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Going the Distance: Tips and Tricks to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

As Thanksgiving is upon us so is the infamous “Turkey Drop” aka when everyone breaks up with their high school significant other after being away at college. While many people grow and change throughout college and it is perfectly okay to outgrow someone, the hardships of doing long distance should not be the reason to break up with your SO.

I personally have been in a committed relationship for five long years, one and a half of those being long distance. We have managed to make long distance work even despite the fact that we live on opposite ends of the country. I can’t tell you long distance is easy because it certainly is not, but what I can tell you is that it is worth it! Therefore, coming from experience I have gathered some of the best tips that have worked in my relationship to maintain a healthy long distance relationship.

  1. Make time for each other.

Alright so this one might sound like its pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to get caught up in your new life and suddenly forget about your significant other at home. While it is important to not let your boyfriend, girlfriend, whomever stop you from living your independent life, it is also important to remember that you made a commitment to them when you started your relationship to make time for them and that shouldn’t stop just because of distance. Always try to set up a time to call/text/ skype when you both can to stay in touch.

  1. Send love.

When you’re swamped with assignments and clubs and you find yourself wearing thin on being able to make time for your SO, sending a little bit of love goes a long way. A small care package with their favorite snacks or even a simple card to say “I love you” will brighten their day and let them know that even though you are busy you still care. Before going away, I wrote my boyfriend a series of “Open When” letters for all instances such as when he’s sad, mad at me, stressed out, etc. that were really helpful for being there for him when I couldn’t be.

  1. Fight Fair.  

One of the biggest challenges with long distance relationships is not being there for the fights. While your relationship might be mostly through the phone or computer and it is easy to simply hang up when things get tough—DON’T! If I could give any piece of advice to someone in a long distance relationship this would be it. It is too simple to hang up or ignore your significant other when you live so far apart but falling into that type of habit can be detrimental to a relationship. Always try and make an effort to work things out before going to bed as no one should go to bed mad at their lover. Remember that not being face to face can make it easier to say or do things you wouldn’t do if you were psychically together, but saying those things is not always a good idea. Always try and think through whether the distance is causing you to be a little more ruthless in your argument before you say something you don’t mean. And always, always make up, unless it is a serious issue any little argument can be solved by the end of the night.

  1. Look ahead.

Long distance relationships are tough I’m not going to lie. Most of the struggle is knowing there is still much more time in which you have to live in this situation.  While the long distance won’t be ending soon in college, it is crucial to make time to see each other whenever you can whether it be on holiday breaks or a quick visit to each other here and there. You have to cherish these moments together and try to make them last till your next visit. I’m sure you’ll find that you value this time together much more which is a silver lining. When times are tough, remind each other that while you’re apart for now it is all only temporary.

  1. Stay Positive.

Long distance relationships are never fun when you would rather be psychically together, but it is always a good idea to find the benefits of the situation. Long distance allows you to live a full independent life and meet new people while still staying committed to the person you love. Remember why you agreed to this sort of relationship in the first place, you love this person and distance should not change that.

Long distance can be tough, but it can also be great if you embrace the situation! Keep your head up and remember that love conquers all—even thousands of miles. 

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Hannah Page

Oxford Emory

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