Fiona's Blog: Surviving Your Long-Distance Relationship
Having been in a long-distance relationship for over two years now, I can safely say that they can be really tough. Skype, Facetime and Discord can never make up for holding your partner in your arms and sometimes bad connections make you want to throw your phone out of the window. Whether you met the love of your life during term time and they just happened to be an international student or living on the opposite side of the country to you, you moved to be in university leaving your love behind in your home country or a holiday hook-up on Tinder quickly turned into something more.
No matter how it happened, there is no denying that long distance relationships suck, and it can be easy to give up on them and find someone living close to you for convenience’s sake. But if that special someone is worth the effort, then I have some tips for you to survive the heartbreak, sadness and craziness that come with being in a long-distance relationship.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
I cannot stress enough how important this point is, which is why I am putting it right at spot number one. When you are used to giving lots of physical cues about how you are feeling, like turning away when you’re annoyed, all of your little quirks, it can be difficult to express in words how you are feeling. Unfortunately, these cues don’t work as well when you are on Skype and the video of you has about 3 pixels, which is why communication is vital.
If you have a problem with your partner, you have had a bad day, or you just miss them really badly you need to tell them! They can’t read your mind; they are only human and probably just want to know how they can make you feel better. Nobody wants to see their significant other be upset and realistically, the longer it takes you to tell them what is wrong, the less time you will have to spend valuable time together.
Equally, if you love something they did or are feeling particularly happy, let them know as well! They will probably be excited to share your happiness, after all, they should be your biggest supporter. Tell them the little things about your day that made you laugh, cry, angry or upset, share your life with them while you are apart, it will make you feel closer and more connected.
- Make Time For Each Other
Long distance relationships require a lot of planning on both sides. Especially if you have time zone differences, it can be very difficult to find times when you are both available for a chat. You both need to be willing to put in the extra time and effort it takes to spend quality time together.
Have a chat and see what works for you, some people have a daily time set aside where they will call each other, others have a few days a week, others let it happen spontaneously. Discuss this with your significant other and work out what will be the best option for both of your schedules, then actually follow through!
- Have Your Next Visit Set (If You Can)
Having a date in mind for when you will next see each other can make the time go by a lot faster (at least it seems that way). It gives you both something to look forward to, you can have a countdown on your phone or set on your Instagram stories to remind you that every day is one day closer to seeing your partner again. Leaving things unsure can cause a lot of tension and uncertainty, so always try to have at least one visit planned and booked if you can, if not multiple.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
Nobody can deny, sexual desires exist, and they will come in full force, even when your partner isn’t around. This means getting creative. Thankfully we live in the age of technology where the whole world is at our fingertips, and there are plenty of ways to fulfill at least some sexual needs without them physically being there.
- Have A Goal
This is kind of related to point number 3, but on a deeper level. Realistically, you won’t want to stay in an LDR forever. You want to settle down, move in together, maybe adopt some pets and have a great life together. This means eventually one or both of you will have to move. You should discuss this with your partner, talk about your situation and what could work, when will you be able to make the big move, who will be doing it and how can you make it happen?
It’s a big question and can sometimes be a very difficult one to answer, especially if obstacles like visas are in the way, but its an important one. Having a deadline for when you will be able to be together permanently will make your time in your long-distance relationship feel easier to handle. You don’t need to have an exact date or plan in mind, enough as “once I finish university, I can move to be with you until you have your degree. That means we only have 3 years left until we close the distance.”
Being on the same page is vital for this, you need to share roughly the same values and ideas for your future for when you close the distance, so you are both motivated to keep fighting!
- Find New Hobbies
Sometimes you don’t want to sit about and just stare at your significant others face while they tell you the latest drama between your friends, no matter how beautiful they are or how interesting it seems. There are loads of fun things you can do together online; you just need to find what works for you.
Websites like rabb.it (which is currently rebranding to be Kast) and Watch2gether can be very useful tools to enable you to easily watch movies or YouTube videos together. We use the latter constantly to watch YouTube together. Alternatively you can just countdown and start the video or film at the same time, which works just as well.
Video games can also be fun if you both enjoy them, there are lots of free games available nowadays and many companies offer promotions. If you have Amazon Prime you can access free games every month through Twitch Prime, Epic Games gives away free games every week and Steam has lots of cool offers and free to play games all the time! Online games like scribbl.io and stop the bus can also pass the time and give you a fun activity to do.
Do online quizzes together, learn about each other’s love languages, which Friends character you’d be or which One Direction member you are most likely to date. Compare results and laugh at them, find ways to make even the most mundane things seem exciting!
- Don’t Forget, It’s Worth It
At the end of the day, long distance is hard. When you have had a bad day and all you want is to cuddle up into your partners arms, it can make you start to wonder if it is all worth it. But in those times, cuddle a toy they gave you, hold a t-shirt that smells like them or watch cute videos of yourselves together, remind yourself of why you are going through all of this. Distance is only temporary, and you can get through it, because your significant other is worth it!
Hopefully these tips can help you out a little and can provide some insight into how to survive a long-distance relationship while at university. I have been in my long-distance relationship for over 2 years now, my boyfriend and I just celebrated our 3rd anniversary and are stronger than ever. We have made it work and so can you. I found surrounding myself with others who are in LDRs really helped, I became active in chatting to different people on Instagram, but there are lots of blogs, videos and other media sources out there than can help you feel less alone.
In case you are hungry for more, I have linked a few more blog posts, providing more tips on topics such as gift giving, saving money and spicing up your LDR sex life!
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