To be honest, I never thought that I would be in a relationship before I graduated from college, let alone a long distance relationship.
I have been in a committed relationship with my boyfriend for three years. He is going to the University of California, Irvine back home in SoCal. We are still as passionate and happy as when we started dating in high school, but just a bit more mature.
Whether you are a couple of hours away or a few days away, if you don’t have the ability to see your significant other in a matter of an hour, the distance can put a strain on your relationship. It may not be an immediate or obvious obstacle, but it’s there.
My transition into college was anything but easy for many reasons, and having a boyfriend a couple of hours away made it a bit harder sometimes.
I won’t lie; there were a few times in the first months that I was preparing myself for the worst. However, the two of us have grown up watching relationships within our families that taught us the DONT’S. We were left to piece together the DO’S.
These are a few tips that I have found helpful and have learned being in a long distance relationship. Many of these tips are ones that are vital to any relationship – long distance or not − but distance creates a new gap that needs to be filled with extra care.
It’s important to voice when you’re upset, annoyed, angry, tired, etc., and why. Don’t wait until so many incidents boil up and you explode. If you start to feel like you aren’t getting enough attention or being appreciated enough, then say it. Don’t hold anything back. Remember: unless your partner is Professor Xavier, they can’t read your mind.
Make sure what you are communicating is as honest as it gets. Everything you say should be honest, but especially so if you begin to feel something for someone else. Before things get out of hand or the ice gets thin, be honest and talk about it.
- CHECKING IN
Now, you don’t have to constantly know where your significant other is 24/7 nor do they need to know that about you, but just letting them know “I’m at work now!” or “Exhausted but back in my room finally” —something of that sort — lets you both know that the other is well.
This has probably been one of the most helpful things in my relationship. Decide on a time for the two of you to be able to have a phone call, Skype call or a chat on FaceTime. Maybe you could do it once a day for a “good morning” or “goodnight” at least. Now, if you are in completely different time zones, this can be challenging, and a once a week call is more practical.
You don’t have to spend money or anything. My first year of college my boyfriend sent me a letter every single week, and I still have all 40 of them. Snail mail is always exciting. With technology though, it’s also sweet to receive the random “Just thinking about you. Hope you are having a great day, love you!” message. The little things count.
- USE YOUR WORDS
This is a hard one for my boyfriend, but you need to remember that “I love you” and “I miss you” can lose their meaning really fast if you’re constantly saying it. Don’t get me wrong — remind your partner that you do this, but you say it differently each time. For everyone this is different. You need to express how you feel inside and what you’re thinking. You just have to open up.
- FAITH AND TRUST
Faith, trust and a bit of pixie dust is all you need, but since pixie dust isn’t real, stick to faith and trust. This is the hardest for me to do, but without them, a relationship won’t work. You need to trust your partner and honor the trust that your partner has in you. You need faith in your relationship that you two will last and that you can get through whatever amount of time you have to endure until you’re together.
These are only a few small tips; there are plenty more, and just as every relationship is different, so are the tips. The best thing to remember when in a long distance relationship is this: no matter the distance or amount of time, if you’re willing to fight for your significant other, when you are finally together again, it will be that much more incredible.