Valentine's Day Sentimentality: LDR
Happy Valentine's Day, Adventurers. Over the past few years, you've gotten a front-row seat to my personal adventures, including meeting my boyfriend, Charles. Charles and I have the wonderful luxury to be able to live together, but this wasn't always the case. For months and months, we were long distance and it sucked. He lived two states over, at a distance of 844 miles.
Last Valentine's Day, I shared some of my tips for keeping this thing alive, even at a distance. Now that we're happily settled, I think it's appropriate to share them again.
Tips and Tricks
1. Decide together that you’re going to make it work.
You can’t be half-assed about this. Both of us decided that we would do whatever it took (within reason)to make this work. It’s been hard, and at times both emotionally and financially expensive, but we chose to give it our all, and we’re both trying equally hard.
2. Set a goal.
Talk about what you want your life to look like. What do you want things to be like in the end? What does the end of the distance look like to you? You moving there, them moving here? A compromise between the two places? How often will you visit?
3. Set an end date.
If you don’t have a set date that the long distance will end, set a definite date for your next visit. We always knew when our next visit was going to be (roughly), as well as the date when it would become possible for one of us to move closer. I am very lucky in that I was able to see Charles at least once a month, usually. If you can’t visit that much, then setting a date will make those weeks or months go faster.
4. Take up a new hobby.
Not only will this help the time fly by for you, it will also give you something to talk about with your partner. Try the gym. It’s a great way to blow off some steam, and it will make you feel awesome.
5. Communicate all the time, in as many different ways as you can.
We tried our best to say good morning and goodnight every single day. We also do Snapchat, Facebook messages, texts, video clips, pictures, phone calls, whatever. Mail things. In the snail mail. Surprise packages, planned packages, cards, letters. We aren’t always the best at it…sometimes my phone dies, or our schedules aren’t lining up, but we make it work. At the very least, I knew he was reading my texts when he gets off work. Take the time to put in that effort. It’s worth it. Whether it’s a tray of Christmas cookies or a good morning tweet.
I’m going to be honest, this really depends on how far away you are and your financial/work/school situation. We were both very fortunate in that we could afford to visit each other very often. If you've been a snapchat or instagram follower of mine, you'll know that I travel a lot. This was because it was expensive for us to visit each other’s homes, but is much cheaper for us to go somewhere else. We made our visits into mini vacations, and it makes it great. It kept us busy, and always on a new adventure. I also recommend if you go that route, try AirBnb. Get an apartment or house. Cook together. Lounge around. Pretend it’s your place together. It gives us a little sense of normal for the weekend.
7. Keep track of each other’s schedules and social media.
Now, I don’t mean stalking his every move, but it’s helpful to know if he’s at work or school or on a roadtrip with friends. Like his posts. Favorite his tweets. Know the gossip about his friends and family. It keeps you involved in their life all the time. There are other apps that help with this, bringing me to……
I’ve test driven a number of relationship apps, and here are some of my favorites. Some are cheesy, some are obvious, but they all inject a little novelty into your communication.
Okay. This app is ridiculously dorky. You touch the same place on your phone screen, and it vibrates. It gives you that little sense of touch when you’re far apart. There’s another app that’s similar called Thumbkiss that I don’t like as much, but has more features if you’re looking for something more advanced.
This is an audio recording app for those days that you can’t have a real conversation. The audio is super high quality, so when you just need to hear their voice, you can.
There are a lot of apps like this that create a kind of private facebook that only the two of you can see. I like this one the best. Couple acts essentially like facebook, with statuses, checking in, and photo sharing, but has an added countdown, as well as keeping everything between the two of you. No one wants to annoy your newsfeed with your adorableness right? Couple also has integrated Thumbkiss, like I mentioned earlier, but I prefer to keep it in a separate app.
So Happy Valentine's Day to all the lovers out there. If you're with your special someone today, give them an extra big hug. If they're far away, then download Touchroom and start counting down the days.