As the school year ends, it’s likely that a lot of college students are embarking on the three-month hell that is a summer apart from their sig-os. Including me. Which kinda sucks, especially if you like whomever you’re dating. I don’t exactly know how qualified I am to give people advice on handling long-distance relationships (which will henceforth be referred to as “LDRs”). The only advice I can give is what I’ve learned from past and current LDRs (READ: 5 months with my ex, and this upcoming summer), which I’d consider fairly successful. So naturally, I’m omniscient and I definitely have the final word on all of your relationships.
First off: there IS an upside to LDRs: they are trials by fire. In my opinion, LDRs really won’t work unless you’re intellectually compatible with whomever you’ve convinced to date you. You can’t fall back on the fact that you guys really like making out with each other (gross.); you have to be able to hold a semi-enjoyable conversation. So spending time apart is a fairly decent way to weed out the bad’uns. Dating someone for 3 weeks but not really sure about it yet? Just move across the country. That’ll clear things up quickly.
THAT SAID: LDRs are really freaking hard. For a whole slew of reasons. Or maybe just 3?
1.) The obvious: all that cute crap that happens when you get to see each other every day? Like making baby dinosaur noises at each other* and playing “got your nose”*? You can't do that stuff when your boo is halfway across the country. So get creative. (I know I sound like Seventeen magazine right now, but bear with me, please.) Mailing handwritten letters is actually way cuter than burning* making pancakes will ever be. If you feel like going completely overboard, you can even learn calligraphy and paint/emboss the borders of the paper. (As I recall, the letter said “what up.”)
2.) TRUST. Trust is hard. Trust is really freaking hard. The only way to maintain it is communication, which is slightly easier. Unfortunately, I’m not talking about ornately designed “what up” letters; you need to have serious, open conversations (that, for the love of god, you do not conduct over text) about what you both need for the relationship to work. BONUS POINTS: if you talk about open relationships without anyone breaking down into tears or feeling bullied into or out of one, you’re friggin golden. You guys should just get married, because it doesn’t get much better than that.
3.) No cuddling. Cuddling is nice. So if at all possible, it helps to visit whomever you’re dating, even if just for a day or two.
*This is definitely not something I have done or will ever do. I have dignity to keep in mind, you know?
Ginger’s Song of the Week: You may find this song familiar, but probably not until the 1:28 minute mark. (Personally, I like it sans Kanye much better.)
Are you in a LDR this summer? How are you coping?
Related post: The LDR: A Participant's Perspective