Whether you both graduated and didn’t get that apartment in the city together (yet) or you’re both at different schools, being far away from one of the most important people in your life really sucks sometimes. Whether they’re your S.O., your sibling or your best friend, fostering a long-distance relationship isn’t always easy, but these 8 steps should help.
1. Prioritize Them
Sometimes life gets busy, that’s not hard to understand. You can get caught up in school and work and friend drama and sometimes forget to give your long-distance relationship some love. Learning to prioritize keeping up with them isn’t always easy, but choosing to catch up with them at least once a week (for example) can be a good habit to make.
2. Get On Their Level
Find something you both love to watch or listen to and make it your thing. Whether it’s Killing Eve with my best friend at Berkeley or Buzzfeed Unsolved with my brother in SoCal, finding your Thing can really help you two find not only something else to talk about but also someone to fangirl/boy with, and who doesn’t love that?
3. Get Some FaceTime
This can bounce off of Step 1, but taking the time to actually FaceTime (or video chat in any way) can really help you and your long-distance bestie/sib/S.O., feel more like they’re a part of your life. There are also things you can both notice about each other when you have a face-to-face conversation that a text or regular phone call won’t show. Let them see the real you, whether it’s been a great day or a hard one: staying authentic with them can really help things, too.
4. Gifts and Surprises
Okay, let’s be honest: everyone loves a care package. It doesn’t matter if gifts aren’t really their love language, who doesn’t like getting something in the mail? (Especially if it’s personalized from someone you miss!) It doesn’t always have to be a big thing, but showing your long-distance relationship you miss them through little touches like these will help show them you care. (Putting the care in care package…okay, I’ll show myself out.)
5. Another Kind Of Phone Tag
Well-timed calls and FaceTiming aside, there’s a whole big world of social media out there. You may not have time to have serious chat with them every day, but there are other ways to let them know you have them on the brain. Tag them in memes that reminds you of them, send the posts, let them know you’re thinking about them.
6. Make Plans
Being intentional in long-distance relationships can help, too. You might both be broke and too busy to see each other any time soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look to the future. Find that time, get it on the calendar, and this way your “someday” will actually turn into reality.
7. Making Space
Sometimes it can feel like you’re the only one who is making an effort to connect with your LDR, or like they’ve grown too busy for you. Sometimes, this can be true in long-distance relationships. Everyone goes through rough and stormy seasons: let them know you’re there for them when they need you, and trust that they will, too. Sometimes the best thing you can give them is space, even if it’s hard to do.
8. Make Time
Above all, making time for long-distance relationships is key. As you both make new friends and connections and make memories from your respective parts of the world, it can feel like you and your long-distance relationship might drift apart…making that time for you both can be what determines a successful connection vs an unsuccessful one.