How to survive a Long Distance Relationship

Long distance relationships are hard. It can be tough when the one you love is so far away that your only ways of communication happen over technology. Even if you have other things to keep you preoccupied, the unsettling feeling that you can't be with your special person comes creeping back in. Whether you're in a long distance relationship while on a break from school or for the forseeable future, here are six things that you'll need to learn in order to get by.

Trust your partner fully.
It's easy to worry that your significant other will fall in love with someone else, but don't let it eat you alive. The two of you made a commitment to be in a long distance relationship together, so trust each other's judgment. Life will go a lot more smoothly when you learn to spend less time worrying about losing the person you love.

Communicate openly.
Share your doubts, your struggles, and when you're having a bad day. Just because your partner isn't around to console and comfort you, it doesn't mean that they don't want to help. (They probably have similar struggles too, which can open up a healthy conversation between you both.)

Communicate often.
Talk about what you did during the day and what you ate for dinner. Share that awful pun you came up with in the shower or a picture that you know they would appreciate. Include your partner in as much of your life as you can: not only will it strengthen the bond between you two, but it will let them know you're thinking about them. Nothing is too trivial a conversation, and you won't bother the other person by saying something.

Send surprises.
I made a batch of cookies for my boyfriend that arrived after an exam on a rainy day. My boyfriend surprised me with a delivered bouquet of flowers because he knew I'd been having a particularly rough month. Sending surprises to the other person lets them know you're thinking about them, and going the extra mile will certainly impress them.

Plan visits frequently.
You may be able to get by with video chats and phone calls, but sometimes there's nothing better than having a hand to hold, a warm body to hug, and someone to share a jumbo popcorn with at the movies. Schedule visits as often as your means allow to keep you and your partner happy.

Learn to be comfortable with spending time on your own.
There are going to be days where you're extra sad about being without your partner. Don't worry, this is normal. Instead of counting down the days until you see them again, make those days count. Enrich yourself by learning a new language, treating yourself kindly, and reaching out to your other friends. I wrote a whole other post on ways to get yourself out of a bad mood, which can definitely help you through the rough patches.

Understand what you're in for.
Long distance reationships can be excruciating, so make sure you're in one for the right reasons. Is this a relationship that can go somewhere? Are you okay with spending time without your partner, even though you'll miss them like crazy every day? Stay hopeful in knowing that if you two can make it through this, you will be able to make it through any other hardships.

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? What do you find works for you?

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