My boyfriend and I have been doing off and on long distance since we started dating almost two years ago. From tricky timezones to late night Skype calls, we have braved the challenges and heartache that can come from long distance. Through it all, I have learned some tips that I think are helpful for couples that are in long distance relationships.
- DO be emotionally present. You may not be there to hold a hand or to give a hug but you can listen to your significant other and respect their feelings even over the phone.
- DO actually listen. When you are on the phone, it is easy to multitask. Remember to be 100% present when you are talking with them.
- DO be creative. When my boyfriend and I were apart this January and he was studying for his MCAT (medical school entrance exam), I sent him a study survival care package. I included his favorite treats and decorated the inside of the box. It was an easy way to show him, even though I was states away, that I was thinking of him. On Pinterest, I have a “College: Relationships” board that has lots of ideas for care packages and ways to make your significant other feel special and loved. Definitely check it out!
- DO make time for each other. While you may not be able to actually go out together, treat your Skype session as a date! Make sure you are both making enough time for one another. Last summer, when my boyfriend was in Italy and I was in Utah, I woke up early before work to talk with him. It was the only time that we were both available due to his class schedule and my work schedule.
- DO have open communication. This is a vital part of any healthy relationship. Having a long distance relationship can cause communication to drop rapidly. If you make sure that you have open communication, are telling each other about your lives and are discussing problems as they arise, you will have a much easier time surviving long distance.
- DO remember it is not forever. The mindset that has gotten be through long distance is remembering that it isn’t forever and that when we are together, the days and moments are that much sweeter.
- DO keep yourself busy. If I am busy with my own life, I dwell much less on being sad that I am not with my boyfriend. Plus, there is so much life to live so go out and live it!
- DON’T make your significant other feel guilty. Last summer my boyfriend was in Italy, exploring the world and meeting new friends while I was home. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great summer and loved my internship but I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous when he sent me pictures. I felt a weird mix of anger and jealousy and often put that on him by complaining that he wasn’t making enough time for me. Looking back, I should have been more supportive and understanding considering he was in Europe experiencing the dream of a lifetime! Don’t make your significant other feel guilty but do make sure that if you have a valid concern that you talk to them about it.
- DON’T give them any reason to worry or lose their trust in you.
- DON’T dwell in your sadness. This relates closely to DO #7. Don’t sit around mopey and sad! If you dwell in the sadness that you are apart, the time will pass much slower. Focus on relationships with the friends and family that are around.
- DON’T go to bed angry. If (when) problems arise, do not go to bed angry. Not only will this lead to a terrible night’s sleep but this will also build tension and resentment.
- DON’T communicate too much. You don’t need to be constantly texting or Skyping. Give each other distance to live your lives and grow. Respect when that person has other things going on in their day to day life
Above all, remember that time will pass. Soon enough you will be together again. Do you have any LDR tips?