For those of you who’ve read my About Me page, you’ll know I’m in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend, James. I’m happy to announce that we’ve been together two year now! While they’ve been a wonderful two years, they weren’t without challenges and bumps in the road. Not to mention that we’ve only spent about a fourth of our relationship in person. Some of you may be wondering, how can you even do that?! (I know guys, it’s a long time!). Does it sometimes become lonely? Yes, absolutely yes. Is it worth it? If it’s the right person, then yes there’s no question. Has it helped the relationship? Yes, and here’s why.
Long distance relationships should not be taken lightly. It’s commitment and trust. It’s sometimes long nights by yourself, wishing your significant other was there with you. There are going to be hard times, trust me. One of the hardest moments in my entire life was saying goodbye at the airport. Not only that day, but the following 30 days after that. That being said, the good days are so worth those couple of lonely ones. So, if you’re thinking about starting a long distance relationship with someone, ask yourself these questions first:
- How long have you been together? This is a HUGE one. Now, this doesn’t necessarily include those who started their long distance relationships before meeting. In my case, James and I met playing League of Legends. He was an ADC and I was a support (ah, nerd love, I know). Anyways! My point is is that if you’ve been together a long time (say a couple of years) before starting your relationship, it might be really hard to make that kind of adjustment. If you’re not committed to your relationship 100%, don’t do it. Not only will it make it extremely hard to be close, but it could kill your relationship altogether.
- How often do you talk? This one may seem a little silly, especially if you’re with each other close to everyday. But, I’m not talking about small talk. How often do you engage in deep, meaningful conversation with your significant other? Are you the type of person that primarily displays your love with physical affection or gifts? (insert love languages link here). These are important aspects to think about because it could determine if you can maintain a close relationship while separated. For me and James, we talk every single day. We constantly text each other and we make an effort to have a Skype date at least once a week. During those calls, we have deep, meaningful conversations that last hours (our record is 12 hours!). Now, not everyone can talk for that long and that’s completely okay. But if you don’t think that you can talk to your partner for even an hour then you need to reevaluate your relationship and have a discussion together.
- How long will you be apart? This one is probably the biggest aspect to think about. There’s a HUGE difference between being gone a couple of weeks to a couple of years. Personally, the longest time James and I have been apart is nine months. That is a really long time to be away from someone and a lot can happen in that almost year. So, before you leave on that trip or go away to school or take that job offer, make sure you sit down with your significant other and discuss some of these questions.
Okay, so now that you know what you should think about, what’s your next step? How do you make the distance fun and an opportunity to grow closer? Luckily, I got a few tricks up my sleeve which I’ve used to bring me and my man closer together instead of focusing on the 4,648 miles separating us (that’s right, I’ve looked it up!)
5 Ways to Spice up your Long Distance Relationship
- Video game dates! These are mine and James’s favorites because we’re both pretty big nerds (I don’t know if you could tell…). We love to play some League or Hearthstone together. They’re fun, engaging, and are a great way to bond! I have him help me make awesome decks and then I crush him with them!! (Sorry sweetheart!). Regardless, video games of any variety can spice up an afternoon and introduce some healthy competitiveness into your relationship or intense competitiveness if you’re playing Uno or Mario Kart! Those are the real relationship testers!
- Netflix and spill. What? Not Netflix and chill? No, I call it Netflix and spill because you watch T.V. (or in my case binge watch) and spill, meaning talking about your day and any gossip you’ve heard. James won’t admit it to other people, but he LOVES when I have gossip to share. The only issue with watching Netflix together is that you have to make sure you start them at the same time. It would be so awkward to have one of you laugh and your partner still a minute behind on a sad scene. You’ll look like a monster and you’ll never Netflix and spill again. I recommend picking a couple of different shows together and changing it up weekly/monthly so you have something new to talk about consistently.
- Start a hobby together! James and I last year started a healthier lifestyle. It was a really great bonding experience between us for a couple of reasons. It allowed us to talk about our health goals in a way we’d never been comfortable to do before. Secondly, we could encourage each other and make sure we didn’t deviate from our goals with eating unhealthy food. Lastly, it helped us to create goals for our future together which brought us closer and make them more of a reality.
- Read books/make a book club. This one is really easy to do because you can read anytime and anywhere, especially with electronics. You can even make it into a game! (you can see my competitiveness showing can’t you?). Last year, James and I would pick a couple of books to read and see who could get to a certain chapter first. It was a lot of fun and it was exciting to discuss what we thought of the books. Those types of conversations can make you realize facts about your partner that you might never have known!
- Skype/Facetime video chat. This one can be a little tricky if you’re not in a place with a secure internet connection. Also, Skype can suck sometimes, but it’s free and free is always best! Video chat is one of my favorite types of dates because it’s almost like being in person with your partner again. You can see their reactions to your jokes (because you’re hilarious) and how cute they are when they smile!
So there you have it! A couple of my tips and tricks you should think about before getting into a long distance relationship and rocking it! If you have any other ideas/hacks/tips for long distance dating, please comment below! We’d love to hear them!