Aurorastevani’s Blog

7 Ways to Survive the Long-Distance, Long-Term Romantic Relationship

Posted on: April 20, 2010

Being in a long-distance relationship can kind of suck. I know this because I’ve been there.

I met my current boyfriend three months before my pre-determined departure date to work abroad in Japn for an entire year. Not exactly the best timing in the world.

And yet… we decided to take the long-distance plunge anyway. And though it got difficult and lonely to maintain a committed relationship with a 17-hour-time difference and the entire Pacific Ocean between us, we made it fun as much as we possibly could.

If you are in a long-distance relationship, or are about to transition into one, my heart goes out to you for all the sacrifices you have to make and the unique challenges you have to endure.

Here are my 7 tips, from someone who’s been there and done that.

1. Skype is Your Best Friend. You can drop a lot of money on long-distance overseas phone calls. Or you can download Skype for free with your significant other and talk as much as you possibly can. If you don’t have a MacBook, an extra investment in a webcam and a microphone is totally worth it.

2. This is Your Perfect Excuse to Make Cute Care Packages and Send Letters. Making care packages is fun. So is receiving them. There are few things more gratifying than fillingl a box with goofball gifts and delicious foreign snacks and mailing it off with the happy knowledge that it would make the recipient very happy in the following week.

3. Experience New Places as a Couple. Being in Japan gave my boyfriend the incentive to travel to another country for the first time ever to come visit me. Though being in a long-distance relationshp was hard, we at least made the most of it by making great couple memories in exciting locations that otherwise would not have ever happened if I didn’t ever go to Japan: like biking through downtown Kyoto at night, indulging in great street food in Tokyo, and exploring the crazy night markets in Taipei. Consider your long-distance relationship as an exciting opportunity to travel to new places as a couple.

4. Have the Best Social Support System Ever. Not having your significant other around when you really need to talk to the person the most is one of the hardest challenges in a long-distance relationship. This is why it is more crucial than ever to make sure that you also have your friends and family you can really open up to. The last thing you want is to begin resenting your significant other or the situation for not being more convenient to your emotional needs.

5. Don’t Forget the Little Stuff. Everything becomes ten times more endearing and meaningful when the physical presence is no longer available. So those little gestures of affection are more than brownie points: they’re like oxygen. The random Facebook gift. The Facebok graffiti post. (Maybe I just use too much Facebook.) The little postcard. The one-sentence email that describes what you ate for breakfast. It’s the little stuff that will keep the two of you motivated to stick it through.

6. Avoid Idle Time as Much as Possible. The worst is when you have too much time on your hands and you begin feeling absolutely terrible over the fact that you are not in the same time zone as your sweetie. You also don’t want to start having Skype conversations where you have nothing to talk about because you have been up to nothing. That being said, take on a creative project or new activity that you can look forward to doing. Work on a novel. Take a yoga class. Volunteer for a social movement. Make your extra free time meaningful and fulfilling.

7. Laugh. Because it’s better than crying over it. Because you don’t want extra frown lines the next time you’re reunited with your lover. Because all long-distance relationships can get so tragically absurd, and you might as well embrace how nutty it can be. Because all the other couples around you will be so impressed and asking for your secret to everlasting love when you finally do get through it with flying colors. And you will, won’t you?

Taken from intent.com

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