The idea of going into a long distance relationship can be very daunting. It certainly has been for me. There’s so much uncertainty about what it will be like and whether you and your partner will be able to handle it. And I guess it really all depends on the people in the relationship. If you want it badly enough, you will do what needs to be done to keep the relationship alive.
My long-distance relationship starts in January. Here’s my list of things my boyfriend and I did to prepare for it:
1. Talk about the possibility of a long distance relationship
Long before we got the news that he would be attending university so far away, we talked about the possibility of it happening. We were prepared for the news to go either way. We spoke about what it would entail should he be admitted here or there.
When the news broke, we were shocked and sad, but we did not have to panic because we had already discussed it.
2. Make a plan a few months at a time
Our universities break 4 times a year. This means that we will be able to see each other at least 4 times a year (if not more). For the time being, we’re devising plans for the first 3 months we will be apart until he comes to visit me in March for my birthday.
I’m someone who likes to plan a lot of things ahead of time and he had to tell me that we will talk about it when we get there. One holiday at a time.
3. Decide how you will stay in touch
Personally, I think using text messages is very impersonal. We have had so many misunderstandings and fights because you cannot really fully express yourself over text.
We will be using Skype to stay updated on each other’s lives. We are both studying degrees that will take up a lot of our time, so we will not be able to text or Skype every night.
There are also a lot of apps out there that allow you to stay in touch with your partner through photos, notes and shared calendars. We will be testing them out next year, so I’ll let you know which one is my favourite.
4. Don’t be afraid to talk about it
I know, it can be a sensitive subject. It’s this thing that’s looming over you and you feel kind of helpless. My advice would be to talk about this with your partner. Instead of each of you wallowing in your own despair, try to find solutions or console each other.
This next step in your relationship will probably make or break it, so you need to do everything it takes to stay strong and stick with it.
5. Commit from the start
If you and your partner are deciding whether it will be worth it to keep on dating over the distance, you need to make a decision that you can stick to.
If you decide halfway through that it’s too much, you will have wasted your own time as well as your partner’s. This is why it’s probably not a good idea for a new couple to try this. It could be possible to start a relationship as long distance and see it through, but I would rather bet on an older relationship.
6. Trust each other
There is no way that this relationship can work out without trust. I know it’s hard to leave yourself so exposed and vulnerable, but if that’s what it takes…
It will not help the relationship if either of you start mistrusting the other and asking a lot of interrogating questions. If you love this person enough and they love you enough, they will commit to you and only you.
The golden rule of relationships. If something is bothering you, tell your partner. They will not be able to guess at it. Talk to them when things get too hard and you’re feeling lonely.
Share your thoughts and feelings as if they were still there with you.
8. Make a care package
I’m sure you’ve seen these on Pinterest. A care package is basically a bunch of gifts in a box that you can mail to them or give them before they leave.
My boyfriend just had his birthday and I included some things that will help when he’s missing me. Things like a photo album and a letter. I’ll probably send him another one early next year.
This is your chance to get personal. You should add things that are related to your relationship and will remind your partner of you. Make it pretty and full of goodies for them to enjoy.
9. Be positive and excited
Be positive because after you’ve done all the above things, you are prepared to kick this long distance in the butt. Just stay strong and keep on hoping.
Be excited because once it has started, you can count down the days until the next visit. And the more visits there are, the faster time will pass until you can be together for good!
I wish all of you the best in your relationships.
Let me know in the comments below how you handled (or are handling) your own long-distance relationship.