As business employers or employees, sometimes our careers might take us to new places for an extended period of time. It may be a business trip out of the country, a seminar that takes place out-of-state, or an opportunity that leaves you thousands of miles away from your loved ones for a few months. How does one cope with this forced time apart?
Recently, I have been thrust into a long-distance relationship of my own. We decided to advance our careers in separate states because the experiences I would continue gaining from Michigan Creative would be extremely beneficial, and the experiences he would get in his job would help him further his career as well. For us, taking the time apart to advance in our careers worked for us, as we have had long-distance in the back of our heads since we started dating.
We’ve got some tried-and-tested tips to help you survive your LDR.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy. If you have found yourself in a long distance relationship of your own, you know the struggle has just begun. From new communication struggles to finding time to “hang out” together through both of your busy schedules, there is so much to work through on top of just living your own life. Thankfully, there are a ton of things you can do to help further your relationship with this time apart. After much research on my part (because I’m that much of a nerd), and after being in a LDR for almost a year now, I have found some great tips to keep things going through the distance.
Note: These will be labeled from FREE to $$$, based on how much these may cost you. We’re all about being budget-friendly, y’all!
Communicate via Skype/Facetime/Google Hangouts/etc. (FREE)
This is a lifesaver. It doesn’t matter if you have an iPhone or an Android, a laptop or a desktop, or even if you have limited call minutes on your phone, you can video chat with your significant other from anywhere there is internet access! Are you both at a coffee shop? Plug in your headphones and put on a smile! Is one of you on lunch break and the other chilling at home? Give the person a call! It’s more personal than a phone call because you can see the other person on your screen and can thus feel more like they are with you. (It’s always nice to actually see their smile again, not just imagine it in their voice.)
The super cool thing is that you don’t have to worry about if your Apple and Android devices are compatible, because there are so many apps that can allow you to video chat. A couple of my favorites are Skype and Facebook Messenger. Find your own favorite app, and get talking face to face (or… phone to phone) with them again!
Make them a “thinking of you” package ($-$$$)
If you’re struggling because you both have been too busy to video chat, or you just want something extra to send them so they know they’re loved, then this is perfect. When you’re out shopping, find little trinkets you can send your significant other that makes you think of them. Find things you know they’ll love, or things that just make you go “They need that!” Then, find a nice box, decorate it if you’d like for a personal touch, and ship it off to them! It’s a nice little extra way to let them know that you care about them and love them, and it will help them feel a bit more cherished.
Send them letters ($)
Who said letter writing is dead? If you haven’t been able to talk to your loved one, or if you want to send something extra but don’t have the budget for a package, then this is the idea for you! Break out the pen and paper and just write them a note telling them how much they mean to you and how much you miss them. If you can afford it, find some fancier paper, or just draw some pictures that make you think of them. (Can’t draw? Do it anyway and laugh at yourself!) Grab a book of stamps and send them a letter whenever you are thinking of them. It will be a little surprise, and will help keep them in the loop if you both have been playing phone tag for days.
Send them good morning/good night texts ($ – whatever your phone bill is.)
This so, so important, and something I honestly struggle with. When I wake up in the morning, I’m usually thinking about wanting more sleep, everything I have to do to get ready for work, and everything I have to do when I get into work. The last thing I think about is texting him. Thus, I don’t feel like I have the time to stop and text him. This is not a good thing, because he makes it a point to always message me good morning, and it always makes me happy to see that he’s thinking about me before he goes into work himself.
Make it a point to text them when you wake up every day. It doesn’t have to be long, just a simple “good morning!” Let them know you’re thinking about them. Then, throughout your day and if you have time, send them a message to help them know that you’re thinking about them. It’s so important to keep the relationship going, and really doesn’t take too much time out of your day to do.
Set up dates from afar (FREE-$$$)
Depending on what you decide to do depends on the price. One of the biggest things you can do is still set up date nights (or days). Keep track of each others’ schedules and find a time that both of you are available for a date. Then, keep it in your calendars! Treat this as if you are really going on a physical date so you can have a few hours together. This will help keep the relationship first, and that is extremely important when you both are far from each other.
BONUS: Keep track of the day you’re going to see them again
If you don’t know yet, at least keep track of the time period. One of the articles I read suggested that a huge reason why relationships fail long distance is because there is no timeframe where the couple is expecting to see each other again. This is unhelpful, because on the days that you’re feeling most down, you will have nothing to look forward to. This is why you need to have at least a timeframe where you know you’re going to see them again. Then, you can point to that time and say “it’s almost over” and have something to look forward to. Keep track of the time dwindling down as the months or weeks roll by. It may help you both stick around in the long-run.
They say that if you can get through a long distance relationship, then you can get through anything! Do you have any tips to add that could help? Let us know below, we’re all in this together!