How to Maintain Your Long Distance Relationship & Friendships
One of the best and perhaps worst parts of travelling is falling in love. We’ve all done it, more than once, and we’ve all then had to leave our new found ‘soul-mate’ at the departures gate. And we’re not just talking about the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, we’re talking friendships too – the sort that you know you will never make again. But we all know that “it is not goodbye, but see you soon”. So you’re gonna need some little tips to help the process, and here’s the best we’ve got:
1. That little thing called the internet
Okay, this one is obvious. Skype, Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber; you’ve got them all right? (right?!) — so use them! It’s funny how many people are rubbish at keeping in touch with all this access to communication. We find if you get in a routine of chatting to your better half it all becomes easier. For example, arrange a Skype chat every Wednesday at a certain time – and commit to it! How about first thing in the morning put 10 minutes a side to Whatsapp the important people in your life to say hey. Sometimes all anybody needs is a little message.
2. It’s ok to be sad
Ok, so here’s the truth; sometimes LDR SUCK! Like, really suck and the only person that can make it better is the person you are missing. It’s ok to be sad – but don’t let that put you off – that doesn’t mean it’s time to break up. The likelihood is you would be upset at points if that person was right by your side every day. All relationships are full of up’s and down’s and yours are that you have to spend a lot of time apart – but come on, it’s better than because he/she wants you to stay in every weekend without exploring the world!
3. Be slow to judge
An inevitable thing that happens as humans when we are away from those we love is jealousy. This is an emotion that can destroy relationships, but also one that can be easily avoided. When we’re apart from one another or have limited exposure to a person or event, we start to make all sorts of assumptions or judgments that are usually exaggerated or untrue. Remember to be slow to judge, communicate effectively and try not to overthink things. This is when social media is not a great tool – do not overreact to photos or status’ and take time to remember not to jump to conclusions!
4. Create a photo album
It’s time to get creative! Photos are a memory captured forever, and the best way to keep reliving those fun times. Did you and your best friend meet on the road? Why not make him/her a photo box and stick in funny quotes, plane tickets, photos and random objects? The great thing about it is it is free of charge – just grab all the bits and get sticking in a box. Or if you fancy a more professional one there are tons of online providers willing to do the hard work for you. Pictures say a thousand words – make them into a million!
5. Give a gift
Believe it or not, there is a whole store dedicated to long distance relationship gifts. There’s nothing like receiving a tangible gift from your loved one that helps narrow the miles when you’re apart. Think pillow cases, mugs and t-shirts. Kind of cute. Kind of.
6. Send handwritten letters
Who said romance is dead? How do you think people communicated before the internet? Letters of course! And, if you’re anything like us there is nothing more exciting than receiving a handwritten letter. It shows how much you care and how much effort you are prepared to put into the relationship – plus you have something to re-read over and over again and keep forever!
7. Make plans
We all know the best ways to deal with the post-holiday blues and it’s kind of the same in a long distance relationship. Make sure you always have something planned together in the future. Set dates or goals and have something to look forward to. This maybe the most important bit of advice; if you are not growing together you will start drifting apart. Having that something to look forward to together will help keep emotions positive – it doesn’t have to be huge, it can be something as little as looking at flights together, creating a Pinterest board on places you want to go, wanderlusting over the Workaway host list or looking into jobs abroad.
Above all, if you work hard enough at it, a long distance relationship doesn’t have to be any different from any other relationship you are in.