Relationships aren’t easy, even less so when you’re far apart from each other. I started dating my current boyfriend exactly a week before I left home for Xavier my freshman year. Three years later and we’re still going strong. It definitely has not always been easy, but that doesn’t make it impossible. Here are a few tips to make your time apart from your SO a little easier.
1. Technology is your best friend.
Long distance is definitely easier today than it would have been twenty years ago. Technology allows us to stay in constant contact, making it a lot easier to share and connect with your SO. The majority of your interaction will be talking and listening. When talking, make sure you’re delving into the details. What did you do, who did you go with, what did you talk about, how did it make you feel? It’s also easy to get wrapped in your own stories, so make sure you reach out to ask what they have been doing, how their day is, etc. When listening, make sure you’re actively listening. Pay attention to what’s being said, respond when appropriate, and if video chatting, put your focus on them.
2. Communicate regularly, but don’t be overly reliant on them.
Try making a set day where you will video chat, and choose a certain time where you’ll talk on the phone, maybe even write a letter once a month! Do more than a ‘Good morning’ and ‘Goodnight’ text.
On the other hand, although communicating is great, you don’t want it to be excessive either. It’s okay for time to pass without a constant update from each other. Don’t feel like you constantly need to know where they are and what they are doing. If either of you is getting suspicious or untrusting every time someone doesn’t respond to your text, you might need to have a sit down with them to talk about the trust in the relationship.
3. Do things together!
My boyfriend and I will play video games together while we Skype, but you can also both take walks while talking, watch the same movies/tv shows, read the same books, listen to the same playlist/podcast, even go online shopping together. Even if you’re not physically together, you can still have fun together. It also gives a break from normal day to day conversations.
4. Set an end date.
It might seem cheesy to be counting down the days until you’ll see them again, but at least be aware of it. Setting that end date might remind you how much time you have between breaks, but it also shows you that there is an end in sight.
5. Make plans and set a schedule.
When a break is upcoming, know what your schedule will be for that time. When are you both working? Is one of you still in classes? How much time are you spending with family? Then, find things to do! Take advantage of the time you have together and do something out of the ordinary.
6. Set Rules and Boundaries.
You should do your best to stay out of situations that might make your SO feel uncomfortable or threatened and they should do the same for you. That doesn’t mean you need to get approval from your partner for every social interaction, but you should set clear boundaries and rules that work for both of you and adhere to them.
7. Have Trust and Confidence in the Relationship.
Trust is probably one of the most important things in a relationship and without it, a long distance relationship can crumble very quickly. Be open about fear, jealousy, insecurity, etc. If you don’t feel confident about how the relationship is going, say something.