Before two and a half years ago, I had never been in a relationship and I never knew how much it hurt to miss someone so much. He’s my best friend, the person I share everything with, my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first “I love you.” He’s the first person to make me actually like the gooey romantics that come with a relationship, and he’s going to Spain for nine months.
The prospect of losing your best friend for nine months is hard to cope with, after all, in every movie and television series the long distance relationships never work out (and if they do, the outcome is blatantly unrealistic…I’m talking about you, The Notebook). Not to mention, when you tell your friends and family that your boyfriend is leaving the country for nine months there is one of two reactions you receive: a long pause followed by “are you going to stay together?” or a hopeless look of sympathy. But not to worry, we are in this together! Take a deep breath, accept that this is happening, and refrain from crying.
Here are some ways to prepare for a long distance relationship:
- Make every day count! This goes without saying, don’t be clingy. Enjoy the time you have with each other, but don’t smother each other.
- Spend time apart. This may seem contradictory to #1, but if you spend every waking moment together then it’s just going to make it harder to say goodbye and then spend an extended amount of time apart.
- Discuss how you will communicate when you are apart. It’s so easy to pick up your phone and text/call/Skype someone who lives near you, but when different time zones, mobile service providers, and different wifi servers come into play, it makes communicating a bit more difficult. Discussing this beforehand will help prevent miscommunications. Plan times you both are available to talk.
- Go out and do things you both have been planning on doing together. Go to a concert, a baseball game, a nice dinner or something you both had been dying to do but never had the chance to do. You won’t see each other for a while, so make memories that will last while you are apart.
- Support your significant other. It’s important to show them that you are happy for them even if your heart is aching a bit. This includes avoiding showing them that you are sad in any way. Yes, you can express that you will miss them, but the last thing they want to hear is a depressed speech as to how lonely you will be without them. Trust me, that is not how you want the person you love to remember you (i.e. a crying mess).
Now that you are prepared for the time leading up to your significant other leaving, I want you to know that your relationship doesn’t have to end up like the television shows or movies. It can last!
The number one thing to do when you are apart is communicate. That is key when you are together and that is key when you are apart! Communicate your feelings, how your day was, anything! It’s very important, even when you aren’t in a long distance relationship, to communicate. In relation to communicating, I think it’s important to send each other pictures. Pictures of your surroundings, yourself, old pictures you have of each other. This goes hand in hand with communicating. Go old fashioned and send a letter or a post card! Just make an effort to communicate as much and in as many ways as possible!
I know you are probably expecting a long list of things to go by to make your long distance relationship last, but to be honest, communication and also trust are the best and only ways to make it last. Talking is what starts a relationship and keeps it going. If you love somebody, you trust them, end of story!
Right now it probably feels like time is moving at a mile a minute because you are with your significant other and time will move as slow as possible when you are apart, but don’t let time and distance affect what you have built up over these past weeks, months, and years. Just remember, the person you love chose you, they kissed you, they said they loved you. Remember these little things and you both can go the distance.