As my boyfriend and I prepared to part for several months, I decided to read an article about long distant relationships. The first comment read: “My partner and I live in San Francisco and LA, which isn’t too bad. At least it’s not New York and LA!” Ah, yes, that would be my relationship: the worst-case scenario that others are grateful they don’t have to deal with. However, I’ve found a lot of different ways to make the distance seem a little less terrifying, and if you are in a long distance relationship (for any period of time), they might help.
- Get in some screen time: Our favorite website is a video chat/streaming service called rabb.it. Nothing’s better than just chilling out and watching a movie with your significant other, but when you live 2,852 miles away, “Netflix and chill” isn’t exactly an option. What I love about rabb.it. is that you share the screen, so you’re watching the same broadcast at the same time, so that there are no delays on one person’s screen or having to exactly align both of your TVs. If you don’t want to watch television or go on the internet, you can remove the screen and just see each other’s faces. And the best part: no downloading. You can access it directly from the website without even having to make an account, which is free and makes it easier to use anyway. We like to designate date nights to have dinner and a movie, apart from our normal time spent texting, to still make our time together seem special and intimate.
- Game on: I personally think it’s really hard to just talk to someone all the time. Even though we do talk all the time, sometimes it’s just better to communicate in other ways. Most of the people I know who are in long distance relationships have long-term online game competitions with their significant others. For me, it’s the word game “Stop” (which for some reason no one else ever plays, even though it’s awesome). For another friend, it’s “Draw Something”. (Remember that one from like, 2012? Yep, she’s still playing it.) It’s nice to have fun with one another without having to necessarily see each other’s faces and talk about things. And for us at least, it is a typical thing we do when we’re together in person and a way to stick to our routine when we are apart.
- Picture this: Sharing the things you enjoy when you’re together, even when you can’t be right next to each other, makes the distance so much easier. Aside from playing games and watching our favorite TV shows, we constantly send each other pictures and videos of dogs we find on the internet or at friends’ houses. It’s a little way to show that you care and are thinking of them, which is vital when you’re not seeing the person for a long time.
- Frequent flyer: Honestly, if you are at all financially able, visiting your significant other is absolutely important and worth it. Not only do you get to finally spend time with them, which will probably feel like the greatest time of your life, but it gives you something to look forward to, with the weeks and months you went without seeing one another. My boyfriend and I spent weeks planning our trip to psych ourselves up; by feeling like you’re “already” planning for it, it somehow feels like you’re just a little bit closer to being there. Spending even a weekend together reminds you why it’s all worth being apart and missing each other most of the time. Though traveling can be expensive, there are ways to make it cheaper. Websites like Student Universe offer discounted flights for students, and if you research the best time to buy plane tickets, you can end up with a pretty good deal.
Being apart definitely isn’t easy or ideal, but if you’re with the right person, it’s easy to make it work, and completely worth it.
This article was originally published on December 8, 2016.