As my readers know, my girlfriend and I have been together for over a year now (1 year, 3 months and 21 days, but who’s counting?), and since last June we have been in a long distance relationship following my decision to not return to the boarding school we met at.
Once we had decided we’d remain a couple when she returned to school and I didn’t, people were a little wary of whether our relationship would survive or not. To be honest, Sarah and I were too, but we wanted to try.
"Try and fail, but don't fail to try." - Stephen Kaggwa
It’s an amazing feeling to know that we have made it this far. Some people have asked us how we are doing it. To be honest, we never really thought about how we’re keeping our relationship going – we’re just doing it. I really had to look back over the past year to see for myself how we kept it up for so long, and it’s actually pretty simple.
So, for anyone who is facing a similar situation, here are some tips to surviving a long distance relationship…
1. Communication. Sarah and I have at least one weekly Skype date, and we text each other a few days of the week. Don’t over-text or call each other though… keep it moderate.
2. Know each other’s schedules. Luckily, there’s only an hour difference in our time-zones during the school year, so I don’t have to wait too long to text Sarah in the morning. But this also accounts for the daily schedules – work, school, etc.
3. Plan visits. Right now I’m currently at Sarah’s home in Pennsylvania staying in her parent’s guest room for a few days to visit her. She will also be visiting my home at some point during the summer.
4. Make sure you’re ready for it. If you can’t be faithful in a long distance relationship, then don’t bother trying. And if you’re going to suffer emotionally from this kind of relationship, then again… don’t bother trying.
5. Write letters to each other. Yeah, in our tech-savvy world it’s easier to just text or video chat each other, but what really tugs on the heart strings is a good old fashioned, hand-written letter sent via snail-mail (you can thank my sister Sabrina for this one).
6. Plan surprise visits. As you probably know, for our 1 year anniversary I surprised Sarah by randomly showing up at her dorm room that morning. Nothing will excite your boyfriend/girlfriend more than just showing up at their doorstep with no warning.
All it takes is some faith and trust (maybe a little pixie dust) to keep a long distance relationship going strong. You just have to know that it isn’t always going to be easy and you need to be prepared to put effort into it.
But if you do that, it’s all worth it.