Alex and I are six months into this whole long distance relationship thing and I think we’ve really found our groove! (For those of you that don’t’ know, my husband is in the Navy and is stationed in Bahrain for a year)
I want to share with you FIVE tips for anyone in a long distance relationship.
1) Communication Is Key. Communication is something Alex and I struggggggle with when we’re apart. We’re both pretty independent so we can go longer than most without talking, but that’s not exactly a good thing! We’ve set up a “schedule” of when we will talk to each other. We video chat during my mornings (his evening) every other day and then we email or text on the day we don’t video chat. This way we have an expectation of when we’ll communicate and it works great for us! Setting up expectations is key so no one is disappointed.
2) Discover Each Other’s Love Language. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I’m referring to a book called The Five Love Languages, it’s a great read for couples! The premise is that we all give and receive love in a certain way. If you can discover your partner’s “love language” it’s easier to show them love. So even from afar, do your best to love them in their love language. This can be a challenge depending on your love language but for myself and Alex it works like this: His love language is quality time which is obviously challenging since we can’t actually spend time together. Instead, I make it a priority to have uninterrupted face to face (or screen to screen in this situation) communication with him. This means no working on the computer, no folding laundry or “multitasking” while we’re talking. I make it a priority to stick to our video chatting schedule because I know it’s important to him.
3) Send Mail. This one is my absolute favorite! Even though you may be able to communicate on the phone or internet, sending mail still has its place. It’s always a sweet surprise to find a letter in the mailbox and it goes that extra mile to show them that you’re thinking about them. Personally, I love being able to see Alex’s handwriting, there’s something about it that makes him feel closer than an email or text ever could. It doesn’t have to be an epic love letter either, he sends me little post cards and I like to send funny cards I find when I’m out and about. If you’re feeling really ambitious a package filled with their favorite things is great, too!
4) Don’t Do A Countdown. This advice was given to me from a friend (if you’re reading this, thank you Kristina!) that went through a period of long distance with her now husband and it was great advice! One of my goals for this year while Alex is gone is to make sure I don’t stop living my life and just count down the days until he returns. Life is short and precious and we shouldn’t be wasting time counting down days. Just live your life and the days will pass by as always! When you get close to seeing each other, sure, do a 2 week countdown, but anything longer may be overwhelming.
5) Write It Down. Even with the communication schedule in place, life still happens and there may be a couple days you aren’t able to have a quality conversation. If this happens I take to email and write down what I’ve been up to, even if it’s pretty mundane. Otherwise by the time I get on the phone I often times forget all sorts of things I wanted to tell him. I’ll admit, I’m really bad at this one and it’s something I need to get better at. But when I actually take the time to do this, it’s really beneficial and Alex always appreciates it! Alex is the best at this and he’ll actually write down things he wants to tell me so when we get on the phone he doesn’t forget and I think it’s so sweet!
Every relationship is different so what works for us may not work for everyone but these tips have really worked wonders for us while we’re apart this year!
Are any of you in a long distance relationship? I’d love to hear from you! Or if you know someone that’s going through a period of long distance with their significant other, share this with them! It’s helpful to know you’re not alone! And for the rest of you…hug your special someone extra tight tonight!
Shout out to Elizabeth Lauren Photography for our photos!