You are Going to Surive! You Got This!
It might feel like you won’t be able to survive this long distance relationship, but there are tons of things you can do to help you get out of this alive!
1. Spend Extra Time With Your Friends
Your friends are who are going to help you get through this. Spend some of the time you normally would have spent with your partner with your buddies. They’ve missed you while you were busy with your relationship! Make plans with your friends regularly so you always have something to look forward to. You might find that you missed them more than you had noticed while your partner was around.
2. Find New Hobbies
This is an opportunity for you to spend more time doing things you care about. If you have hobbies, jump back into them! Really challenge yourself to get good at what you love to do. If you don’t have any hobbies, this is a time you can learn a lot about yourself. Try something new like painting, pottery, yoga, knitting, or a sport. You can try to find some classes or a team to join. You’ll get to find a hobby and potentially meet some new people.
3. Make New Friends
Making new friends is always an exciting experience and now that you have more time, you may want to fill your life with more friendships! Finding group events and classes close to where you live is a good place to start. You can also try to spend more time with co-workers you haven’t gotten to know yet or have friends bring along people they know when you go out together. This idea could seem daunting or uncomfortable at first, but soon enough you will get in the swing of meeting new people.
4. Get Into a Routine
This is especially important if you were living with your partner before your relationship became long distance. You need to restructure your routine around your independent life. When you are spending a lot of time with a partner and they suddenly are not around, you will notice all of that time you usually would be with them. Tailoring your schedule around what you are doing now will help you create some stability and normalcy in your new situation.
5. Don’t Just Survive, Thrive and Get Tough!
Working out is a great thing to get into in a long distance relationship for a whole host of reasons! It is a great stress relief, which can be helpful when dealing with the emotional toll of a long distance relationship. It will also promote healthy sleep. When you get good rest at night, everything is easier to deal with. Feeling strong physically can also help you to feel mentally and emotionally strong. Long distance relationships can be taxing and having a boost will help you make it out alive!
6. Schedule Your Phone Calls
Being able to get a hold of your partner in a long distance relationship can be frustrating at first. You want a chance to talk to them but your schedules might be different and you spend a lot of time playing phone tag. Try choosing times and days to plan your phone calls or video chats around. Then you can spend less time trying to get a hold of them and feeling upset that you never are able to connect. This also gives you something to look forward to during the week. You’ll also have time to think of what you want to talk about and not have as much dead space or small talk. If being sexually deprived is an issue for you, you could also plan some alone time on the phone where you can work out some of that sexually charged energy with phone sex.
7. Make Your Home Your Own
If you had been living with your partner before your relationship became long distance, try redecorating your home to make it feel like your own. There is nothing more uncomfortable than living in a space that was meant for both of you by yourself. Tailor your space to your independent needs and transform it into a place you love.
8. Journal to Survive
Keep a journal to create a space for you to process your emotions when you are in a long- distance relationship. This is also a good opportunity to be able to look back at earlier entries and see how far you’ve come as time progresses. It will get easier but sometimes it can be hard to identify when you are in it. You’ll notice over time as you fall into a routine and things start to feel more normal, that you are happier. Having a place to reflect on will help boost your confidence about this situation.
9. Have Virtual Date Nights
Plan nights a couple times a month that you can have a virtual date. Pick a time that you can be on video chat and do something together. For example, you can both cook something for yourselves and plan to share a meal even though you are far apart. Living apart can also create a lot of frustration sexually. You can incorporate some sexually-charged phone and video calls into your “date nights” to keep things exciting. This might feel unnatural at first, but you’ll find that phone sex can be fun and exciting.
10. Try Not to Focus on Your Long Distance Relationship
One of the best tips I can give you about surviving a long distance relationship is not to spend too much of your time focusing on it. If you make it your mission to wallow in your own misery, it will never get any easier and you will feel like you won’t make it through this alive. If you find yourself stuck in a loop thinking about how far away your partner is, try to distract yourself with something light hearted. You can try funny TV shows or getting into a video game.
11. Learn How to Make Your Time About You
Learning how to spend your time focused on yourself can feel strange when you are used to being in a close relationship. Allow yourself alone time where you do whatever you want. Don’t fall into the trap of being at home and getting caught up in chores or work, but actually make a decision to spend time on yourself.
12. Your Support System will Keep You Alive!
Make sure that you have a group of people you can rely on for support when you are having hard days. This can be anyone, from that one co-worker that you vent to on breaks, to the parent you can call about anything. Letting people into your support system to be there for you will make this new situation easier, but you have to let them know what you need. They are not mindreaders, so if you need them, be sure to call them for support. If you are able to identify days or times that are particularly hard for you, tell them. You might find that they will come find you at those hard moments and offer their support without you having to ask. That does, however, require letting them know what you need ahead of time.
13. Get a Pet
This is especially helpful if you are newly living alone. A pet will give you love and company in this challenging time. They will help fill the empty space in your home and give you someone to cuddle up with! If your partner is going to come back and live with you again at some point, it’s important to clear this with them before picking up a friend at the shelter. But if you are not living with a partner, there is nothing standing in the way of a fuzzy buddy to come comfort you in your home!
14. Keep Your Schedule Full
Boredom can be one of the biggest challenges of being in a long distance relationship, but here’s how to keep your life from growing dull. Keep a schedule full of things to do! Make plans with friends, even if it’s just for a coffee date. Even schedule in things that you might not normally put into your planner. When a new season of your favorite show comes out, schedule a night of take-out and being a couch potato into your datebook. This might seem silly, but it will mean that you are always looking forward to something coming up in your week, which can help alleviate some of the boredom you might be facing in a long distance relationship.
15. Learn How to Enjoy Your Alone Time
Find things that you love to do by yourself and with yourself. You might find that you love to watch movies uninterrupted or take a long bath once a week. Work to find the things that make you happy to do for yourself and be sure to make time to do them!
16. Have a Plan For Hard Times
Some days are going to be hard. This is an unavoidable reality. Make a plan on who to call or what to do when you are having one of these extra challenging days. Maybe call a close friend to come over or save something exciting that you are looking forward to doing on a hard day.
17. Break Up the Time
Focusing on the entire time that your partner is going to be gone can be overwhelming to think about. Break up the time by measuring how long until your next visit, phone call, or your own exciting plans. Four months sounds long, so try 1 month until your next visit, 2 weeks until the concert you’re looking forward to or just 3 days until your virtual date night!
18. Travel If You Can
This is an opportunity to do some traveling by yourself. Go out and see the world! There are lots of tips and tricks online to traveling alone and on a budget. Push yourself to do something really exciting, instead of idly waiting for your partner to come home.
19. Switch Things Up
Routine can help you get a handle on your new life, but it doesn’t have to stay the same forever. If your routine is boring or not working for you anymore, actively try to switch it up! See different people, change up your workout, try making new foods at home or do a little redecorating in your home.
20. Plan a Visit
One of my tips for when you miss your partner is to try to plan a visit. Going to see them might help you feel a lot better about your new situation if you are able. If not, sometimes the act of planning (or hypothetically planning) can make you feel a bit more in control of your situation. Doing something, no matter what it is, is usually going to make you feel better than doing nothing at all.
21. Consider Opening Your Long Distance Relationship
If after a while your long distance relationship is still very challenging, you may want to consider an open relationship. This would allow you and your partner to see other people while you are not together. This helps make sure that both people's needs are met while you are apart, but you will remain in a relationship and committed to each other. This option is NOT for everyone. You know what your needs are and how your relationship works, just be sure to advocate for what you need out of your long distance relationship.