Long-distance sucks. Let’s get that out of the way. Being hours away from your significant other, who I would hope you want to be with all the time, is not fun. I am currently in a long-distance relationship, going to grad school in California while my girlfriend works in New Jersey. We’ve only been this far apart for a month, yet it has been one of the hardest and longest of my life, especially knowing we’ll be doing distance for at least two more years.
But let’s not focus on that. If you’ve ever been in a long-distance relationship, you already know that it sucks. The real question is: how do you get through it? I hope I can provide some tips, but also want to be straight-up about how I feel about long-distance relationships and relationships in general.
Bottom line, if you really want to make it work, you can make it work. Love is a choice. If you want to keep a relationship going, you need to wake up every morning and choose your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, partner, etc. Some days it’s so easy to choose love you don’t even think about it, and other days it feels like the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Long-distance certainly makes it a lot harder. Some people may also be easier to love than others. There is some merit to finding a tolerable partner. But, at the end of the day, it’s a choice.
So, while distance may seem like an insurmountable obstacle at times, if you’re truly committed to your partner and he/she is committed to you, you can overcome it. At the same time, it still takes a lot of work. You can certainly climb the mountain of long-distance, but you need to do it WITH your partner. Sometimes you’ll need to carry their load and drag them with you, and other times they’ll need to do the same for you. You need to tackle the challenge TOGETHER, as a team, and not just meet them at the top.
As for some practical advice, here are some things I have learned in my first month of long-distance. First off, set up “dates” with your significant other and make these priority number one as if they were a real date. I FaceTime my girlfriend every Wednesday night, blocking off 5-7pm on my schedule and making sure I make it no matter what else I have going on. We may talk for longer, and we certainly try to talk everyday if we can, but our lives can and will get busy. So, it is important that you at least have a set “date” to look forward to with your person even when life gets hectic.
During these virtual “dates” or other spontaneous calls, try to do more than just talk if you can. Talking is obviously good, because it is important to share about your days or be open about how you are doing on a deeper level, especially if you are struggling with the distance. It is ok to be honest about how hard of a time you are having being so far away. At the same time, it won’t do you much good to drown yourselves in constant sadness by focusing on how much long-distance sucks every time you chat. My girlfriend and I recently started watching TV shows together by playing them at the same time on our computers, and this activity gives us something fun to talk about and enjoy versus always trying to solve the impossible problem of distance.
Finally, as cliche as it is, COMMUNICATE with your significant other. I always thought I was a competent communicator until I started long-distance. Turns out I really suck. I’m not much of a planner, and as a result I am awful at letting my girlfriend know what my schedule is for even just one day. She may be expecting to be able to talk to me after I get home from class, only for me to tell her I have a meeting that I assumed she knew about, even though I never told her about it. While being in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t have a life outside of FaceTiming your partner, you do need to keep them in the loop on your life. If you can let them know ahead of time that you’ve got a jam-packed day ahead of you, it is a lot better than bailing on them last minute or accidentally ghosting them and leaving them in the dark.
All that being said, being in a long-distance relationship is really hard. A relationship is already hard enough. As a matter of fact, it could be the hardest thing you ever have to do in your entire life. On the other hand, try to change your perspective and be thankful every morning that you have even found somebody in your life that you feel is worth the effort of a long-distance relationship. Because finding a person like that is really really rare. And, if you are able to work through it with your partner, the eventual reunion will be quite something special, knowing you survived it all and that it was well worth the wait.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts. Would appreciate any feedback you have. Send in recommendations on topics you’d like to hear about too! Hopefully this was helpful and I am always happy to chat! Stay Wayvy my friends!