Updated: Apr 11, 2020
when I moved to Washington DC for college, my boyfriend Aaron and I were committed to doing a long distance relationship. over the course of the 2 years I was there, we learned a lot. Now that the corona virus is causing most of us to not see our significant others(SO), I thought I should share some of what we learned from doing long distance successfully!
first of all: I hope everyone is taking self quarantining seriously. If you don't realize how dire our current situation is, please do some reading of the latest news. It's not good. We have the ability to help make this get resolved as soon as possible though. Do your part. I wanted to see Aaron and he texted me 'The last thing I want to do is give it to you if I have it.' If you really love your friends/SO, you'll stay away from them! Family only! Any of us could have it and not know it yet (symptoms can take two weeks to show up!), and the more we socialize while we think we're fine, the more we're exposing people.
Anyways, advice time! I always say, any problem you could potentially have in your relationship will come up during long distance. You can see this two ways, as a detriment or an opportunity. attitude is everything! if you go into it knowing that there may be hard moments but you're committed to getting through it together, then you'll be good! if you go in with a negative attitude it will be a negative experience.
The biggest lesson I learned doing long distance was that Aaron had no way of knowing something if I didn't tell him. for example, if I was upset about something, but I'm texting like everything's fine, he took it at face value (as any normal human would). I was used to when I saw him in person him being able to tell something was wrong and then asking me and I could vent. but over the phone, it's a lot harder to notice those cues! Then I would get mad at him for not noticing even though if I reread it there was no way to tell I was upset. How can he assume what I'm feeling? You have to tell your SO how you're feeling. If you're upset, don't expect them to ask you what's wrong. just call and say, "I'm so upset because I just had an awful meeting with my least favorite teacher...." blah blah blah. And then they're able to be there for you! They can't read your mind over the phone.
We took the time each week to talk about how we were doing, not just with our individual lives but in our relationship. This was a time to say things like, 'I know you're busy but I wish you would just text me updates so I know what's you're up to.' It's nice to have a planned time each week to make sure you're communicating anything you're feeling. it gives you the ability to address any issues or make any changes. and there's no hard feelings, you don't need to make them feel bad for not texting you as much as you'd like or whatever. just say it and they can say, 'ok thanks for letting me know I'll work harder on that!' and then bing badaboom.
Quality Over Quantity:
Sometimes it's easy to think that you need to spend a ton of time together on FaceTime or texting, but I found that when we scheduled more intentional time, even if it was for a shorter amount of time, it was better for both of us! we didn't multitask, we were 100% focused on each other. and then we could hang up and do our own thing!
Happy With/Without Them:
You need to be able to do your own thing without needing them to make you happy. If your life revolves around your SO, you'll feel so unhappy if you're not talking to them! You need to have things that you each enjoy individually. Taking time for yourself is important! When you're at your best, your relationship will be at its best. If you spend all your free time on FaceTime with your SO, that doesn't help your relationship. Take time for yourself to read or paint or something you enjoy!
Take a Breather:
If you feel like you're on the verge of an argument, don't even start it. hang up and take ten minutes. it's really easy in the moment to let your anger build and just combust. if you just take a chill pill and cool yourself down, you can have a conversation, not a fight. Aaron and I never fought before I moved, but whenever we were both tired and having frustrations in our own lives, it was easy to take it out on each other. and then we'd just end up crying and not even remember what we were fighting about! because whatever we fought about wasn't even the actual issue. it was that we were tired, or we just missed each other.
This is a big one. Long distance can make your insecurities spike! And most often it's insecurities about yourself, not your SO. If there's a girl/boy your SO is spending time with that's not you, THAT'S OKAY! Girls can have guy friends and guys can have girls friends that are completely platonic. Don't allow your SO to control you and not allow you to make friends with people of the opposite sex. and don't be that girlfriend that is psychotic if your boyfriend hangs out with a girl! If he/she cheats on you, then it's their loss and it's good that it happened so you're not with that person. But if you really love them and you're secure in your relationship, then trust them! Fully! Until they give you a reason not to. Don't project your insecurities onto them. That's your issue to work on. If you're so paranoid that your SO other will cheat on you because deep down you aren't confident in yourself or you're worried he/she will find someone better, than you need to work on that. It can also be out of fear, you're so scared of losing that person that you end up suffocating them. It's important to lay down the law in the beginning. Don't put up with it if someone is being possessive of you. I'm a very strong personality, and believe me if Aaron tried to tell my I couldn't be friends with a guy, we wouldn't be together haha. but I know not all people are like that, and they don't want to lose that person, but if they don't trust you it's going to be a toxic relationship. trust has to be earned, and they have to give you the opportunity to earn it. that being said, I know some people who have been cheated on or cheated themselves. which sucks. but I think life is too short to be paranoid or miserable worrying about the potential of someone cheating. I say love like you've never been hurt, give someone trust if they earn it, and don't be jealous if you have no reason to be. be so busy loving yourself and your SO that you know that you're good, and if they do cheat, you know you're better off and it's their loss.
This was a lot of advice!! But I hope it's helpful!
if you have any questions or blog topics you'd like me to do, shoot me a message below or on Instagram! or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
have an amazing day everyone! -thia