Dealing with Distance: Preparing Yourself for the Long Distance Relationship

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With your life changing as fast as it does when you’re a millennial, there will be a time when you may find yourself in a position you’ve never thought you would be in. What I’m talking about is the dreaded long-distance relationship. Maybe one of you went off to grad school or even moved to a new city for a job, but this is different from when your significant other went to college when you were still in high school. Guess what? Now, you’re an adult! Long-distance relationships are complex, but you can make it work by being honest and creative. Trust me, I’m in one.

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So you got your dream job, but it’s across the country. It is time to choose whether to continue your relationship with your partner. No matter what, you must know that your choice is right for you. It’s true, not everyone can handle a long distance relationship, especially if you aren’t coming back anytime soon. If you think you won’t be able to handle the nights of loneliness, being around people with their partners, or even that one drunken night at the club, then end it. It’s rough, but dealing with the pain and shame of your choices when you aren’t honest with your partner is much worse. The same goes on the flip side; you cannot be mad at your partner if they do not want to continue a long-distance relationship; honestly, you shouldn’t be together if you can’t handle the distance.

However, don’t let the distance scare you from looking at other opportunities, and don’t hold your partner back. For example, in my pre-relationship stages with my current boyfriend, he received an internship opportunity in Canada. Although he was super hyped about it, he was also scared to go out of fear of losing me. I didn’t want the idea of him losing such an excellent opportunity to fall on my shoulders, so I told him I wouldn’t care. We lost a whole summer and didn’t become official until February, but it was still worth it. You’re in a fast-paced part of your life; don’t let specific fears pull you back from pursuing your goals.

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Girl in a long distance relationship texting on her phone


It seems obvious, but communication becomes the most vital aspect of your relationship when you don’t physically see someone. It is how your partner will know what you are feeling and what you are doing and how you will know the same for your partner. Our generation is lucky that we have so many communication options. Texting is a super easy way to talk to your partner throughout the day; however, texting shouldn’t always be the only way you communicate. I know not everyone is a phone person, but it is refreshing to hear your partner’s voice on the phone, hear tones, and have a more intimate feeling than text.

Even better is using video calling, such as Skype or Facetime, using your gadgets or even a refurbished iPhone, ensuring it functions seamlessly and provides the reliability needed to stay connected, enabling you to enjoy quality time together, no matter the distance. Seeing your partner reminds you why you’re trying so hard to make this relationship work because you get to see the person you love. Although communication is essential, you must remember that people get caught up with themselves. So don’t freak out if your partner hasn’t texted you in two hours because they are likely busy. Try to make it a point to have a time when you guys can converse consistently. Perhaps make a weekly Skype call or text each other till you fall asleep—whatever works for you, make sure you are talking.

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It’s going to happen. You’re going to be pent-up with a bunch of sexual frustration and not know what to do with yourself. Or, you’ll come home and cry because you’re tired of being surrounded by couples. It sucks, but if you’re creative, your partner can be there, even when they aren’t. Tackling the first problem, you’re going to want to have sex and not have your partner to satisfy that need. First, it’s okay to feel that way; you’re an adult in an adult relationship. No judgments, I promise. Granted, there are options like sexting or phone sex (I’m sure there is even a Skype sex term, I don’t know), but there is a lack of intimacy with that. Don’t fear; there are ways to get off without feeling alone.

To begin with, there is this excellent vibrator that your partner can control through an app. Interesting (and yes, expensive), but it is a way for you to lose control and connect with your partner on an intimate level without actually being together. There is also the fun to clone a willy if your partner is male. You get the picture. The second is dirty letter writing. Remember that raunchy letter in Atonement? When you’re feeling hot and bothered, write exactly what you want your partner to do. Then, mail it up and send it out. That little unexpected gift in your partner’s mailbox will make them smile and then smile.

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On to the second problem, yes, you will feel unbearably lonely sometimes. What you can do is send little gifts to each other. For Valentine’s Day, which is also my cliché anniversary, my boyfriend made me a deck of cards with 52 reasons why he loved me. Granted, it’s not the cuddle time I wanted, but if I’m feeling lonely, I can read through those cards and get that warm feeling.

The Truth About Long Distance Relationships

I said it once, and I’ll say it again, long-distance relationships suck. However, it makes you and your partner stronger. If you think you’ll be able to handle it, it’s worth it. You have to keep looking forward and know that one day, you two will be able to continue your relationship together.

Remember, you’ll see each other again. And it will probably be something like this, maybe.

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