Love Goes the Distance: Tips for Maintaining Relationships
It’s that time of year again when the festivities have concluded + we all have to get back to reality. Study abroad trips are starting, a new semester is starting, + work is picking up again. Unfortunately for many of us, the end of winter break means splitting from our best friends + significant others. Long distance can be difficult, but it is by no means impossible. Whether your significant other or friend is at a different school, living in a different city, or studying abroad, here are some tips for maintaining your relationship —
1] Communication is KEY
You may be thinking — this is an obvious one. Clearly, for a relationship to work, you have to talk. However, communication goes beyond sending daily texts + receiving phone calls. When your relationship is long distance, you really have to learn how to communicate your feelings + wants. When we communicate through texting, we miss out on a slew of nonverbal + verbal cues — emotions, facial expressions, tone of voice, etc. This can lead to multiple instances of misinterpretation + miscommunication, so you have to be vocal if you find a message confusing or hurtful. Additionally, if you get into a disagreement, there’s no *I’ll just see you later.* You have to talk it out because nothing will get resolved otherwise. Developing good communication skills now will only benefit you both in the future when you take the next step in your relationship.
If your partner is abroad, being on different schedules can be really hard. You obviously want them to have a good time + not be constantly conversing with you, but if you feel your communication is dropping alarmingly low, say something. Before they go abroad or vice versa, you can make an agreement to always end your nights with each other. Each night send a goodnight message with a rundown of your day. It’s an easy way to keep in touch + feel like you’re not missing out on each other’s lives. If you’re abroad, sending pictures of your trip + quick messages letting your partner know he//she is on your mind can be extremely beneficial.
#2] Establish boundaries
Especially when you’re a freshman or starting distance for the first time, it can be a little nerve-wracking seeing your partner go out without you. However, a big part of relationships is trust [which we know can be difficult]. It’s important to establish boundaries + not let your significant other determine what you can + cannot do. You each deserve to go out + have fun with friends, but if something like sending a text saying you’re home safe makes them a little more comfortable, do it.
#3] Make time for each other
It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind that is life, but don’t forget to make time for yourself ++ your relationship. During distance, technology can be a blessing! Whether it’s an end of the day phone call or a dinner date over Skype, taking time out of your day to spend time with each other is incredibly important.
#4] Grow together
Relationships + life in general are a learning experience. Everything we encounter in life helps us grow into the person we are today. While you + your partner continue to grow in different locations, remember to check in + see if you’re growing together or growing apart. When you’re ready to settle down with someone, you want to make sure they have similar life goals + interests. So, while you’re apart + figuring out your place in this world ++ what you want out of it, just check in to see whether you’re both on a similar path.
#1] Stay in touch
How many times has someone said to you, keep in touch + since then, you’ve never talked to each other? It happens a lot + we often don’t put a lot of meaning behind that phrase anymore.
We love our besties + don’t want to lose touch with them. So, we recommend having a reminder on your phone to text them each week. If you know they have a big event or test coming up, send them your support. If not, just send them a message letting them know you’re thinking about them. We always love surprise texts from our besties!
#2] Plan meetups
Trips + school breaks sometimes land us right by our best friends. If you’re planning to be near their area, arrange a time to meet up. Whether you grab a quick cup of coffee or long dinner, your relationship will benefit.
#3] Write to them
Sometimes the best things in life are the little things like getting a letter from your best friend in the mail. We love snail mail + it’s a great way to stay connected with the people you love!
Whether you have good news or just want to say hi, sending letters back + forth to your friends can be a great way to keep your relationship thriving.
#4] Make Their Friends Your Friends
Inevitably, in college, your friends meet + befriend new people. By no means does this mean you’re being replaced by others, we just all need some besties wherever we go. To bridge the gap between your college life + theirs, friend their college friends on Facebook + Insta. You’ll get to know them a little better + open the door to building a friendship now or in the future!
Distance can be difficult, but it’s nothing love can’t overpower. If you have additional tips for maintaining long distance relationships, share them with us in the comments below!