Long distance has never, ever been easy - and I don't think it ever will be. If you're coupled up, you really know the importance of face-to-face time with your S/O. Going out on dates, spending time together at home, even just being able to physically touch, can make you feel so much closer to your partner.
You really don't appreciate all of the things you and your bae do on a day-to-day, until you can't do them, because one of you is away for any varied amount of time. My girlfriend, for example, started dating someone who got accepted to med-school in another country last year. We're not talking a couple hours drive to London, but a 3-hour flight.
I'm not saying long distance is for everyone. Obviously, everyone's relationship is different, and people have different wants and needs in a partner. But there are ways to make long distance workout without losing your mind.
1. First off, establish ground rules
Are you exclusive? Is it okay for you to go on dates with other people? If you haven't had this convo yet, it's good to get it out before they leave. Try to phrase things neutrally, to avoid stirring up any bad feels. For example, don't tell your boo you're "totally fine with them hooking up with people" - when you are not :)). By trying to be cool you could actually stir up suss thoughts and confusion. Try something like, "So, we should talk about what we're going to do when you're away. What do you want to do?" A bit scarier, but worth the nerves.
2. Avoid over texting
Yes, they're cute as shit and you miss them a lot. But whether they're away for work or vacation, they're off doing their own thing. Which is super dope and you should be proud they're off chasing their dreams, career, or just plain adventure. They will text you when they can. Sending them 20 texts won't make them miss you 20 times more. Try to pace yourself.
3. Be creative with your communication
This can be fun. Really, truly. Send them videos/Snaps of funny things that remind them of you. Send them memes, pictures, even get old school and write them letters or postcards! The more unique the message, the more lasting it is.
4. Think of this as an opportunity
Ever heard "distance makes the heart grow fonder"? It's super easy to be with someone when you can physically be with them, but spending time apart can make you more considerate to your partner and what they want/need. If you can be miles away and feel close? That's special.
5. Sext. Sext a lot.
Heeellllooooooo. You'd be surprised how much a sext can do. Even something subtle or casually dirty can get your partner excited, physically responding to the thought of you. That's pretty fucking hot.
6. Try to limit 'risky' situations
Ah so your girlfriend's going out with her new guy and wants you to tag along..with his friend. You need to either a) pass b) be upfront with your partner about what's going on and see how they feel about it. You don't want to give your partner a reason to question you or your actions because that'll just fuel future paranoia.
7. Make time to do things together
Like online games or watching movies together on Netflix. I swear my girlfriend's relationship was built on playing Clash Royale with her boyfriend when she was on exchange in Korea. It's important to set time apart just to literally play together.
8. Have some sort of creative, common ground
Pick a show to watch at the same time. Or a book you guys would both be into reading. Albums you can share thoughts on, etc etc.
9. Schedule visits and set them in *relative* stone
If you're going weeks or even months without seeing each other, physical visits are crucial. This is that special time that you get to do everything you've been thinking of when you were apart. Kissing, holding hands...other things.
10. Enjoy the time with your friends and family
It's totally normal to prioritize your relationship with your S.O - tbh I think you should. But sometimes, family and friends can sit on the back burner a bit more than we'd like. Take this time to really work on your social life. Rekindle old friendships, squad up with your best friends, hang out with your parents.
11. Take advantage of things your bae doesn't like, but you do
For example, my ex hated fish. All fish. Even sushi?? (Ex for a reason y'all) So when we did a spot of long distance, I took the opportunity to stuff my face with spicy salmon.
12. Stay open and honest
Hopefully your relationship is open enough that you're not scared of expressing your feelings. Because the more you share and open up, the more they'll feel connected to you and how you're really feeling.
13. Know each other's schedules
This really helps in terms of communication and is relatively easy to do. It's even more important to do this when you're in different time zones. You don't have to know every second of every day, but around what time they go to bed and wake up works as a good frame of reference. For example, my boy is a late sleeper so I don't really message him or expect a message from him until 12p.m. or later.
14. Keep up with their social media
Hit that heart button. Fav those tweets. Tag them in all the memes.
15. Give them a little something to remember you by
A small object can really do wonders for the memory. Whenever they see it, they'll think of you. It doesn't have to be expensive or flashy, just something personal.
16. Get a great messaging app
If you both aren't on that iMessage wave, a messaging app can save your life. Whattsapp is stupid popular for a reason. Line is also a cute app that offers a ton of stickers and custom emoticons.
17. Make FaceTime - literally
You want to see their face!! And they want to see your face, too. Hearing them laugh is one thing, seeing it is an entirely different. On that note -
18. Don't underestimate Skype sex
I'm not gunna say much but give it a go.
19. Stay positive
It can really suck to have your bae away for such a long time. But try to stay hopeful! Express your feelings to your bae as much as possible - they are probably feeling the same withdrawals you are. Think of how great it'll be when you two are actually together again.
20. Send each other love bits
Whether it's a candy they really love or a sexy shot of you, gifts are a great way to show love.
21. Have a goal and focus on the future
This is the big one with long distance. What is the end goal for you two? How long will you actually be apart? Do you have a future together? The only time long distance doesn't or even can't work out, is when there's no tangible future for you to be together. You might be in love, but you also have to be practical about what's best for the both of you. If you're committed and eventually will be living in the same place at the same time someday, you can and will make it through.