By Riley Corboy
Let’s be honest, long distance relationships kind of suck. Sure, there are some upsides (like maintaining your independence, growing closer to friends and family, and working on your communication), but it’s really never fun being forced to be apart from someone you love. Distance isn’t a relationship killer, but it can be a strain. Short-term or temporary long distance relationships, on the other hand, are much easier to deal with than perennial ones. In this situation, you and your SO are separated for a set amount of time, for things like work or travel, but eventually you both will be back together in the same place. When you’re in the trenches of missing them, however, it’s still going to sting, so here are some tips on how to get through that temporary time apart.
1. Know when you’re going to visit.
If the time is so short that you two aren’t planning to visit each other, then ignore this step. However, even a period of a couple months is long enough that squeezing in a weekend visit will make you both feel refreshed and energized about the relationship. Have this plan and a date set in place, ideally before the person leaves. Having something to look forward to will make the time go by so much faster.
2. Communicate regularly.
You don’t have to be texting 24/7 to have good communication, and actually sometimes doing this leads to communication burnout. Make it a point, though, to check in with each other at least once a day, whether that be through text, a call, or Skype. This will keep you feeling engaged in each other’s lives and like you are still an involved participant, despite the physical distance between you.
3. Have scheduled calls/Skype dates.
If you designate certain days to have a longer phone chat, like every Wednesday and Sunday, knowing you will hear the other person’s voice at this time gives you both something to look forward to every week. In a similar vein, having a weekly Skype date, where you both cook and eat together or watch the same tv show, can help bring some normalcy and connection back into your dynamic. If you’ve never done a movie or tv show date via Skype, you’d be surprised how much fun it actually is.
If you’re traveling, send postcards from all the exotic locations you’re visiting. If you’re an ocean away and time zones are tricky, send your SO physical letters every once in a while so they have a piece of you to hold onto. Surprise them with random food or flower deliveries, or send care packages when they are having a bad day. These gestures don’t need to be expensive to be incredibly heartwarming and meaningful. When you and your partner are too far apart to touch, little physical things like these will make all the difference in the world.
5. Keep the end date in mind.
Knowing the date you two will be ultimately reunited is a bigger boost than you might think. When things feel rocky and you go through those desperately lonely moments, keep the finish line in the forefront of your mind. This is not forever, it’s just for now. Every good relationship is tested at some point or another, so have a little patience and enough faith to sit it out. It might feel like a crucible, but you two will be back together soon and your relationship will be stronger than it was before.