As my significant other hopped on the train home after a wonderful weekend visit, I thought about the value of a long distance relationship.
When I left for college in late summer and said goodbye to my boyfriend of a year, I was worried about the ability to stay together. Once I arrived at Knox and met people who had broken up because they were going to college, I began to question if we, as a couple, should even continue to try. But after reflecting on the value of our relationship so far, I found that I didn’t want to lose a great person just because of the way I was moving in life. And he agreed, so here are six tips on how to manage a long distance relationship.
What I’ve noticed thus far with my relationship is that we both get impatient with the waiting. When I’m in class, he is texting me. When I’m out of class and actually have a second of free time, he is at work. It was difficult at first to deal with the lack of conversation, but it makes the “end of the night” conversations all the better. At that point we can discuss every aspect of our day over the phone and reflect before saying goodnight. It can lift your spirits after a hard day, or just help you continue to have a smile on your face through the night.
I know this may seem outdated, especially if you are texting and calling every day and night, but having the physical copy of something sweet is something that can brighten your day while they are busy and you need a smile. It can be as simple as two sentences, but knowing they went out of their way to write and send a letter makes you remember why you love them, or like them a lot.
Having a sweater, keychain or picture of your significant other is essential. Even if you can’t lay with them and watch movies or play games, you can lay in their oversized t-shirt. It can remind you of the comfort you have when you are with them. I love when I can fall asleep in the abundance of shirts I have from my boyfriend. Even if we can’t talk on the phone that night, I have that final moment of the day “with” him.
I don’t get to see him every day, so I better get Snapchats as much as possible. This way I can have the illusion I am with him. I know how much my boyfriend values pictures of me smiling and it lifts me up as well. We are reminded of the love and affection we have even by the ugliest of selfies.
It is so important to trust your significant other. Both of you are separated, whether it be in completely new places or stuck in the “same old.” If your relationship is just the two of you, it is so important to trust your partner and know that they won’t do anything to threaten the relationship behind your back and “forget” to tell you. You have to remember that you made a commitment to one another and damaging that trust could ultimately ruin the relationship as a whole. If you are finding it difficult to keep the commitment, remind yourself of the great things that have come out of the relationship thus far. You can do this by looking through photos, reading old texts or letters, or a quick phone call.
It can be easy to get down in the dumps with the lack of affection while your friends are out holding hands and meeting people, but remember, you have an amazing person who loves you. They are gonna come back. You will see them once again, fairly soon. While you are apart, learn new aspects of yourself. Explore your hobbies and expand your interests. Learn more and explore often. Distractions are positive, but so is feeling all of your emotions. Sometimes you will have to sit in your bed and cry for a solid hour, but it will get easier. Weeks will go by faster and days will feel like minutes. Live one day at a time, and soon enough it will be winter break and you can see one another once again.
Long distance is anything but easy, but for me personally, I know it will be worth the wait. When Fall Term ends and I can hop on the train back to Michigan, I know I will be greeted with loving arms and a smiling face and that’s what matters.