So, studying abroad can a lot of fun, but what if you have to leave your SO behind? Or if you fall in love there and then have to come back home? There are as many possibilities of this happening as many couples. But the truth is, anyone who is kind of living the life of travel or even moved abroad once is much more likely to find themselves in a long distance relationship.
No matter how you end up in this situation, once you’re in the long distance relationship you know how hard it is. And I know it. knowingly or not you develop many ways of coping with it. So here I want to share some stuff that worked for me, for us, and maybe will help you too.
1 . Have deadlines
Hands down the most important thing for me. It wasn’t conscious planning at the beginning, but I noticed at some point that every time we met, we already knew the date of the next visit. Not too much planning, but just the next time you’ll see each other. I realized how much that helps me and since then we take care to always know when the next time is. As long as you have the deadline, you know you will see each other again and you know exactly what time you have to wait.
In fact, many long distance couples mention that as a way to make it easier to handle- check out this article by Rakbo.
2 . Share your life
You want to know what they’re up to and they want to know what you’re up to. Include each other in your days, send photos, let them know what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid of having fun without them, you still have your friends or family to spend time with. This shouldn’t be a problem if you both trust each other. I tend to literally send photos of everything- food, coffees, books I’m reading, what I’m working on, sunsets- everything! This will make you feel connected.
3 . Don’t be jealous
That’s a big one for a long distance relationship. Jealousy and controlling would kill any relationship, but being so far away from each other will be an ultimate test. You have to trust each other and you have to accept the fact that your SO will spend time with other people when you’re not there. That may actually be a good thing if you like doing different stuff.
4 . Get together
Well, obviously. But I mean with other people. When you see each other, try to not only spend time with each other, but include other people from your lives- friends and family. As long as it’s possible of course. This will allow you to feel more connected to each other and included in each other’s lives.
5 . Special time
When you see each other, plan cool things to do. Make this time special, it will create memories for you to have for the time when you’re not together. Our favourite things include travelling and visiting theme parks. Take a crazy amount of pictures and have them on hand.
But also don’t force yourselves to “have fun” all the time. Have a night in watching movies if you want to. If you only have a couple of days when you see each other it might be tempting to fill this time up with cool stuff to do together, but allow for some time to just be together and do nothing. You’ll need that.
6 . Use it to travel
My favourite one! Many of the travels I undertook these past two years were directly or indirectly caused by the fact that we’re long distance. Because during this time both of us have moved a couple of times (changing cities and countries) we got to visit so many new places! When we have more time together, we also usually plan a weekend trip, to discover some more around the places we live. Another idea is to, instead of one of you visiting the other, meet in a completely different place. That is my absolutely favourite thing and I hope to be able to do it more in the years to come. Look for places that have flights from both of the places you live, meet there and explore. You can read about some surprising benefits of travelling as a couple on Amy and Nathan’s blog here.
7 . Treat it like a learning experience
Finally, appreciate the situation you’re in. I know that sometimes it will be really hard to find the good sides of it, but try to remember about them. If you actually survive this time, that means that you have a relationship that is really worth something, that you really care for each other enough to make certain sacrifices. Because that’s what long distance sometimes is- sacrifices. I have spent enough nights at the airports, hours on the bus and on train stations to know that 😉
And then, once it’s done, you’ll reminisce how fun it was to travel back and forth, to discover all those places together and to hang out on skype for seven hours.
P.S. One thing I think is important is that you need to know how much time this is going to last. You (probably) can’t be long distance forever, I know I couldn’t be. So as long as you both know where this is going to, if you can see the end of it, anything is doable.
feature image courtesy of Pixabay