|*Photo taken by Alex Choi|
On Saturday, my boyfriend, Surim, left for his final year of university in Pittsburgh, which is roughly a 5-8 hour distance depending on mode of transportation. He was supposed to have graduated in May with me, but had to go for a “victory lap” as we jokingly call it. This is now our fourth year of enduring a long distance relationship. I understand 6 hours is minuscule in comparison to some other long-distance relationships, but as we cannot afford to make the trip often and are forced to see each other only one weekend a month during the school year.
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Although we are a seasoned long-distance couple by now, saying bye to Surim this past weekend was still so hard for me. Writing this post even has my tearing up. This past summer, I basically spent every day with him and to go from seeing your best friend everyday to only once a month is definitely rough. However, I am so grateful our relationship is strong enough to have been able to endure this for such a long time now.
I wanted to share with you guys some tips on how our relationship has been so successful over the years. Dating is no easy feat, especially in this new millennial society in which cheating is normalcy and “side-baes” are praised. Even within my own peers, I have the longest relationship. This is how we continue to conquer the distance together:
|*Photo by Alex Choi|
1. LOYALTY. You heard it from Kendrick and Rihanna, “All we ask is trust. All we got is us”. These lyrics could not be more true. I am sure you have heard it time and time again, but honestly trusting your significant other is half the battle in any relationship, but especially when there is some distance involved. I have so much faith in Surim and I know he would never do anything to make me question his loyalty. The two of us have very similar values and I know he has the same kind of trust in me as well. I think this trust has been established because we are really open with each other and lying simply isn’t in our vocabulary.
2. MAKE TIME FOR FACE TIME. Since we are forced to see each other only once a month, we find other ways to close the gap between us. One of the biggest ways we do this is through Snapchat. This has been one of our favorite methods of communication the past couple of years. We like it because we are able to see each other’s face and it makes talking more personable, Plus, we feel like we can get more context by physically seeing each other’s facial expressions and whereabouts. In addition to Snapchat, we do FaceTime occasionally and always make time for phone calls when we can.
3. PLAN REGULAR VISITS. As I mentioned already, we are sure to see each other approximately once every month. Before he left on Saturday, we already decided I would visit at the end of the month for a weekend. By having this time frame set in mind, both of you are able to have something to look forward to. Last year, we also planned around celebrating the holidays together. For example, in October, I went to Pittsburgh during Halloween weekend and in February we visited each other during Valentine’s Day weekend. People are likely to feel more lonely during these occasions, so if it is possible to see each other during then – go for it!
4. SEXUAL HEALING. I do not want to touch on this personal topic too much, but long-disatance relationships are hard because of the lack of certain physical aspects of a healthy relationship. However, there are ways to overcome this and to keep a relationship spicy and interesting even with the distance. Get creative with it!
5. OPPORTUNISTIC MINDSET. Lastly, long distance relationships are never ideal to be quite honest. Surim and I were forced to because of school, but keep in mind that this distance is not forever. I keep reminding myself that come springtime, there is nothing that will keep us from being apart anymore. Keeping this goal in mind is important. Plus, they do say that distance makes the heart grow fonder. I would never choose to go through a long-distance relationship, but I did come to appreciate the fact that it made us treasure our time together more and definitely strengthened our relationship.
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I hope these tips on making a long-distance relationship work were helpful for those who are maybe in the same boat as me. Long-distance is not easy, but with patience and trust and the right person, it is definitely not impossible.
If you have any other relationship advice or any long distance relationship questions, be sure to leave a comment down below. I would love to hear your experience and thoughts on this matter!