A long long time ago, before the dawn of time, a guy and a girl sat on a mountainside and decided to take the leap into relationship-world. We had met a few days beforehand, and the situation was completely kismet. The relationship continued through the summer, and at the start of August we had to return to our respective states (Ohio for me, North Carolina for him), but it never crossed our mind that our relationship would ever end.
There’s few feelings worse for a 20-something summer love couple to have to separate, especially after they’ve decide to stay together for the long haul. It took me about a week to realize after meeting him that he was going to be it for the rest of my life, no matter what life threw our way, and now we are about two years along in the process! We are getting very excited for moving in together for the next couple months, and I thought we should give back into the internet world that has provided so much support for us (I’m the social media oriented one, he’s the Bear Grylls).
1. It’s so much easier with a set end goal. Little and large, from the goal of eventually moving close together in X-amount of years to the smaller checklist of seeing each other on holidays and weekends. Also, if your partner is being super evasive for no reason about long term goals for your relationship, you might want to have a discussion to clarify what’s going on.
2. Even as exhilarating and renewing together the weekends together can be, make sure you are using them as encouragements. The more you focus on how being together will make everything perfect, the more you’re ignoring your school life and friends at school. And then you’re opening yourself up to emotionally crash after the visits, which is usually a whole, expensive mess (for a time I should have held stock in a few ice cream companies).
3. Use technology! We honestly googled “long distance couple apps” since we both have iDevices and downloaded a few free word games and popular apps like Snapchat to broaden how we communicate.
4. We are both people who like some level of control in our lives, so having a weekly ritual has been super helpful! That way I know, no matter how bad my day was, that it’s Tuesday and those are our “date nights” where we will sit on skype and watch the same television program.
5. Long distance relationships are actually everywhere. I thought I was an anomaly, until I found friends in class, and started reading and researching ways to cope! Most important for me was to not become bitter the more I learned. Some couples are only 45 minutes or a couple hours away, and we are 11.5 hours (by car) away, and it can be easy to get caught up! Instead, bond with those in long distance relationships around you, make it into a team sport.
6. You date your phone a little bit. It’s okay! Remember that texting tone is easy to misread! Maybe a period is too harsh, maybe you didn’t need that second smiley…it’s so complicated! Always ask questions for follow up before jumping to an angry place, get the most information about the situation before reacting if you’re unsure!
7. Be okay with giving up things once in a while to better the relationship (missing out on going out with friends for a “date night), but also don’t feel rejected if your partner wants to go hang out with friends, and don’t feel bad if you want to go see your friends! It’s a balance! If the time’s right, you can put the cell phone down and fully engage for 45 minutes at dinner with a best friend, or cancel your plans and Skype the night away!
Long distance isn’t easy, it’s a full time job. However with faith, patience, and a willingness to put someone else first, anything is possible.