Sometimes luck isn’t on your side and the person you want to be with doesn’t live near you. Beginning a long distance relationship can be scary, especially if you don’t know what to expect.
But it can also be so, so, so worth it.
Jamie and I have been dating for a year and two months now, and the distance has been hard but we’ve made it work. He’ll be moving up to my hometown in about a month and we are so excited for this new chapter in our lives!
Here are just a few of the things that have helped us make the distance more bearable:
#1: Visit each other as often as possible.
We’ve been lucky in this area. We get to see each other about once every month. Usually he comes to see me every long weekend, and I’ve gone to stay with his family for about a week a couple times. It’s so great to spend time together and to get to know each other’s families as well.
If it’s possible, make plans to see each other. Having something to look forward to and count down to makes it easier to handle.
#2: Text/call/FaceTime daily.
Obviously, it’s important to have your own social life with people in the place you live, but having daily contact with your significant other is important too. Ask how their day went, talk about how excited you are to see them, tell them about things happening in your life, anything!
This is a unique time in your relationship that many couples don’t get to experience. When all you have is conversation, you can really get to know the person from the inside out. If you use your conversation time wisely, you’ll become great at communication and you’ll learn tons of things about the other person.
Jamie and I FaceTime quite often, and we like to try to talk and pray together most nights right before bed. It’s a nice way to bond from far away and to wind down at the end of a long day.
#3: Watch movies/tv shows “together apart”.
Jamie and I love watching movies when we’re together, but obviously that doesn’t happen as often as we like. We’ve improvised and come up with a way to watch good shows together, even when we have to be apart.
Most of the time, we watch tv shows on Netflix while texting each other. “Click play at 8:03” works well enough to get them started at roughly the same time. It’s fun to be able to talk to each other while it’s playing and point out little things we notice while watching or try to predict what will happen next. We’ve tried watching shows while on FaceTime or talking on the phone but the background noise gets too confusing.
It’s also really nice to watch a tv series together apart and to be able to occasionally get an episode in while you’re together together. I’ve also watched movies this way with long distance friends. If you haven’t tried it, you really should!
#4: Send them love letters.
Who doesn’t enjoy getting mail? I mean real mail… not bills. Before we were dating, while Jamie was at bible school in another country, we sent letters back and forth. Even though we talked pretty regularly through Facebook messenger, I was always so excited to receive a letter in the mail.
Something about a handwritten letter is more romantic than a digital message on a screen. There are tons of ideas for cute things to send in the mail online. I sent a whole bunch of cheesy cards for Valentine’s Day, and he put together a bit of a puzzle for me (basically I had to try and figure out what he had said to me in German on our first date by typing other messages into google translate and putting the right words together. So cute!). I also sent him his favourite chocolate bar that wasn’t available in the US so he hadn’t gotten one since he was in Canada. He drew pictures for me and both of us just really appreciated the letters.
#5: Share a journal.
Once he moved back to Canada and the distance between us wasn’t so bad, we got a journal to share. My mom had told me she and my dad had shared a journal when they were young and had first started dating and I’d always thought it sounded sweet.
Jamie started with the journal and wrote in it like a regular journal, but when he came to visit, he brought it for me to read when he left and to write in until we saw each other again. Whenever we see each other, the journal goes to the other person. Reading it is so sweet! It’s also nice to have a place to jot down exciting events to go back and read about later. This is something I hope we continue to do once he moves closer.
And that’s it! 5 quick tips for surviving a long distance relationship. Obviously, there are tons more things you can do to make it easier, but these are just a few of my favourites!
Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? Share some of your favourite tips in the comments!