865 miles away
By: Jennafer Bowman
As the spring semester came to an end (thank goodness), I was mentally exhausted and homesick. I was excited to be reunited with my family and hometown friends, but as my partner and I drove to the airport, I realized they wouldn’t be getting on the plane with me. We were going to be separated and although not for long, the time apart would be longer than either of us wanted.
Long-distance, no matter the time, can be miserable. Besides the obvious solution of getting on a plane, train or in a car to go see them, I’ve rounded up the best things that worked for my relationship that I think will help yours. Here are some personal tips I used to help me and mine overcome the obstacle that is long distance.
Tip #1 Keep Busy
I’m sure this is something everyone has told you, but keeping busy will take your mind off of things, specifically the distance, and make the days go by much faster. Fill your time by finding a job, going on day trips, visiting with friends, exercising and anything else you can do to keep your mind off the fact that you are not with your loved one.
Tip #2 Keep a Routine
To keep communication consistent, set a designated time every day to FaceTime or call without interruptions. This could be in the morning, night or afternoon. While it can help to call, FaceTime and text throughout the day, having a blocked-out time frame can diminish frustrations and remove distractions. Once you have a set time, it can be easier to go on with the rest of your day. Creating a routine also makes the day go by faster and can help keep you sane.
Tip #3 Send Snail Mail
Receiving letters is my favorite thing in the world, but writing them is just as sweet. Sending and receiving letters from a loved one can add the element of surprise and give them something to anticipate during the time apart. In these letters, you can write what you did during the day, questions, things you wouldn’t normally say over texts or calls, inside jokes or sweet nothings. Stamps are about $0.50 a piece and if you took physical notes during the semester, you should have a pen and paper handy if you look under your bed (thanks Zoom University). Letters are an inexpensive gift that can mean the world to your partner.
Tip #4 Set Up A Virtual Date Night
We both cleared our Sunday nights and sat down for two to three hours to FaceTime. We would eat, catch up and most importantly host a virtual date night.
Here is a list of date ideas that are couple tested and approved:
- Paint (pots, picture frames, mugs, etc.)
This will let you have something to exchange with them the next time you meet.
- Watch a movie.
With websites like Netflix party or Scener, it makes it so easy to watch movies and tv shows together
- Ask each other questions
The day before, creating a list of questions ranging from any topic your heart desires, from favorite fruit to life goals, you’ll find out a lot about your partner.
- Take Buzzfeed Quizzes together
Buzzfeed has this new feature where you can take quizzes together and see each other’s results!
- Play multiplayer video games
Download Discord, dig out your gamer gear and get competitive. You could play CSGO, Minecraft, Cool Math Games or Club Penguin (rest in peace) has a beta website that you can play on!
Tip #5 Don’t Be Afraid to Tell Them How You’re Feeling
It can be scary when you’re not with the one you love. It can feel like your trust, anxiety and sanity are being tested every day that you’re not with them. They might be working all day or not really on their phone, causing anxiety to sink in. You might start to ask yourself questions like, “Do they hate me? Why aren’t they responding?” If these feelings do bubble up inside, just be honest with them. If you don’t pick up the phone, they have no way of knowing what you’re thinking, feeling or doing. Sometimes it’s best to talk it out.
Tip #6 Plan For The Future
For some reason, this helped me the best. Together we created a list of things we wanted to do once reunited again. These activities included going out to eat at Taco Mama, making a midnight Buc-ee’s run and planning out our movie night schedule. Creating this list will give you and them a wave of relief that soon you’ll be reunited.
No matter the distance, you and your significant other can do this. It’s hard, scary and can be challenging, but in the end, it will make your relationship much stronger.