By: Brittney Wells
Leaving college mid-semester for many, including myself, meant leaving behind a boyfriend or girlfriend. Becoming long distance in a fresh relationship is a difficult process and can be hard for everyone involved, and I wasn’t prepared to make the adjustment. Here are five tips that helped my long-distance relationship flourish!
Communication is a key part of any relationship, but when you’re far away from your significant other, it becomes crucial. It is stressful to not be able to physically be with your partner. Arguments can no longer be solved with just a hug and a kiss. The in-person aspect is no longer there. As a result, it is more difficult to decipher tone and emotions, so it is important to be clear in what you are trying to say. It may not seem like a big deal, but when every conversation is over the phone or through text, small things that usually would go unnoticed are exacerbated. For this reason, make sure to tell your significant other how you feel when you feel it because now your words hold more weight than your actions.
Without a doubt, trust is everything. The relationship will never work if you don’t trust your SO. No one wants to be constantly questioned about their whereabouts or who they are texting. In fact, that could be the downfall of the relationship. Extend the same amount of trust that you would want to be given to you. Always remember: if there isn’t a reason to doubt, there isn’t a reason not to trust.
Plan trips to see each other.
Effort in long-distance relationships goes a long way. Make sure that your significant other knows that you want to see them just as much as they want to see you. We’re grown. If you can, then rent an Airbnb, get on a flight, or take a long drive. Use this time apart to show them how much they mean to you.
Because of COVID, this summer I drove eight hours to see my boyfriend. I hated the drive, but the look on his face when I got there made it all worth it. When it was safe to fly again, he came to see me.
Virtual date nights.
Just because you aren’t together physically doesn’t mean date nights have to stop. Set aside some time to have a Netflix party-just the two of you. Take turns picking the movie or even the show to binge for the night. Facetime afterward to talk about what you liked and didn’t and what your next watch might be. Netflix Party has been a nice way to feel connected with my boyfriend, and it makes for a nice conversation topic, too.
Random letters and/or gifts.
Everyone loves to feel loved and appreciated. Sending your partner a random gift or even just a text message telling them how much you love them goes a long way. Send an edible bouquet or a handwritten letter to let them know that they are loved.
I sent my boyfriend a stuffed giraffe because it’s his favorite animal. He sent me a bear that he sprayed with his cologne.
While these are only a few examples, I believe that they are necessary for a successful long-distance relationship. Also, remember that the key factor in every tip is reciprocity. Make sure that you are never doing all of the giving or all of the taking. Try to make sure that everything is 50-50. Communication and trust are always a two-way street. Switch off taking turns traveling; setting the date; picking the movie, and sending and receiving gifts- never just one or the other.
Long-distance is straight-up hard, but if you’re willing to put in the effort and follow these tips it doesn’t have to be so complicated.