Studies have shown that 75% of college students have been in a long-term relationship (Stafford, 2005). With so many, it is likely that you or someone you know is currently in a long-term relationship. So, here are some tips for the long-distance game.
You aren't mind readers- how else will your partner know what you're thinking unless you tell them?
Using what you got!
We're in the booming technology generation- use it to your advantage! Plan skype dates, face time, facebook chats, and so many other ways to talk to your significant other without it costing you a penny!
But, just because it doesn't cost much doesn't mean it has to feel cheap or insignificant. Skyping can still be as romantic as a night out, or even a night in if you both dress the part. This could mean dressing up for your skype date or "sharing" a tub of popcorn while watching a new movie you both wanted to see together.
Make time to see each other- it's fun! But remember, not every time will be magical- don't put pressure on yourselves to keep it conflict free (it actually makes for more stress and unnecessary arguments). Enjoy spending time with each other when you can!
Also, remember to share the traveling responsibilities and costs. If one person has a car and does all of the driving, perhaps the other can pay for gas or find public transportation to equal out the traveling that is being done. Talk to each other about the travel load and be sure it feels equal to you both.
Keep USPS in business!
Try sending snail mail to your long distance love. Life gets stressful and everyone could use a care package every once in a while. Emails and online chats are great, but sometimes a card that has traveled for miles brings back that personal touch.
Clear and Fair Expectations!
How often do you both need to speak to each other on a weekly basis? What happens when one person needs to cancel to meet for a school project? Is it okay to dance with other people at a party? Be sure to set boundaries and clear expectations with each other. Those expectations must also be fair for each of you, and if they don't seem fair, talk about it.
Even if you and your partner are monogamous, it is important to use protection every time if you are being sexually active. If you or your partner uses hormonal birth control, like the pill, it must be taken as prescribed, including on days/weeks when you don't see each other, in order for it to work effectively. For discounted condoms, consider using the JHU Condom Sense program which offers a variety of brand name condoms for $4 a pack.
As with all relationships, communication is the key for keeping a relationship steady.
"And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation."
- Khalil Gibran