1. Phone calls, Skype, and Texting can cut the distance in half. J and I spend a lot of time communicating with one another. We're in touch most of the time by sending texts throughout the day, just so we stay in the loop with what the other one's up to. Most days, we talk on the phone for a bit, and once or twice a week we Skype for a few hours. While I was in Spain, this looked a bit differently, of course. But we still texted daily, and Skyped two or three times a week.
2. Sending handwritten letters bring big smiles. One of the many reasons that I am very grateful for my long distance relationship is the huge box of letters that I have from John. These days, almost no couples get the privilege of mailing handwritten letters to one another. Unlike texts and e-mails, I will always have these little tangible snippets of our relationship! They're so precious to me. I also think that there is a special quality about letters...sometimes you truly can express what you want to say just a little bit better when you write it out :)
Here are a few of the letters I've received...there are many more!
3. The calendar should always have the next time you'll see each other. There's never more than a few days that we don't have our next trip planned to see one another. That way, we always have something to look forward to. The anticipation that builds up before we see each other after months apart is like Christmas Eve! :)
4. Sending packages is fun for both the sender and receiver. We make a point to send each other packages often--at least once every couple of weeks, sometimes more. Often times I send John homemade cookies or brownies, and he'll send me one of his baseball hats or t-shirts (one time he even sent me a fresh pack of socks after I told him my favorite pair got a hole in them!). For birthdays, we go big! Huge boxes full of presents, confetti, goodies, balloons--everything! It doesn't take long, but it's a great reminder that you're being thought of by the other.
5. Don't expect your relationship to be the same as a typical close-distance one. While this long-distance relationship has worked great for J and I, it requires a lot of thoughtful effort on both parts. We love that we each have our own college life at school, but with the love and support of each other. It's fun to send and receive letters and packages, call the other, or count down the days until we see each other again! In my opinion, while a long-distance relationship isn't the same as a close-distance one, it's still a great way to date. It's especially a great way to get to know someone, because you end up talking for so many hours!
Clearly, no relationship can be summed up into five neat bullet points. Relationships are dynamic, and they can be difficult and challenging no matter the proximity. But these are the five most concrete ways that allow us to be happily dating from afar. Long-distance isn't for everyone, but it sure it working for us!
Anyone else in a LDR? How are you making it work?