What do you do when your significant other is thousands of miles away? Or even just a hop, skip and a jump away? I’ve spent a few summers now in long distance relationships, so I have learned to get inventive to keep in touch and let that special someone know I’m thinking about them. Communication is the most important component in any relationship or friendship, whether we are two thousand miles away or two feet away. It’s important to remind that person that we think and care about them. A little reassurance goes a long way.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
One of the most difficult things was not seeing my boyfriend in person. Yes, I missed the kisses and the long hugs and the cuddling. Who else was I going to watch Office re-runs with? The distance can make us lonely and doubtful, but it is important to remain optimistic. It’s difficult when we’re used to seeing someone for so many hours a day, and then we are separated from them once classes are over for the semester. It’s important to keep our heads up, reflect on good memories and look forward to the next in-person interaction. If you miss him or her, tell them. They are probably longing for you just as much. Be hopeful, and have a strong, trusting bond. When there is distance, it’s easy to get caught up in our own thoughts. We might become doubtful and imagine bad scenarios. Express your worries to your significant other. Be open about it because he or she is here to comfort you.
Do Something Together!
Call your boyfriend or girlfriend on the phone or Skype. Find out what television provider he or she has and find a movie you both will enjoy (or relish making fun of together). A related activity is to find a television series available on Netflix that neither of you have watched. For something that might last a little longer, read a book together. Take turns choosing books to read during the summer and discuss them along the way. Reading a book and watching something together are shared activities, they are interactive.
Write Love Letters
These are not extinct or overrated, letters are thoughtful. My face lit up to see an addressed letter with my name on it this summer When I opened the envelope, a few paper hearts fell out with a mix CD, a homemade photo magnet, and the best of all, a handwritten letter filled with my beau’s scent. It probably sounds cheesy or even hurl-worthy for those of us who aren’t big fans of this matter. However, it was a pleasant surprise to receive this letter. Snail mail is a thoughtful way of keeping in touch. For our instant gratification generation, a letter or package in the mail always stands out. An email or a message on a social media site is easily accessible and not nearly as innovative. However, I encourage the use of as many means of communication as possible, as long as we are using a balanced amount of each. For example, don’t just send a “Hey baby, I love you and miss you!” message on Facebook. It has no meaning to it, no depth. Instead, send a lengthy email filled with pictures of your week’s activities, or an mp3 file of a special song the two of you share. Emails aren’t as popular as they once were, but they shouldn’t be forgotten. Important conversations should be saved for the phone or face-to-face. Never text or message about a serious matter—the subject loses its value and it can cause more problems.
Keep yourself occupied with a job, an internship, or a hobby. Don’t dwell on the distance. Learn to speak a new language, discover the artist in you, or learn to sew your own clothes. The saying is that you must love yourself before you can love someone else, so why not work on being your personal best while you can? Make the most of this independent time to learn something about yourself.
Summer has always been the most difficult school break since entering college because it’s nearly four months long. Most of my friends live anywhere from two to five hours away. In the past, an old boyfriend lived even further away. With his busy work schedule, a very long drive, and a protective family, seeing each other just wasn’t an option. However, this summer was much more bearable and enjoyable with my current beau and a few summer dates. We exchanged surprise gifts a few times, trying to keep it fresh. Homemade gifts are always great. I suggest making a crafty frame for a photo of the two of you. If you’re a writer, a nice poem or letter would be good. Remember to personalize it, put your own touch on the gift. If you get the opportunity to see your boyfriend or girlfriend, take full advantage of that time. Plan your dates out careful and cherish every minute because you’ll miss it afterward.
Whichever activities work for you, just remember to be honest. If something is on your mind, share that with your partner. Be open in your communication. Keep in contact, get creative, and don’t forget to seal it all with a kiss!