Falling in love (in this case of a person, not a place) and making a distance relationship work can be one of the many beautiful side effects of traveling and studying abroad. But, once you return home, it may be difficult to prevent physical distance from becoming an emotional distance. The good thing is that you will not have to shave as much or clean your house every bit, but you will need to make an effort and have determination and optimism to turn that temporary distance into a permanent love story.
However, nothing is impossible, and these tips can be useful for your blossoming romance, regardless of the kilometers that separate you. (An expert in great distances tells you, a little effort gives excellent results).
1. Find the best time to communicate (frequently)
Although it always works to send messages and emails, sometimes you need to talk and have a conversation in real time. Depending on the distance, it may take you a while to find the best hours to talk, but with practice, you get to perfection, and the fun voice messages can compensate for calls that could not be made and the lack of synchronization. And no, it does not matter if you can only call on Sundays in the morning, the key is to make time for the other person.
2. Find the best ways to keep your relationship at a distance
Once you have organized the hours, it is also essential to find the appropriate means. Fortunately, it was never easier or cheaper to be in touch with the world: you usually only need a Wi-Fi connection to talk and send messages via Skype. It has to be a communication tool that both of you can access easily, and do not forget that using several means will make the communication much more exciting.
3. Use Your Creativity
Record an audio message at night, write a letter, send a postcard or send a box of food or a recording of songs. Use your imagination and find new and surprising ways to let your partner know that you think about him or her. This does not mean that you have to clean your bank account: you do not need to hire a plane to write poems in heaven, how about hiding post-its with affectionate notes during your next visit?
4. Do not avoid discussions in a distance relationship
When weeks or months pass before you see each other, or when you speak different languages, it is easy to ignore problems or concerns. Nobody wants to spend time discussing if they only have 48 hours to be with the other person, but avoiding confrontations and discussions can be harmful in the long term. It is better to talk about the things that bother you before they become enormous obstacles in your relationship. But do not argue through text messages or email (you have to read too much between the lines), discuss things in person or over the phone as soon as it arises.
5. Speak things
Always try to be honest and open about your feelings. Not knowing where your partner is at some point or with whom he spent Saturday night can lead you to think too much and have unnecessary fears. The fact that social networks make it easier to see (or imagine) how well someone has passed it does not help too much. It is important that you trust each other enough to share your thoughts and feelings and find a way to deal with jealousy, anxiety or doubts together.
6. See the glass half full
You will live your usual life at the same time that you have a long distance relationship, and that can be both a blessing and a curse: you may feel that you are missing things because it is more difficult to do what normal couples do, like going to pick up your partner’s work or eat together. However, it can also be a great advantage to have time for you: if you have to study or work for many hours, you will not disappoint your partner by having to cancel plans for dinner or to go to the movies, for example.
7. Do Boring things together
When you only see yourself a few times a year, it will always be like a vacation. Well, it will probably be a vacation because it will be when you can miss work or class. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing and sleeping, having late breakfast and visiting places, but it’s also good to do boring things, you know, everyday things like doing laundry, running errands or mowing the lawn. Try that the activities of the day to day are fun and exciting when you do them together, it is the best thing to test a relationship, right?
8. Know when you are going to see again
Depending on the free time and the money it costs, it can be difficult for you to be together. Not knowing when it will be the next time you see each other can interfere with your feelings and your life plans. So it is best to set a date as soon as possible after returning home. That way, both of you can plan ahead and take advantage of offers of flights and promotions, and you’ll also have something to look forward to! (Surprise visits are also great, of course, so do some if you can).
9. Do things together
Desperate situations need creative measures to spend time with the couple: you can do things together even if you are not in the same place. Thanks, video call functions. Nowadays there is no excuse for not sharing screen time and cooking, eating, shopping or going for a walk with your partner using video chat. Do not forget that you can also watch the same movie while you talk or chat.
10. Use something that reminds you of your partner
There will be some moments when no call or message compensates that you are not together. It will help you to wear your favorite shirt or drink in your favorite cup. Maybe those memories are corny, but they work. A sample of your favorite perfume or the detergent you use for your clothes can make time zones disappear for a moment, so do not be embarrassed to use those methods if you desperately need to feel close to your partner.
11. Meet the people and visit the sites
The more you talk and you get to know, the more you will mention people or places that the other person does not know. Whenever possible, introduce him -with a photo or in person- to the people you relate to or the places you go to most frequently. In this way, everyday conversations will have much more meaning and you will feel more than you are part of your partner’s life, despite the distance.
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