Maybe you thought you’d never do it. You’d seen your friends go through it: all the longing, the loneliness, the costly traveling, the long phone calls serving as a poor substitute for face-to-face interaction, and on and on it went. Why put yourself through all of that? You had it all figured out, too. You simply wouldn’t let yourself get seriously involved with someone you knew might need to move away. You would have fun with the person and then amiably part ways when the time came. It’s not like you had no say over who you fell in love with, right?
Then what happened? You met someone oh so dreamy, sparks flew, and you were immediately drawn together, as if by magnetic attraction. You knew he or she would relocate soon, but you just couldn’t help yourself. The person was so intoxicating, downright addictive. Hooked on his or her love, you couldn’t let the relationship go when the time came and now that existence you dreaded and mocked has become a reality. You’re in a long distance relationship.
So, what do you do now? How do you survive it? Read on to find out.
1. Communicate. First and foremost, you’ll need to establish how and how often you will communicate. Obviously, texting throughout the day will prove helpful, though that’s something most couples do whether long distance or not. What we find most helpful, especially during the first months apart, is video chatting with apps like Skype. Technology has done wonders for communication, hasn’t it? Skyping this every night will help maintain a strong connection and reduce loneliness. This comes from being able to see each other, to see the sadness or joy written across your loved one’s face or expressed in his or her body language. Eventually, Skyping every night will feel less necessary. Phone calls will suffice, though we still recommend video chatting at least three times a week to keep that visual connection.
2. Schedule visits right away. Even if you can’t visit immediately, you want to make plans to visit right away. This will give you both something to look forward to, a date on the calendar to remind yourselves of when the loneliness begins to feel unbearable. You will also need to make visits a regular occurrence. We know that booking a flight can be upsettingly expensive, but letting too much time pass between visits simply opens the door for loneliness and desperation. There’s only so long that a person can live like that before thoughts of infidelity crop up. If you both truly care about making the relationship work, you’ll need to find a way to visit often, despite the costs.
3. Find ways to do things together. You might be separated by thousands of miles, but there are many ways today to do things together. For instance, play interactive games like Words With Friends in your spare time. Or watch your favorite TV show while Skyping. You can chat during the commercials and about the show just like you would if together in person. Or you could always read the same book and converse about it over the phone.
4. Send each other periodic gifts. There’s nothing quite like receiving a surprise package from someone you love. Regardless of what the package contains, just the knowledge that your significant other was thinking about you and loving you enough to send something can lift your spirits. These gifts need not be expensive, but they should, in some way, be meaningful. Gifts that speak to inside jokes or quirky traditions shared by just you two will prove especially meaningful. Of course, for special occasions that you can’t be there for or just to cheer her up after a tough week at work, nothing works better than sending flowers. Or send some new fashion accessory for her big meeting at work.
We know living apart from the person you love most in the entire world can be heartbreaking. But we also know the experience can be survived. Follow our tips for long distance relationships, and you’ll find the time will pass faster that you could even imagine. Who knows? You and your significant other might even come out of the whole experience closer than ever.