By Hannah Walls
Web Content Contributor
Every relationship looks different, and keeping open communication or tackling any conflict that may arise is not always easy or intuitive. This can be especially true in long-distance relationships, whether it’s a different city, state, or even country, as these types of relationships come with their own unique set of issues.
Especially as students, sometimes we fall for someone who has chosen to pursue their education at a different university, or accepted a job offer in another state. Missing out on the little moments together or feeling jealous of couples who get to see each other more often can be tough, but the distance doesn’t have to be a death sentence for your relationship or your goals.
Some days will be harder than others, and there’s no end-all-be-all advice to make sure long distance is painless and easy. However, here are a few tips from my experience that can make you feel more connected to your person, even from many miles away.
Remember your situation is temporary.
Although it feels never-ending at the moment, sometimes it helps me to remember that there will be a time when being away from each other is a thing of the past. I like to imagine the future I will have with my partner, which involves both of us being successful in the careers we are currently working on building, even though we’re apart while doing so.
It can be easy to dwell on this, and it’s totally okay and healthy to let yourself be sad about this situation sometimes! It is tough to be away from someone you really care about and requires hard work to navigate how to be supportive and show affection in new ways.
Let it simmer on the back burner.
This is actually a tip my mom gave me when long-distance was very new to me and I was having a lot of trouble adjusting. Your relationship does not always need to be your number one priority, and the space in-between visits and chatting is actually a great time to focus on yourself.
Feeling secure and comfortable in your relationship allows you to figuratively put it on the back burner and let yourself enjoy being alone. The time I spend with my partner is so incredibly valuable to me, but knowing I am loved and that they are still present in my life every day without us physically being together makes me value time with myself now too.
This is really just code for being able to order whatever greasy mess of food I want without having to discuss other options and watching terrible reality TV shows for hours on end. Nevertheless, learning to actually look forward to my time alone more and let myself recharge is one of the best silver linings I’ve found in this situation.
Explore new ways to connect.
Every couple has mutual activities they enjoy doing together, and this time together might look slightly different because of distance but doesn’t have to be sacrificed. Adapting the things you and your partner love doing together can definitely make your connection even stronger.
My partner and I are both very into gaming, so hopping on Discord and finding new co-op games we can play together is one of my favorite ways we’ve found to spend time together. If we both have limited time, this is one of the ways we can combine a hobby we share while also talking about our days or discussing more details that aren’t easy to communicate over text.
Whatever you and your partner enjoy bonding over, communicate and explore ways to make it long-distance friendly! This process alone of brainstorming is a great way to bring you closer together. I also really recommend Tuned as a way to stay updated with your partner throughout the day since it allows you to update your mood, answer prompts, and send little love notes.
Although long-distance can be difficult, these are just a few tips to keep in mind to adjust a bit easier in-between visits. Although it can be easy to dwell on, finally being able to see your partner makes it all worth it. No matter your situation, I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
Featured Image by Hannah Walls