You’d be hard pressed to find someone more cynical about lasting love than me. Close friends know better than to mention marriage. I’m used to keeping a few men on the back burner for when the front-runner inevitably falls apart. I have no shame. I roll my eyes at monogamy, at consistency. Relationships? No point. Long distance? Even worse. I’ve always told people they’re fools for making romantic commitments at a young age.
And you know what else? I’m a hypocrite. I’m a goddamned cliché. The first time he sleepily smiled at me, head on his pillow, I knew my heart would never be the same.
It took falling in love with a man I’ve known for years to realize that I’m the one who had it wrong. I was the fool. You love someone? Tell them. Your relationship is hard? Good. It means you have something worth fighting for.
There’s an ocean separating me from the man that I love, and it takes effort. But it’s worth it. It’s worth it every single day. If I can do it, you can do it. These little things will make the distance easier, I promise:
1. Play music for each other before bed.
Distance takes away the plurality of how we express our love. Find new ways of carrying your lover with you throughout the day. At night, play each other the songs that matched your heart that day.
2. Make time to talk. Every day.
We all live busy lives. We need sleep, and more caffeine, and more productivity. I get it. Truly, though, the most important part of making a long distance relationship work is to hear their voice and see their face. It grounds you. You’ve both momentarily stopped your worlds to be there, in that moment, with each other.
3. Send pictures.
It’s the absence of little routines that make the distance harder. Send your significant other a picture of your walk, of the sunset. Of a cat you see. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re showing them the little moments of your day.
4. Address the jealousy openly.
Often, we’re insecure creatures and our imaginations get the best of us. If you let your worries fester they’ll turn ugly quickly. You’re not needy for feeling jealous. You miss your partner. It’s okay. Talk about it.
5. Remember what you have.
It’s easy to let the distance discourage us. To count the difficulties, the obstacles. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you are, or who you’re missing; you hold someone’s heart, and they hold yours. Be humbled. To have known love is the greatest thing for which any of us can ask.