What I Learned From My Long Distance Relationship

Okay, let’s clear the air here, take a breather. If your long distance relationship is struggling it certainly doesn’t mean your relationship needs to come to an end.  Your relationship with your sweetheart who lives across the country, or even across the world, is hard to keep up – I get that. However, this is just a little rough patch, trust me. I, and so many others, have been in your shoes.  Here are some things I have learned along the way through my own long distance relationship that might just be able to help you when you find that your long distance relationship is struggling.

Trust takes time

I met my boyfriend on twitter. Yeah, Twitter. Most of you are probably thinking that meeting someone online can only result in being cat-fished…nope. One day, when I had just gotten home from class, I got a notification from Twitter. A direct message…yes he was “sliding into my DMs,” but he wasn’t a pig. He was a sweetheart, and he swept me up from under my feet. We communicated through Twitter for about two weeks, and then finally trusted each other enough to exchange phone numbers. Texting regularly turned into nightly phone calls, which eventually turned into nightly Skype dates. Those first few steps were scary, but as trust grew, so did our love. We started to develop serious feelings for one another, and on December 10, 2014 he told me he loved me. We had only known each other for about a month and a half; it happened that fast.

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You will have your doubts

Sounds like a happily ever after right? If only we didn’t live 652 miles from each other. We both knew that we eventually had to meet, but we didn’t know if that was possible because we were (and still are) broke college students. I kept on thinking, “Is this going to work? Should we keep this relationship going?” It was a very hard time for both of us. So many doubts running through both of our minds. Then, on a Saturday in January of 2015, he called me and told me that he was going to fly down the next weekend and meet me. This was it.

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Goodbyes never get easier

Picking him up from the airport was the most nerve racking thing I have ever done, but at the end, dropping him off after two magical days was the hardest thing I have ever done. I cried for about three hours. Many more weeks were spent until we could see each other again, and we had our fights, which is always harder when you can’t see the other person. Sometimes it felt like the only reason we were fighting was because we missed each other so much. But this is where I learned my next piece of advice…

Communication is key

To make any relationship work, long-distance or not, there has to be clear, strong communication. If you have a problem with what your partner is doing, than tell them. If they do something by accident that hurts you, than tell them. My boyfriend and I have had multiple arguments because we weren’t communicating. I can’t stress enough how crucial communication is in a long-distance relationship. Your biggest struggles will come when both of you get busy, and you two can’t talk as much as you’d like. You start feeling distant, and miscommunications start happening more often. Been there, done that. If something happens, be sure to settle anything between you and your partner at the first opportunity. Even if you can’t talk that often, and especially if this is the case, then make sure you work everything out in the time you have. Which brings me to my next tip.

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Set aside times to talk to each other

Skype or FaceTime dinner dates are a beautiful thing for your long distance relationship. Make dinner while talking with you partner. It’s even more fun when you two make the same dish. One time, my boyfriend and I made chicken alfredo together…it felt like he was sitting across the table from me. Try to text each other as much as possible. Today, we are lucky that we have the technology to actually see the other person…so use it! Distance doesn’t have to be the deal-breaker that it once was. Just imagine if you were in a long distance relationship in 1886 and had to wait weeks for a reply. Be thankful that you can get replies in less than two seconds.

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Sleep together via Skype (Yes, it really helps)

Set up your laptop or phone next to you in the bed or on your nightstand, get video chat going, and just like that you have your partner “lying beside you.” It is very comforting and relaxing to talk before bed; some of our best conversations happen during this time. Another great thing about this is that you get to see your partner first thing in the morning if the call doesn’t drop. Seeing my boyfriend’s face first thing – it makes my heart smile.

Show your love in small ways with BIG meaning

Good morning texts can never go wrong. Same with “thinking about you” texts. Want to send them a surprise gift in the mail? Do it. You will be glad you did. Handwritten notes are all the craze of social media, and for good reason. Getting a letter in their own handwriting about how much they love you is basically the best thing ever. Mix it up, keep it fresh. There are countless little ways to show your love.

Distance is the hardest thing to deal with in a relationship, sometimes it even kills a relationship all together – but it doesn’t have to. Hopefully my experiences with a long distance relationship will help you make yours stronger!

Feature image source: elle.com
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Brittany Witte

Brittany Witte is currently attending Southern Illinois University. Her major is Mass Communications and she focusing more on journalism. She is also a photographer and a Pinterest addict.

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