Dating is a massive part of the college experience, but all cards come off the table and excuses start flying when long distance is mentioned. The key to long-distance dating is as simple as this: if they wanted to, they would, and when you want something to work, you’ll make it work. Mary Mary said, “nobody told them the road WOULD be easy”. I’ve been in a relationship for nearly four years, and two of those years have been long-distance. I’m here to tell you the road won’t be easy. However, the road can be enjoyable and spontaneous—if you do long-distance right. When you think about it, being in a distant relationship is just like being in any regular relationship but with the perks of having space. And if I’m being honest, your partner can cheat whether they are three or 300 miles away, so that excuse is dead.
Most long-distance relationships, in general, suffer from communication issues. We’re going to skip the “communication is essential” lecture; everyone knows that much, and we’ve heard it all before. You and your partner should discuss your boundaries and your likes and dislikes. In my first semester of college, my partner and I suffered from establishing our boundaries with friends of the opposite sex, which caused a lot of unnecessary disagreements. When we finally established our comfort level and boundaries with opposite-sex friends, the issue never arose again. It really is that simple. Whatever your boundary may be, it needs to be communicated with your partner. After all, ladies, men are not mind readers. And not to burst any bubbles, men, you all are horrible communicators through the phone and in real life.
Along with communication comes syncing schedules. Communicating is not only about expressing feelings and solving problems; communication is also simply speaking. If you want your relationship to work, you have to make time for your partner, especially when you aren’t granted the luxury of physically being with them. I mapped out my whole schedule for my partner. He knew exactly where I would be and at what times, and it helped get our schedules in sync. Whenever we both had free time, we would FaceTime, catch up, have dates, etc. Sharing your schedule with your partner also gives them peace of mind because they know what you are doing.
I mentioned that my boyfriend and I would go on dates; creativity adds spice to your relationship. There’s a computer app called Teleparty that we use to have movie dates. It allows you to watch Netflix movies with your partner and use the chat box to chat. When one person pauses the show, the other’s gets paused as well. We pop popcorn and have a grand ole time. Order the same food, get dressed up, and have a dinner date via FaceTime to take things even further. Doing these things is absolutely obnoxious, but that’s what keeps your relationship fun and spontaneous.
Although you may not see your partner every day, make use of your holiday breaks. If possible, take turns traveling to see one another over these breaks. When you visit, be sure to spend a significant amount of quality time with one another to make up for the time lost. As someone whose love language is physical touch, I appreciate and enjoy every second I get to spend spooning, cuddling, and… read between the lines. Distance increases anticipation and appreciation; every moment spent with your partner feels like falling in love all over again.
I know, I dropped some gems, but ask yourself, doesn’t everything I just mentioned apply to regular relationships as well? There you go, there’s your answer. The same rules that apply to a long-distance relationship apply to a regular one; therefore, long-distance being hard is a myth.
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