True story: I’ve been in a long distance relationship for over three years. It’s more like a “commuter relationship”. He’s in Boston working at a University. I’m in NYC running a business. Our careers keep us apart during the week, but we aim to spend every weekend together.
We’re even engaged to be married now, and while I hope we finally do live together soon, Sunday to Sunday, here’s my favorite tips of how we make long distance work:
- Make Plans in Person & Stick to Them: Every time you see each other in person, book your next trip’s transportation tickets before you part. When you book in advance, you commit to the trip. You’re not available for a last minute work trip or lazy Saturday in. You’ve got plans and you need to stick to them.
- Work hard, play hard. Find any way possible to leave your work at work. I quickly learned that if I wanted to spend quality time with my person, I needed to commit to my time with them, even if it’s binge watching Narcos on Netflix in one sitting. As a result, I committed to “No work on weekends” and completing almost all of my personal errands Monday through Friday. In other words, when your significant other is in town, that is not the time to iron all of the laundry!
- Embrace the Mundane: I’ve learned that the best phone conversations I’ve had with my fiancé are when we aren’t even speaking. Just hearing him type away some email or making tea or ironing laundry… These serve as small reminders that they are next to you, even if it’s not in a physical capacity. I can imagine that this may seem completely insane, but I can also imagine many people engaged in long distance relationships know the feeling I am describing. You just don’t feel lonely when you can sense them near you.
- Download my favorite app ever, Glide: Don’t get me wrong. Facetime/ Skype are awesome. We use those apps when we have scheduled evening dates with each other. The major problem with those apps, however, is that both of us need to be available, and that just doesn’t work on most days. (Remember, we work hard!) Glide lets us video message each other without taking up precious storage space on our phone. It also doesn’t delete your video messages and auto- plays messages in chronological order, so it looks like you’re having a real time conversation when you aren’t. Your partner receives push notifications when you are watching their videos and vice versa. You can share your world, visually, whenever it suits you, and your partner can watch when it suits them.
- Have an expiration date to your long distance: The only way a long distance relationship can go the distance is when the couple agrees on a particular date or event of which the long distance comes to an end. Determine this quickly to avoid any resentfulness or misunderstandings in the future.
Good luck and God speed!