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How to deal with being in a long distance relationship

Updated on March 31, 2012

My Story

Recently I have found myself in a long distance relationship. My boyfriend and I started dating while we both attended college. The only problem was the fact that he lives in West Virginia and I live in Pennsylvania, leaving us 7 hours apart. While we were at school everything was great. It wasn't until summer break that we realized how hard it can be to be apart. The one thing that kept me going was knowing that we would be together again next semester. What I didn't know is that he was going to drop out the next semester. Now I am at college and he is 3 hours away, living at home. This was the tough part. There is nothing harder being far away from the person you love. So here are a few tips on how to make it a little bit easier to get through.

Tip #1: Communication

The number one way to keep a long distance relationship working is communication. The first thing you need to communicate about would be your ground rules. You need to talk about what is okay to do while you are apart. Here are some examples:

  1. Are you exclusive? Is is okay if you see other people? This is a very important question. This makes it easier to determine what is cheating. My best suggestion would be to be exclusive. It tends to make the relationship a lot easier. It gets rid of a lot of jealousy problems.
  2. What are some restrictions on what the other person can do without you? Is it alright to drink or do drugs without the other person? What are your feelings about dancing? My boyfriend and I decided to stay away from alcohol and partying. He rather me not grind up on other guys, which is very reasonable. Some people might say that I shouldn't let him tell me what I can and can't do and what I tell them is that my relationship is way more important than alcohol and partying.
  3. Get your priorities straight. You should talk about how important the relationship is to each person. See if you are on the same page in terms of where the relationship is going. If it doesn't seem to be going anywhere then a long distance relationship might be a waste of time.

You also need to communicate on a daily basis. It is important to keep the dialogue going between you. Even if you only talk for a few minutes a day, it is important to talk to each other. You can find many different ways to communicate with each other. Here are some ways:

  1. The obvious, the phone call. Just pick up the phone and give each other a call once in a while. Let each other know how you are doing and what is going on in your life.
  2. Skype or any other type of video chat. This can be good for many different things. I like to use skype because I can see my boyfriend. I like being able to see his reactions to what I say. It gives the talk a personal touch. You can also use the video chat for more sexual reasons however I will not go into detail.
  3. Email or snail mail. Some people like to send each other notes through mail or email. It gives you a chance to express your feelings through writing. You might even try writing love letters to each other.
  4. Instant Message. The least personal form of communication. Sometimes smiley faces are enough for people but I prefer the other forms.

Tip #2: Visiting

You need to visit each other as much as possible. As of now I see my boyfriend on a monthly basis. You have to factor in how much money it costs to visit each other. You should look into how much it costs to drive there, take a bus, take a train, or take a plane and then compare the prices. The cheapest form of transportation is the best in my opinion. If it was cheaper I would see my boyfriend a lot more often.

It is important to visit each other because, in my opinion, it is important to have a sensual relationship as well as an intellectual one. You don't want to lose you attraction for your partner. There is nothing I love more than to be held by the one I love. Seeing each other on a regular basis is very helpful in keeping the relationship alive.

If you plan a trip to visit your partner and realize that it can't happen, make sure you tell the other person as soon as possible. There is nothing worse than getting excited about seeing each other and having it cancelled at the last second. It is truly heart breaking. And the longer it's been since you've seen each other, the more it hurts. Be respectful of each other's feelings and things should be fine.

Miscellaneous

  1. Compromise. You need to be willing to compromise with each other to make the relationship work. Now this is true with any relationship. You can't always get what you want so you need to pick what is most important to you and hold on to that.
  2. Pick your battles. Try not to fight about every little thing that annoys you. Decide what is actually important and fight for that. You don't want the only thing you talk about to be fight related.
  3. Tell each other how you feel. A simple "I love you" goes a long way. You need to show how you feel about each other as much as possible.
  4. Make a schedule. Find a particular time that works for both of you and make that your special time to talk or Skype.

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