Hello again, friends.
Starting Monday, your favorite blogger (aka me, if you were confused) will be entering into a year of long distance with my partner of six years. And naturally I’m freaking out and trying not to submerge myself into a deep depression lol. But as much as I don’t want him to go, we both would never hinder each other from great opportunities. So if that means that he gets a great job in California in September, but I can’t move to California until June, I would never ‘forbid’ him from going just because I can’t go. In a relationship, your partner’s success is your success, even if that requires a bit of sacrifice and short-term-unhappiness. If you guys want it to work, you’ll make it work!
But anyways, we previously had to do a year of long distance, so this second time around I’m much more prepared! I’ve compiled a short list of tips that I learned the first time around. Because as they say, ‘experience is the best teacher’…. or something like that. So without further adieu, here are my tips:
1. Give yourself time to be sad.
So my first suggestion is to accept that you will be sad…. and that is OK! The trick is to not let that sadness consume you and stop you from functioning like a normal human.
I always take some time just to bask in the sadness and feel all the feels. Only YOU will know how much time YOU need, though. Put on sad movies on netflix, eat your favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and call it a day… or 2. But just know, like everything in life, that sadness is not permanent.
2. Invest more in self-care.
One of the “perks” of living alone (if you’re the woman in the relationship) is that you might eat a lot less than your male partner (if you’re in a male-female relationship), especially if your partner is an athlete. SO for me that means I’ll be saving some extra cash on food, monthly. With that leftover cash, treat-yo-self! But don’t go overboard now! You might be able to get a massage once a month. Groupon offers great deals on all spa-type things. Not only will it help to reduce your stress levels, but by reducing your stress your appearance visibly gets better, so when you do see your ‘honey-bunny’ he/she won’t be able to take their eyes off of you.
Apart from the massages and pampering, you can and should try to exercise more frequently. Exercise is GREAT for you because when you do it, you release ‘happy’ hormones, reduce stress, and you just feel better. Living a sedentary lifestyle is good for NO ONE! And if you get in the habit of exercising regularly while you’re alone, it will be easy to keep it going when your ‘boo-thang’ returns.
3. Pick up a hobby… or two.
With your partner away, you might find yourself bored much more frequently. That boredom then leads to sadness because it frees up a lot of mental space for you to dwell on the fact that your partner is not around. I found that hobbies helped me the most.
I really invested time in language learning (and my Spanish got so much better), mindful coloring, and traveling. Since I am a TA and my pay is measly, when I say traveling I mean visiting nearby cities that are driving distance. I took a lot of day trips, did a lot of hiking, and tried a lot of new restaurants. It’s always good to set a budget so that you don’t go overboard, though. The good thing about the ‘exploring hobby,’ as I like to call it, is that you now have some new things that you can do with your partner once he or she returns! Look at it like you’re ‘taking one for the team’ by trying out all of these new places. Hey, they always have the potential to suck, right? (Even though yelp can help you avoid the sucky things haha)
4. Don’t talk to you partner!
Ok, I just wanted a provocative header lol. Obviously you should talk to your partner. But what I mean is the following. This is going to come as a surprise to some, but you should NOT be talking to your partner every waking second! You’ll find out very quickly that it’s not the same as in person. You’ll feel let down and disillusioned, and you’ll start to question things.
“What’s going on?”
“We talk all of the time in person”
“Is something going on?”
etc. etc. ETC!
There’s NOTHING wrong! It’s just hard to convey the trivial, mundane details of your day-to-day over the phone, EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY!
You’ll find that you guys will be much happier if you set a designated time each day to talk and catch up. We like to set up a time an hour or so before bed. That way, you’re just recapping the main points of the day instead of running into constant dead moments when you’re on the phone for hours at a time, all throughout the day.
No matter how much you love the sound of your sweeties voice, ignore him/her throughout the day lol.
Lastly, I love to journal. Writing has always been my best form of communication and expression. For me, writing creates a space for me to ‘let it all out’ and I always feel less heavy after writing my thoughts. It also allows you to keep track of your moods and identify which things trigger positive moods and which trigger negative moods.
There are some really cool journals where you fill in one petal of a flower each day. That petal is filled with a color that reflects your primary mood for the day. So if you were mainly angry, your petal for the day might be red. You can also write why and/or what caused your anger. It really helps to pinpoint your mood triggers.
So there you have it, my friends. This is my basic survival guide for long distance relationships. But I also recommend these things if you’re single, and even if you’re in a relationship that’s not long distance. These things help me to have a sound mind and body, and I also think they help you to be the best version of you… which is something we should all be working towards, regardless of your relationship status.
I hope that you find these tips helpful, and remember.. ‘sharing is caring.’
Until next time xoxo