Friendship

Long Distance Sucks, Here’s How to Make it Better

Distance doesn't have to make you feel so far apart from those that you love.

Everyone knows that long distance relationships hardly ever work. I mean, that is what everyone says, especially if your relationship is about to be one. However, I believe in the power of love and if it is meant to be well, then it is meant to be. With college starting soon, several relationships will be stretched miles apart. However this doesn’t mean that they have have to snap.

I consider myself lucky in all of my long distance relationships. My friends back home and I have low maintenance friendships where we all know how busy we are and we catch up when we find the time. I only make it back a couple weeks out of the year, but we savor those days together.

On the other hand, I also have a boyfriend that I am in a long-distance-but-not-actually-long-distance-relationship with. Let me explain. We both attend school in Arizona, however he goes back home in another state for longer breaks. So, for four months out of the year he spends time with his family in his home state and I stay in Arizona.

I consider myself lucky for the fact that we don’t have to do long-distance for a drastically long time, but four months can be a lot for a relationship. But as it has been said before, distance often makes the heart grow fonder.

Here are some of the best ways to help your long distance relationship flourish.

Video Chatting is a must

When you are in a long distance relationship, it starts to become very lonely fairly quickly. While the two of you may text all the time, nothing is the same as being able to actually see their face! Not only can you have more of a comprehensible conversations, full of stories and laughter, you can also see things that you might take for granted while you two are together. Little things like seeing how their face lights up when you answer, or how they look when they laugh really hard, that is what helps you push through the distance. That is what makes you want to work harder to make it to the day when you see each other in person again.

Sending Letters

This is a practice that I love to partake in. It is so exciting to get mail and I love to give that excitement to someone else! Receiving a physical handwritten note or drawing in the mail feels so much more tangible than just a text. Taking the time and effort to write something sweet shows the other person that you really care.

If you’re not about writing a sappy love letter, this is your reminder that it doesn’t have to be! It can be a cute card you found at Target or a postcard you found around your town or while on vacation. Taking the time to go out of your way and actually send a piece of mail goes a long way.

Plus, if your relationship is more of a fun one, sending letters is a great way to play tricks on one another. My favorite thing to do is to add a lot of glitter or confetti in said card or letter and letting it all fall out when they open it! Something small can add a little playfulness to your relationship from far away.

Communication is Key

I’m going to say it again for the people in the back, communication is key! Communication is the foundation of any relationship, however when you start to put miles and miles in-between yourselves, it becomes even more important.

There are two different aspects that are important to cover within communication. One is the basic act of communicating with each other, and the other is the content of that communication.

When in a long distance relationship, good morning and good night messages are so sweet to receive. They start and end your day with that person so far away, making the two of you feel incredibly close. What you do in between that can be a bit messy.

Be sure to communicate when you will be unable to answer messages due to other social obligations, so the other doesn’t feel confused or lonely.

And while some activities you do throughout the day may seem mundane, switch up the way you talk about your day. Send pictures, videos and audio messages intermittently throughout your conversations. This will create a more unique and personal message, so the other almost feels as if they are with you.

Mementos

While mementos are not necessarily a must, they are certainly nice to have. Before the other leaves, ask for something small of theirs that reminds you of them. A shirt that smells like them or that polaroid photo of the two of you will make the challenging times in a long distance relationship feel a little less difficult.

Mementos are a great way to remind yourself that there is a real person behind the several screens you go through to communicate with them.

Let yourself feel the emotions that come with Long Distance

This is my last and most important point. Long distance is hard, that’s just a fact. You need to let yourself feel all the emotions when you’re going through it, because bottling them up will only make it worse. Remind yourself that it’s okay to feel lonely and to miss them. It’s even more important to communicate those feeling to them so that they know how you are actually doing.

Feeling excited, sad, happy, hurt, snarky and dramatic are just ways that we cope with what we are going through and it is completely okay to feel them. Remind yourself of this often and if it starts to become too much, think about going to see a counselor to help you work through these emotions.

If anyone is going to know what you’re going through, it’s going to be your significant other. Lean on them in your times of need and show up for them.

I believe that your long distance relationships can not only continue, but also grow and flourish, if you take the time to really tend to them.

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Also published on Medium.

Madison LaBerge is an Arizona State University sophomore. She loves her...