Long Distance Relationships Part 2

These are some things that Elaine and I have found helpful when we were long distance, many of which we’ve learned from our friends or reading online. In no particular order…

– Communication is key: this isn’t just about talking often. It’s also being able to share and relate with one another. For us, it was about communicating in a way that we identified the most with. I’m more of a “doer” so I like talking about what I did, whereas Elaine is more of a “thinker” so she likes talking about her thoughts. In order for us to relate better to one another, we had to “speak in each other’s language” so that meant for instance I had to be more reflective and share more about my thoughts.

– Go on dates: just because you’re far apart doesn’t mean you can’t go on dates. Some ideas that we’ve done included watching a movie together while on webcam or playing online games like Scrabble. When I was in Taiwan, we also each recorded a video of a “date” that we sent to each other. It’s all about the shared experience.

– Read a book together: there are a few ways to do this. You can read a book together and discuss. What we did was I read the book “When God Writes Your Love Story,” made a bunch of annotations inside the book, and mailed the book from Taiwan to New York; Elaine read it, made her annotations, and mailed the book back to me.

– Send pictures: email a picture or send a photo text message. In the words of Elaine, “seeing a picture from on top of a mountain after a hike or on the beach helps me to relate to Eric more! Plus, seeing his face never fails to put a smile on my face.”

– Start a blog: you set the settings on private and then you can blog to each other, as well as share pictures and videos.

– Scrapbook: this is a nice, memorable keepsake that you can flip open whenever you’re feeling down or missing the other person.

– Make plans: trips are crucial to keeping the long distance blues at bay. Whether it’s a weekend visit to each other’s hometowns or making holiday plans to go home, having these trips to look forward to helps.

– Future letters: this was an idea given to me by my friend Andrew. He wrote a couple of letters and had his girlfriend open a letter each week/month down the line.

– Calendar: recently I made Elaine a daily calendar with 365 unique messages everyday. This calendar will countdown to the day when we will be in the same city again because she just found a job in Boston!

– Finally check out this website: it lists 90+ activities and ideas you can do while apart, ranging from KissPhones to email time capsules (My Sassy Girl anyone?).

If you are/were in a long distance relationship, what were some things that you’ve found helpful?

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