Being in a long-distance relationship is definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, which may sound a bit dramatic, but it’s true! It is not for the weak and definitely puts couples to the test, but if you really care about your person, you can get through it. My boyfriend and I have been dating for over 2 years now, and we are in our second year of long distance at almost 500 miles apart. I feel that one of the best things you can do when you’re in a long-distance relationship is to hear from others about what they do and what helps them. I’m going to share things that I do to make long-distance work.
The number one rule of long distance is to communicate everything. I know that everyone always says this, but there is no worse feeling in a relationship than being out of the loop. If you’re having a bad day, tell your partner. If you’re having a good day, tell your partner. If you’re upset with your partner, tell them. Especially communicate if you are going to be busy and won’t be able to talk much. Sometimes texting is all you have and it really sucks when you message them and don’t know why you’re not hearing back.
Second, we call/facetime at least once a day. Just getting to see your partner’s face and hear their voice makes a lot of things better. Also, it’s so much easier to feel the connection when you can actually talk to each other instead of trying to explain all of your thoughts and feelings over text.
Next, we make sure to text each other updates throughout your day. When you’re however many miles apart, it is so easy to feel left out of their life. Updating one another throughout your day really helps to keep you in the loop. It makes me feel excited and included when my boyfriend texts me about a class he just had or updates me on a new piece of gossip.
Do virtual dates. This might seem kind of silly, but they are very important for keeping that spark. A couple of things that we usually do is have dinner dates with each other over Facetime, or we will watch a movie together over the phone. This way, we can still talk to one another in real-time, feeling like we’re together.
Communicating when we’re going out, or hanging with friends is one of the most important things to me in my long-distance relationship. If you don’t feel comfortable telling your partner that you’re going out, that almost feels secretive and I just don’t like it. Anytime either of us are going out for the night, going to a party, or just hanging out with a group of friends, we make sure to tell each other all of the details (we also have each other’s locations, which is really nice when you can’t get ahold of them). While we’re out, we also make sure to text each other a couple of times just to check in, as well as let the other know when we’re headed back to our room for the night.
Giving your significant other something to remember you by can actually be a lifesaver. Before we both left at the beginning of this semester, we both exchanged/gave each other things of our own. For example, he gave me a little bit of his cologne, he has one of my sweatshirts, we both have stuffed animals from the other person, etc. These things are really helpful for the nights when you feel every mile between the two of you.
One of the last things that we do is look at the positives. As I’ve said, long distance is not for the weak and some days it feels like you’re never going to see your partner again. On days like these, it is the most important to remember what you’re doing this for. We both plan what we’re going to do when we see each other and what dates we’re going to go on. Giving yourself something to look forward to makes you remember how grateful you are for your time together and it takes you away from the negativity of the situation.
Long distance is by no means my first choice, but I am grateful for everything it’s taught me. We’ve learned to grow as individuals, while still having each other as a support system. Not to mention, the time apart just makes everything so much better when you do get to see your partner again. There is nothing quite like that first hug.