them when you think of them. Nothing can brighten a day faster than a cute message that says how much someone misses you.  Message them with information like tiny updates on your life and what is happening this week for you. This way they will still feel like they are an integrated part of your life despite the distance. Message them about random ideas you have about cute, fun things you will be able to do once you’re reunited. Messaging is a simple and quick way of staying connected to another person that can easily happen several to many times per day; take advantage of it!

If technology isn’t your strong suit or you simply want to try something a bit more old-fashioned, give letter-writing a try. Letters are great because it is a dying form of communication; this makes it rare and special. Not only does it show that you took time out of your life to write it, but they are very sentimental. Unlike a call or text, it gives your partner something tangible to hold onto that they can read over and over and then hang it up somewhere, a constant reminder of you!

A way to take the letter-writing idea further is to send a package. This may be harder or not even an option depending on where your partner will be, but if it is possible, I highly recommend it. Packages are great because not only can they hold the adorable hand-written letter you wrote, but they can also hold bigger things like that chapstick you own that he loves. Creating a thoughtful package is important. Fill it with items that remind you of when you two were in the same geographical location. Buy them that chapstick, for example, so they can use it and every time they will think of you. If you’re feeling creative, you could hand-make something that is meaningful. Send a picture of you two together in a frame or things that you’re encountering in your life wherever you are that he might not be a part of. This special gift will help keep the connection strong and be a wonderful surprise for your partner.

Has your relationship recently become “international”? If you have a smartphone you can download WhatsApp, Viber, or Couple which are free ways to message and even call your loved one. Another problem you could run into if you or your loved one is in places like China is that most internet sites we use in America are blocked. If all else fails, invest in a proxy server which is basically a way to use internet from another location so you can access sites like Facebook.

Making a long-distance relationship work isn’t easy, but if effort is put into it, it can. Try out some of the tips above and determine what methods are best and most successful. Every relationship is different; adjust these tips accordingly, and remember to have fun with your partner. Every day apart is still a day you are in a relationship; make them count!