Oct 24, 2013
5 Tips for Dealing with Distance
I never dreamed that I'd be in a long-distance relationship. I guess no one really ever does, but I definitely did not. Let me preface this post by saying that I'm absolutely, positively no expert. Heck, AJ and I have only been in this stage of our relationship for a few months. But as someone who spent time on a daily basis (we worked together!) with her boyfriend, I'll tell you that being long distance has been an adjustment.
When AJ finally made the decision to transfer to Berklee and move to Boston, all of the excitement and support I had been feeling for him vanished for a minute. I remember looking at him with tears in my eyes and asking "what's my role in this?". I felt so lonely so immediately, and for me, it was hard to imagine where I fit into his life from a distance. My mom once said that this was going to be payback for what she did to her mom (my parents met when my dad was living in Ohio for work, fell in love, and decided to get married; their relationship was mostly long-distance, and they missed one another so much that they moved their wedding up to December, just six months after they had met; people said she looked like the most miserable bride when she was planning the wedding, but it was only because she missed my dad so much!).
I was never really worried or afraid of putting some space between AJ & I...we've got a really solid relationship, communicate well, and rarely argue, but of course, I also wasn't excited about it. It definitely helps that I'm sure that Berklee is where God wants AJ to be. But it has taken some effort on both of our parts to make this transition an easy one. So I'd like to share 5 tips that have really helped me move into a long distance relationship.
1. Be intentional, be there & make time for one another. Your life fills up, and the time you used to spend with your significant other will get claimed by some other part of life. There have been times when AJ and I have been on the phone and can tell that the other one is distracted and those conversations are never as fulfilling or as great as the ones when we're both fully "there"!
2. Make things special! One of my favorite things to do is to send AJ mail. He loves finding a card in his mailbox and I love knowing that he's getting to open a hand-written card from me! I never tell him that I'm sending something so that it's a complete surprise.
3. Stay busy! For me, the times when I feel most lonely are when I have nothing to do, so I like staying busy and having something to tell AJ when he asks me about my day! Specifically, my advice would be to invest time into things that you've either been wanting to do for a while or that fell to the wayside when you started dating. Have you always wanted to learn a new skill or hobby? Do it! (P.S. being in a relationship should never be an excuse for not pursing things that you love, but let's be honest, sometimes knitting takes a back seat to watching a movie with your boyfriend)
4. Be understanding. Sometimes it's hard, but understanding that each of you have separate schedules and lives is essential. There are times when AJ calls me because he's walking home from class and I just can't talk. We've learned to be good about asking the question "is this a good time?" and not just assuming the other person is available. And sometimes, there are just days when talking on the phone or video chatting just doesn't happen. That's life.
5. Plan visits! One of the most fun things about being in a long distance relationship is the potential for traveling! AJ's been home once since he moved, and it was great. But what was even more fun was the trip that I took to Boston. Since he lives with my cousin and another roommate, I was able to just stay in their apartment and we got to spend time exploring Boston and spending time just the two of us. Traveling can be expensive, but be on the lookout for deals on bus and plane fares. Sign up for email alerts from airlines. I get emails from JetBlue boasting $59 flights all the time. Planning your travel well can mean a relatively cheap, (and definitely memorable) trip!
Are you in a long-distance relationship? What are your tips for dealing with the distance?