Follow along for a guy’s (me) guide on how to make your long-distance relationship work.
1. It Is What It Is
Dwelling on your situation too often will hurt in more ways than one.
It’s just our luck. Once we find a special girl or boy, the world tells us we can’t keep kissing them because our separate lives await. Feel free to tell your partner how you feel because being apart from someone you care about is really sh*tty. But check yourself and make sure you’re not saying it so often that you sound like an Eeyore.
Dwelling on the fact that you two are apart will prove a burden more than a sign of affection to you and your partner as time goes on. The more you consistently tell yourself and your partner that you hate the distance, the more you’ll be reminded of the negatives of a long-distance relationship, and nobody wins there.
My Tip: Think differently and tell your gf or bf about one thing you laughed at today.
2. Recognize The Haters
People around you will doubt your decision.
So many people will tell you that relationships limit the amount of exposure you’ll have with other people. They want to tell you how you’ll have more sex if you weren’t tied down by someone 800 miles away. They’ll tell you that you should worry about a girl when you’re old, not when you’re 20. There are people out there that will sacrifice the number of people they’ll have sex with for personal, intimate and romantic connection with one individual.
I believe in long-distance relationships. We do long distance because we believe that breaking up is not the answer. People do not NEED to be 30 minutes away to build each other’s happiness and believe in our goals.
My Tip: If you feel a connection with this person, recognize what the haters are saying, and agree to disagree.
3. Random Texts
Text “I love you” during lapses in conversation.
All of us guys… we cry. Sometimes our best crying moments are when nobody knows it happened. But if we move in with this woman or man one day, and fall even deeper in love, they’re gonna need to be there to pick us up from the dirt when we’re vulnerable as sh*t. Show them you care, remind them of your soft side (‘cus we do have a soft side) and tell them again that you love them.
When we get wrapped up in our individual lives, hours can pass when we don’t have the time to catch up with our partner. In between classes, or right before practice, your boo may just be able to see your text, smile, and respond later. Frustrating? Sure. So is long distance. We got this.
4. Digital Netflix ‘N Chill
Run Skype or FaceTime while you two watch the same TV show.
One thing my girlfriend and I began doing a couple months ago was watching a TV show online together. We picked a show that was intriguing for each of us (The Act on Hulu) and FaceTimed each other while we watched. It is very soothing after a long day of work to feel like you’re sitting in the same room as your boo.
You also get to relax as you catch-up on the show you two are enjoying. I’m not kidding when I say this really helps the ‘I miss you’ factor. What’s special about watching a show together is that they are digital date-nights.
My Tip: Bring-up the idea of starting a TV show together with your partner, and watch once a week.
5. Skype Study
Run Skype or Facetime in the background while you two study.
This one really works wonders for a long-distance-crazed psyche. My girlfriend is in grad school currently becoming a doctor while I watch Parks and Rec with my two brothers on our big brown couch… So whose winning..?
She barely has enough time to go to the bathroom, let alone spend it with me on the phone at the end of her long days. To battle her time dilemma, we began Skyping each other while she studies. Luckily, I also have work to do, so I can write in front of my computer while she reads her textbooks and goes over notes on her computer. You will become much more at ease in your partner’s presence, knowing that each of you has decided to use your personal time by spending it with each other.
6. Digital Dinner Dates
Skype or FaceTime your boo while eating.
Here’s another one for those overachiever couples. Each of you may feel more at ease if you use a common study break like eating to re-connect. The last time I did this, I set the mood with a candle and finished the night with a “Thanks for dinner.” Have fun with it.
My Tip: Text your partner an hour beforehand to prepare for their schedule as well.
7. Is Traveling In The Budget?
When you purchase a plane ticket for a couple hundred bucks multiple times, your wallet will feel the hurt. But are you willing to look past the money you are spending, and into the relationship you are forging with this person? If not, there is nothing wrong with you. At a young age, spending that much money means you need a job, supportive parents, or three jobs (that’s me, Lol).
My Tip: Tell your long-distance partner that money is an issue to seeing them. Maybe you, your partner and their parents could help pay for it. Just communicate your issues.
8. Texting: Waiting For Them To Respond
Refrain from critiquing bae’s texting habits.
The best advice I ever heard about handling long-distance texting came from a psychologist. She said that there is no way to know for sure that they are not responding. Sounds simple, right? Well, at the moment that we are worried our partner is either secretly mad at us or cheating, it ain’t so simple.
My Tip: Picture the times that you just can’t respond to a text, no matter who it is. Now I’m a pretty responsive texter, but I never text and drive, and sometimes I’ll be behind the wheel for three hours. Life gets in the way. Out of all the combinations in life, one time I got really angry because my girlfriend did not text me several hours before my flight out to see her. Later, I found out her Dad broke up with his fiancé and she was talking on the phone with her sister for all that time. Like I said, life happens.
My Tip: Remind yourself of the possibilities that could prevent you from responding to a text.
9. Ask The Real Questions
The next time you two talk on the phone, ask them how they’re doing with the distance.
Ask your partner the questions that both of you want to ask, but are afraid will rock the boat. Trust is a special component to a healthy long-distance relationship.
My Tip: Trust in your partner that they will receive the question well and respond honestly. The same goes for you.
10. Do You Tell Your Partner When You’re Unhappy?
Your partner cannot read your mind.
I was just visiting my boo. We’ve been seeing each other once a month for a little over one year as young professionals, trying to apply to jobs and succeed in graduate school. This past trip, she was working so hard in graduate school, that I felt she ignored me. I knew that if I left for home without bringing up how I felt, I would resent her for something she wasn’t even aware she was doing. I decided to open my mouth.
She told me that with the little amount of time she has for herself nowadays, studying, walking and eating are more relaxing rituals with me by her side. In the middle of a long-distance relationship with life happening all around her, for her to say she is able to relax around me, that feels amazing. All we needed to do was communicate our feelings to clear the air. I could not hold anything over her head at that point.
If you ever get in this situation, don’t blow up on your partner for doing something they weren’t aware they were doing. Bring it to their attention by prefacing with you understand how they feel, but you can’t help how you feel. The delivery and tone should be calm, upbeat and not serious.
My tip: Bring your feelings to your partner. Do not take them out on your partner.