Surviving a Long Distance Relationship
By: Ria Shah
Amid cuffing season, some couples have the extenuating circumstances in which they can’t physically be togethern. Long distance relationships are never a walk in the park, but they aren’t impossible to survive. Here are 5 ways to sustain a long distance relationship when bae is miles away.
Figure out What Your Love Languages Are
All humans respond to different means of giving and accepting love. The five love languages are Quality Time, Personal Touch, Acts of Service, Gifts, and Words of Affirmation.To figure out what your love language is, you take the short quiz here. When you find out what your love languages are and your significant others are, it can make it much easier to learn how best to communicate and show your appreciation or affection to that special person. For example, if your partner’s love language is Words of Affirmation, sending a sweet, morning message before they wake up will make the start of their day more special. If your partner’s love language is Gifts, then sending care packages before a huge exam or “Open When…” letters will cheer them up during a low point and will remind them of you.
Plan (Almost!) Everything
If you both know you have busy schedules, share calendars via Gmail if possible to plan date nights and trips to see each other. Trust me when I say this - it’ll make things a lot easier. Make plans on when you will see each other in person. To make every meet-up an adventure, you can opt to meet each other in different cities. You'll also get the bonus of exploring a whole new destination together. When traveling to different cities, you can also opt for a staycation as well. Some R&R will give you both the chance to do activities that you would normally do if you lived together such as, cooking together, having a movie night, etc. After a long time apart, it can feel like you are falling in love all over again.
Honesty and Communication Are Key
Communication, honesty, and trust are critical components of any relationship but is imperative for long distance relationships. We live in an age where technology encompasses our way of life. Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp (if bae is abroad) will become your lifelines. When it comes to conflict, it's easy to misconstrue words through texts or email. If possible, take 10 minutes to step away from the conversation to prevent saying something you might regret later. Reconvene via video chat to come to a resolution. You can better understand your partner’s body language, facial expressions, and vocal context when seeing each other face to face rather than strictly text.
Lead Individual Lives
Though you may be part of a couple, it’s easy to lose yourself in the relationship. That’s why it's important to continue to live your own individual lives outside the relationship. In long-distance relationships, you are not always going to be spending your free time together which is perfectly okay. Homework, meetings, drinks with friends or some time alone after a long day might take priority over spending time with your significant other. Be honest with your partner about having that space you need. This way both people know what/how much time to expect from each other. It no way means they care about you any less; they must take care of themselves before they can be around others. Leading individual lives will help make the relationship stronger due to the strengths in communication when you have conflicting schedules.
Good things take time. If you are starting a relationship long distance, it’s helpful not to define the relationship (DTR) too soon because it may add some unneeded pressure on both of you. See how you both feel after a month of long distance and decide together if you want to pursue it further. If you pursue the relationship further into something more, then remember this quote: "Where there is love nothing is too much trouble and there is always time" - Abdu'l Baha