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Loving From a Distance

October 19, 2015

Personal

Well, Allen and I have found ourselves in a position many, many people in their twenties are.

A long distance relationship. Not even long distance like we did last year with only a two hour drive between us. We’re talkin’ 4 states, 892 miles, 13 hours and 6 mins…long distance.

Long distance relationships aren’t easy, but they also aren’t impossible. Luckily, we have made it almost halfway through this experience with little to no troubles. It’s mostly a combination of being supportive, trying to stress as little as possible, strategically planning visits to keep time apart as short as possible, and keeping things fun, but we put together a list of things that are definitely helpful in making it easier.

Communication is key.

This has several different aspects to it.

First, literal communication. Make sure that you are talking, in whatever form works for you. I like to have multiple communication outlets. Don’t rely on just texting or just talking on the phone. The personal FaceTime session or spontaneous Facebook message, or even a hand written letter (#crazyidea) will make sure things don’t fall into a boring routine. Just remember, absence makes the heart grow fonder so don’t over do it. One of the few good things about long distance relationships is that you are forced to spend time apart so you have tons to tell them when you do talk!

The second aspect is actual communication. Take the time to do “feelings checks” and listen to what each other are saying and feeling. This will ensure that you always know when things are a little off or going absolutely perfectly!

Make time for each other.

One thing about me is that I love to talk. A lot. I often get wrapped up at the chapter house or with other people (the few times I get to hang out with people other than collegians) and forget that I said I would call Allen before he went to bed. We have thankfully worked out a system that works for us and for the time difference, but it is important to make time to talk. Make time to send a gift. Make time to schedule a visit. Make time to tell others you are busy.

Plan visits.

Of course this one is kinda of a “duh” because seeing each other is obviously something you want to make happen. Plan visits with set dates that way on those rough days you have a number to count down. This gives you something concrete to look forward to.

On these visits, remember to make each other part of your separate homes. Take them to the restaurant you’re always eating, the landmarks you know they’d love, and to meet the friends you share your time with. Putting places and faces to names of your daily life make relationships feel less long distance because it’s like you’re there!

Support each other’s passions. 

This is so so important in any relationship, but definitely in the long distance ones. You may have more time to focus on your passions and feeling supported by your partner is essential. This may be one of the only times in your life when you can both selfishly spend time on what you love without really affecting anyone else…so do it! You will be a much happier person if you learn how to do this early.

Finally, it’s the little things. 

In the world of long distance relationships, many love languages aren’t as available for communication. This means you have to step up in the other departments. Of course, visits are wonderful and everyone loves gifts, but that can get expensive. The best idea I was given (by consultant sisters at training while many of us were adjusting to the new distance) was ordering food to be delivered. How fun and unexpected! Order them a pizza or Jimmy Johns or Chinese to the house for dinner. Send some flowers. Send a mini care package. Write a letter (my favorite – so easy, means so much). Have a FaceTime date. Post something sweet on social media. Send a “just thinking of you, and I love you!” text. Anything to make it known that you are just as crazy over them as you are when they are sitting across the table from you.

What are some of the ways you make long distance relationships happy?
Comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

hello!

I’m Dakota, a Wilmington, NC-based photographer Helping engaged couples feel comfortable in front of the camera and creative businesses grow with purposeful brand imagery.

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