Loving is not easy. Especially for couples who choose to embark on a long-distance relationship. I can tell you from experience, having been with someone for over five months on separate continents, that the distance is a challenge. However, despite the challenges faced in a long distance relationship, there are ways to combat the loneliness and strain of not being able to see each other physically. I mean, these days with Skype and FaceTime, it for sure makes it easier to see what your significant other looks like 24/7, but you must understand that some days you will just want to feel the other person there. Regardless of the painful longing that sets in upon being apart, the reunion after a few months or weeks apart is all worth it because it reminds you why you are in the long distance relationship in the first place. Here are some tips I have put together to help strengthen a super long distance relationship:
1. Set Your Intentions in the Relationship.
Before choosing to be in a long distance relationship with your significant other, really determine why you are pursuing the relationship. Do you value this person and see something significantly special that you cannot find in someone else, perhaps in your country? It is imperative you understand why you are involving yourself in a long distance relationship because it will help you cope with the longingness if you can see a more rational sense of why you are doing this. Perhaps, you know that the other person will one day be able to live closer with you and long distance is only temporary, but these are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself. Otherwise, you could find yourself confused and wondering if you made the wrong decision.
2. Communicate Every Day (Through Different Mediums).
We have all heard of the motif, “communication is key,” but in long distance relationships this could not be more true. Considering you must go weeks and in my case, months, without seeing your love physically, the only way you can stay connected is verbally. Take this time apart to practice your writing and communication skills because I can promise you that it will pay off. Not only do I want to emphasize the value of texting, but never disregard how important texting the small details of your day could feel. Since you are less apparent in the other person’s life, as you have been forced to live apart due to different life situations, share all aspects of your daily life. ALL. Doing this has really helped me feel connected to the person I am with because it makes me feel like I understand how he is living even though I cannot be there to see him growing and succeeding in his day-to-day life. Not only is texting important but really share your day by sending pictures or videos. Personally, I love the app Telegram because it allows you to send cute video messages and voice notes that can be replayed for you to cherish the moments and memories you make in conversation with the person you love.
3. Compromise and Don’t Overthink.
One of my greatest challenges in being apart has been my habit to overthink situations or rush too far ahead into the future. This has not only hindered my growth as a person, but it has caused strain on our relationship. Our love spans overseas and across continents, so it does weigh on me at times the fact that I am so powerless being over 8,000 miles away. What you do not want to do is cause problems that could lead to greater arguments and disagreements. The reason being is because you cannot try to mend the situation after an argument by a simple hug and kiss. Instead, things may get messy and only lead to great divides. As much as you may oppose “giving in” to your partner’s side of the argument, this is where you must act with a high level of maturity and really see the other person’s perspective in the argument. If you are able to see what you said from an objective point of view, and also consider why the other person may be upset more so than why you are, then this could help ease the argument and settle things faster than if you were to be selfish and continue to wait for him to see your side. Now, overthinking is hard when you are so far, but you must realize that it is okay for the other person to go out and experience their life without always being in contact with you. This is when long distance relationships have the potential to be very healthy because they give you the space to grow on your own as an individual and still have feelings for another person at the end of the day. Release your worries and focus on you and your work if you tend to overthink too much.
4. Plan Video Calls in Advance.
Video calls are my favorite, hands down. What me and my guy have decided to do is have video calls every Wednesday and Sunday. This was an important shift we had to make because over the summer when we were together and not studying at university we had more time to always video call. However, when we both went back to school, we noticed how difficult it was to have a call every day. So, we decided that instead of waiting for each other to be available every day for a video call, it would be healthier for us if we planned specific video call days that we could look forward to and know that it would be definite we could have those calls those days and not have to wait around for an opening in one of our schedules. Doing this has dramatically improved our communication and video call conversations because we actually have more to talk about!
5. Plan a Trip to See Them Next.
The sooner you can arrange seeing your significant other next, the easier it will be on your psyche that you will be apart for only a specific amount of days. After you leave your partner, it will be very hard. I remember succinctly just how hard saying goodbye at the train station was when we were forced to go our separate ways for a while. The first week apart will feel like your love has left you and this feels terrible. It feels like you’ve been broken up with (even though you clearly have not been) but your heart feels otherwise. As soon as you separate, discuss when you will see the other person again. This will ensure that you will not only see the other person again soon, but that this distance is temporary and that you only have a few weeks until you can touch them again.
6. Plan Adventures.
While you are apart, it is important to feel that spark of adventure and risk involved in committing to such a unique relationship. To enhance the way you feel about each other, consider planning an adventure for the next time you see one another. This can include anything from a bike-packing trip to a cruise, to a tour through the mountains, or anything you can imagine doing with your partner that will inevitably bring you closer and allow you to continue learning about their unique character.
7. Do Not Lose Hope.
My final tip will be this: at the end of the day when you are laying in bed alone and looking at old pictures you took with each other when you were together in the same physical location, it may make you cry and desire their presence on another level. This happens to me frequently but I do not let it hurt me because I have confidence in our connection and communicate enough with my partner to know how he feels about me. The more you make it clear how important each other are through text and video, the more able you will be able to handle these nights where you want nothing more than to hold them and cuddle with them before you fall asleep. Again, I encourage you to consider why you started this relationship in the first place and really look inwards to yourself on why you want to pursue it. If you have a strong enough reason for being together and feel like your connection can span the distance across continents then you, my friend, are lucky and can handle being apart for now. Do not lose hope sunshine and keep that vibrant spirit alive! Because that is what your partner fell in love with.