I was in a long-distance relationship around 6 months ago when I studied abroad in the United States. My boyfriend remained in Slovenia, so we had to manage a long-distance relationship for 4 months. Hard as it was, I’m glad to tell you it was quite successful for we are still happy and together. Moreover, this experience made me realize that we have enough love to travel all across the world (cheesy, I know!).
I thought that was the last time that we would have to spend months apart. Well, what do you know? Coronavirus came in March and as Slovenia closed down completely, we are forbidden to leave our hometown. My boyfriend lives 3 hours away by car so obviously my hometown is not his hometown. Because we don’t live together yet, we haven’t been allowed to visit each other for the past 6 weeks (blah!).
Because I feel that most of the world is locked down, I decided to write what helped me and my partner in keeping the love alive in case you found yourself in a similar situation or will in the future.
1. Call each other regularly
I think it’s important to call each other or face time every day. It gives you the chance to keep track of each other’s lives even though you’re not spending every day together.
Personally, it helped me if I called my boyfriend when I had a rough day or if something devastated me. The same goes for good days. I got the feeling that we were connected and close, even though a thousand miles apart.
2. Show your partner that you think of him/her
Surprise your partner with a cute and funny card or send them a small package of things that will remind them of you. It can be your favorite candy, it might be a photo of you and your partner together, or a small gift that you bought for them.
A hand-written letter is also very romantic. Write to your partner to tell them what you would do if they were there with you and how the current situation makes you feel. Tell them about your days and remind them of the good moments that you spent together. Tell them that you miss them and are excited to see them soon.
3. Trust each other
For me, trust is the foundation that is absolutely necessary to build a relationship on. Especially when separated by a few hundreds or thousands of miles, it is essential that you trust your partner and that he or she trusts you. If trust is lacking in a relationship it’s not very likely that it will survive the distance.
It’s hard to stay happy and content in a relationship if you keep worrying that your partner might not be loyal to you. And it’s even harder to survive so in a long-distance relationship.
4. Send them photos of your day
Send them a photo or two every day – it can be a photo of you doing something, it can be something that you saw that day, an event that you attended or what you’ve been cooking. Believe me, it will make them smile, and they will know that you thought of them.
5. Talk about your feelings
No matter how you’re feeling about the distance, it’s important to communicate your emotions to your partner. This long-distance situation will upset and sadden you sometimes, make you long for something that cannot be reached at the moment.
It’s okay if you miss your partner. It’s okay if you wish you had never left. It’s okay to wish your partner was there with you. It’s also okay to have fun without him (her) and be happy.
Tell your partner how you feel.
Remember, he is still your counterpart and is very likely not only to understand you but also to feel the same way! And honestly, you might feel a bit easier if you knew he was going through the same thing.
6. Plan a trip to visit each other
We did this when I was living in Oklahoma. My boyfriend came to visit me for 10 days and I was so excited to finally see him. I made a very thorough plan! I planned trips and thought about my favorite spots on campus that I wanted to show him. Read about our adventures here.
In the current situation, quarantined (at least I am), this might not be doable. However, if you have the opportunity to visit your partner and show them how much they means to you, you should absolutely do it! It will bind you to your partner and you will both have something to look forward to as soon as flight tickets are booked.
7. Plan your activities for when you get together
I bet you know when you will be coming home and are counting down the days. Talk about what you both want to do in the first few days you get back together and make a plan. I remember that planning our time together made me feel loved and excited.
For example, we planned to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday – I was to take him out for dinner, and we planned a few romantic nights in.
Your plan should be built on what you both wish to do and how you hope to spend some quality time together. It could be going to the movies, to the Finnish sauna, making a day trip, or really whatever else you were eager to do all this time you spent apart.
You can plan your next vacation, too. Choose the destination and date together and voilá! This is something to be excited about.
8. Tell them how much they mean to you
Tell your partner that you love them. Tell them in the morning, tell them before you go to bed, tell them every day. Don’t let them forget how much they mean to you. Show them how much you care by taking some time every day to talk to them.
Let me know if this was helpful! Also, share your tips for managing a long-distance relationship and help others in the same situation.