How To Make Long Distance Relationships Work
Relationships are something I've never written about before, because until six months ago, I didn't have a relationship to write about.
When my boyfriend and I met, I knew I was moving to Los Angeles in a short two-and-a-half months, but we started dating regardless. We quickly fell for each other, but I felt a ticking clock in the back of my head. He had been in long distance relationships previously, and was hesitant to do the same again.
I didn't understand. Didn't he want to be with me? Wasn't I different than his other girlfriends? What could I do to change his mind?
After a few tearful conversations, we decided to take our relationship bi-coastal. During my first month in Los Angeles, I cried. And I cried a lot. I missed him terribly, as during my last two-and-a-half months in Boston, he was the one who I spent the most time with.
I didn't know what to do, because every day it didn't seem to get any easier, despite him telling me that eventually I would stop crying so much. Considering I'm crying while writing this, Bill you're wrong [as usual ;p].
I flew home to Philadelphia where Bill met me three weeks ago and it completely refreshed the relationship. You know how they say a true friend is one you can go weeks without seeing, but when you do, it's like no time has passed? That's exactly how it was. We picked up exactly where we left off with our routines we got used to in Boston and it was magical.
I cried hysterically all over again when he got in an Uber to head to the train station, just like I had when I got in my Uber to the airport at the beginning of August.
At this point, you're probably thinking one of two things. 1. Jacqueline, shut up. I don't care. 2. What's the point?
Well, I'd like to impart to you a bit of wisdom and advice that I've learned over the past three months of being long distance.
1. Remember That Relationships Are Hard Work: And it only gets harder when you're on opposite coasts. He told me from prior experience, as did most people in my life, that this was going to be a test to see if we could make it work. It was a hard adjustment to go from the fun and easy relationship we had in Boston to what we have now.
2. Communicate: We text pretty much all day long. This can be hard with the time difference [he's in NY, so three hours behind me in LA], as he's usually up before I am in the mornings and goes to bed before I do. We also make it a point to FaceTime every day. I think it's a pretty good sign that even after talking all day, we still have things to talk about during our nightly FaceTime. Setting up times to watch TV shows together is also a great way to feel like you're doing things together in person.
3. Have An End in Sight: While other couples may not have this luxury, one of the reasons we decided to take the plunge into long distance is because he's also planning on moving to Los Angeles over the next year. This gives me a lot of peace of mind that it won't be like this forever.
4. Know When You're Seeing Each Other Next: We saw each other three weeks ago, where he met my family, and I'll visit him at the holidays to meet his family. Knowing that it's only 6-ish weeks from now that I'll get to see him in person again makes my anxiety a lot better.
5. Tell Each Other How You Feel: I never thought that I'd be the cliché "no I love you, no I love you" girl, but I totally am. He has completely softened my heart and I want to let him know how much he means to me all the time. Mushy stuff aside, say what you feel, not what you think you should feel.
6. Surprise Each Other: Send each other post cards, letters, photos, not because you have to, but because you want to. One post card goes a long way and gives you something physical to hold onto.