I haven’t written about this topic in a while. It is that time again when school is almost done for the year, and most students go back home for the summer. That means many of you could be experiencing the whole long distance thing with your boyfriend or girlfriend this summer as well. I read this post by Julie, on Hugstronger, and wanted to share it on my blog. I thought it might help to read about it from someone who has gone through it. Here is her advice:
I’ve had almost eight years to sort out long-distance relationships. During that time, I’ve spent countless nights scouring the Internet for sources telling me what to do, how to cope and how to make myself feel like I wasn’t putting my life on hold.
I was practically living on my computer, and I felt utterly defeated when my one link to my partner couldn’t even help me figure out how to deal.
Unfortunately, Google and Wikipedia don’t have all the answers.
Recently though, I’ve realized that I don’t struggle with being in an LDR like I used to. It’s been a long time since I’ve appealed to the Internet, asking questions like, “How do you have a life when you’re in a long-distance relationship?”
What changed? Well, time and experience definitely helped. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and in turn, I’ve learned how to make my life in an LDR better.
I have three tips that will absolutely make being in an LDR easier:
I recall too many evenings spent sitting around on my computer, waiting for my partner to wake up or come home, just so that I could say a quick “hello-goodbye.” Being in college can get lonely at times, and being in an LDR, on top of it, can make that loneliness even more astute.
It can be difficult for others who aren’t in LDRs to understand the rationale behind your decision to stay with your partner despite the distance, and that lack of understanding makes it feel like your friends aren’t a support system.
You do know at least one other person who’s in a LDR though: your partner. I encourage you to talk to them. Open up about what you’re struggling with. Chances are they’re going to relate.
Don’t write your non-LDR friends off though. Just because they haven’t experienced what you’re going through doesn’t mean they can’t listen.
Tip 2: Live In The Present
Living alone this year (as opposed to on campus) definitely taught me to value time with myself. It also meant that I couldn’t just run back to my room between classes for a quick Skype chat with my partner. This lack of constant Internet connections has helped me realized that it’s good to be alone sometimes, to not constantly be connected to my partner.
Sure, we text now and then during the day, but I’ve been refraining from constant texting. I want the people I’m spending time with in the here and now to have my complete attention, and I’ve found that texting during those interactions takes my mind away from what’s happening in the moment.
It’s easy to feel like you have to be available for the other person at all times because you can’t make up for it by being there in person. Try to remember that you’re still living your life right now. It’s important to nurture yourself and the relationships with the people around you, too.
Tip 3: Have Open Communication
This is a big one. Since you’re so far away from one another, it’s easy to stop sharing the daily details of your lives. I’ve noticed that once this happens, it’s easy to feel like you’re not a part of each others’ lives.
There have been times where I’ve felt like I didn’t really know my partner—what he was doing every day, who he talked to, what funny little things happened to him. Those little things make up life, and when we forget to share them with one another, we soon feel less connected.
Share the big stuff, too. If you have something on your mind (and this goes for every relationship) let your partner know. The healthiest relationships I’ve seen (and have been in) included people who realized this and did their best to be open and honest with one another.
Julie is a college senior attending Humboldt State University, and every day she feels lucky to have the opportunity to be living amongst the beautiful trees and waters of Northern California. She will be graduating in May of 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in English for secondary education, after which time she plans to move back to Europe to live with her partner, teach English, and write.
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