Sometimes I need to remind myself to be wary of the people who judge me. I’ve survived two years (and counting) with my long distance relationship girlfriend.
I started dating my girlfriend towards the end of my senior year in High School. It wasn’t until I got accepted to New York University when people started to ask us (individually) if we were going to stay together.
It was a dreaded situation that neither of us wanted to confront. We both played it off and treated the fact that I would move a country away as if it was no big deal.
I’m one year older than my girlfriend. At this time, Erica was only a junior in high school. This means that I would head off to New York University for my freshman year in college while she would stay in California to complete her senior year of high school.
People tell me all the time that there is no hope in this long distance relationship. You can search up all of those silly articles and tips online telling you that you’ll regret having a long distance relationship. You can find more negative on this topic than good. People will tell you its a waste of time.
You shouldn’t care what other people think.
Since you’re reading this article trying to look for signs that a LDR can work, I invite you to change your mindset. Quit reading all of the negative that goes with a long distance relationship. You should be talking to people you actually know, in real life, about your situation rather than asking for advice from a stranger online. You have the nerve to actually believe people online that tell you your LDR won’t work. I say, cut that out and don’t let it bring you down. Since you apparently want to look for online advice on a LDR, I’ll entertain you. I’ll tell you the positives of a LDR.
To start off, this is how I want you to reply to people who tell you to “stop with that long distance nonsense.”
“Since having a long distance relationship is “bad” why don’t you go ahead and tell me how flawless your relationship is?”
Let’s assess the realities of a long distance relationship. You need to ask yourself these basic guidelines:
- Do you trust him/her when they’re away from you?
- Can you stand them being around and meeting new people?
- Will you meet up regularly and visit each other?
- Are you okay with them possibly changing?
Most importantly you have to ask yourself if you truly care for this person.
If you’re not sure if you care about this person…
If you already have toxic problems living close together…
If you’re unsure about putting in all of the work to maintain the relationship…
Don’t do it.
This should be a definite “yes” if someone were to ask you “do you really want to stay with this person?”
If you’re not willing to work on communicating with each other this simply won’t work.
Before taking a risk you’re scared about always ask yourself: “what’s the worst that could happen.”
Well in this case, the worst that could happen is that it doesn’t end well and you break up. Duh. At least you tried. Thankfully, you’ll both have your respective locations to fall back on to get over it.
The central components to manage a long distance relationship: work on TRUST and COMMUNICATION.
Jordan, what does it mean to put in the extra effort in a LDR?
You have to talk to each other regularly, and set some guidelines for you two to follow. This also means undivided attention when communicating with each other. Erica and I make an effort to have a regular conversation over text at least once a day. Anyone can send a text every 3 hours, this is a guideline you can follow. While you’re each going on with your regular routines in your life, it could be tough to add some actual detail in your text messages.
A simple text like “ima head over to guitar center with my friends after I go to track practice lol” is way better than “whats up. nmu. watching tv. same.”
Jordan, but how do you know this is what they’re really up to?
This all ties back down to trust. I don’t suggest to just blindly believe everything is true, but sending each other snapchats or videos of what’s going on will help reassure each other that everything is fine.
Texting isn’t enough
You can’t spend time with each other in person so talking is the only way to keep in touch. Unfortunately, texting opens the door for miscommunication. You can’t read the correct tone just based off of words on a screen. Use Instagram, Snapchat, and Skype to communicate.
Skype is a great way to talk to each other as if your jiff (gf) or biff (bf) is right next to you. Even if you’re not talking to each other, just having the visual is a plus. While my freshmen year roommate would watch Netflix at night I would just plug in my headphones and type over Skype with Erica. We would send each other random YouTube clips to watch after we got all of our homework done.
Good old-fashioned phone calling is also a plus. I personally try to call up Erica when I’m walking home from class or practice. I don’t want to walk into a pole or person if I’m texting.
Remind them that they are important to you
This will keep both of you guys motivated to stay strong while you’re apart. Especially right before a huge test or a race, a simple text out of the blue from Erica always keeps me fired up. Send each other motivations and long text messages before exams and competitions to support each other.
Give each other gifts before you guys go your separate ways (not emotionally, just literally). It could be something as simple like your cologne or a blanket. I gave Erica one of my sweaters so she could wear it and I could “keep her warm” when I wasn’t there. Yeah, I’m smooth.
Let each other grow
Our first year of long distance I would stay up until 4 am multiple nights in a row skyping Erica because I missed her so much. There were multiple nights where we would both stay in to spend virtual time with each other. This is fine and all, but you have to let each other grow and build relationships at your new college, town, whatever it may be. I knew it wasn’t good to stay so attached that I would stay up until 4am with her. Just like homesickness, you can’t let this feeling of loneliness consume you.
It’s okay to let each other hang out with other people and explore your separate areas on your own. Remember to keep each other up to date and communicate exactly how your day goes. This is where the hard work comes in! You need to keep a constant stream of communication between each other. There’ll be times when you don’t have the energy to send that text about your day, but you have to push through it.
Stay positive, look forward to your next visit!!!
This is the best part because you get to count down the days until you see each other again. Plan out your visits and coordinate how you’ll see each other.
When I left for school in August, we both make plans to see each other over Thanksgiving break. At first it was a slow painful process, and it took some getting used to. Eventually, the weeks until you see each other drop down to a few days, and your excitement will build up.
I remember seeing Erica after three months of only virtual communication. It was a weird feeling at first, but at the same time it felt like I was spending time with someone who came back to life. We were both mesmerized by the simple act of being able to hold each others hand.
If you’re not in a long distance relationship right now, be thankful for the time you have with them in person.
I’m reminding you not to listen to all of the negative comments about a LDR. If you really want to make your relationship work, it will. As a final piece of advice I want you to make sure you plan ahead. This may seem like a no brainer, but you need to take the steps and plan out with each other how you’ll make it work. It also gives you time to mentally adjust and prepare for the future.
If you really want to impress your biff (bf) or jiff (gf) , write them a handwritten letter or send them a card over special anniversaries and birthdays. Anyone can send a text, but people rarely handwrite nowadays.