Published on August 14th, 2011 | by Tanya Kunwongse0
Relationships: Long Distance Do’s and Don’ts
So maybe you’re like Sandy Olsson and Danny Zuko. You’ve found blissful love in high school, and can’t bear to end it with your partner, even though you’re going to different colleges.
The distance, even if you’re only across town from each other, is going to affect your relationship because, let’s face it: your sweetie won’t be there to meet you at your locker after classes or during lunch breaks every day anymore. Long distance relationships are tough, but don’t despair! With a little effort and creativity, your relationship can last a lifetime. Here are some tips.
DO think it over
Just because you’ve been together for a while doesn’t mean you necessarily have to continue the relationship. If you or your partner feels the slightest bit reluctant, take some time off to reconsider. See if you can make it a week or two without talking. If you find yourself gravitating towards other people in the absence of your partner, then maybe a long distance relationship isn’t for you.
DO lay out the rules
When your partner isn’t always available to talk things out with you, it’s important that the rules in your relationship are crystal clear. Otherwise, someone can end up confused and hurt. For example, will your relationship be closed or open? If open, should you tell each other about everything, or pretend things didn’t happen at all?
DO be open and communicate often
Email. Skype. Phone. Text. Whatever it is that will help you keep connected, take at least 15 minutes off from your day, or at least every few days, to talk to your partner. While it may seem like a chore (and if it does become a burden, then try reconsidering your situation), change actually creeps up on you. With so many new things happening to you in college, not writing or speaking to each other in a few days can create awkward silences because you might not be able to find a common ground anymore.
DON’T allow issues to pile
Like in a normal relationship, you will eventually disagree, feel frustrated with each other, or fight. But if you both want to commit and further the relationship, then you’ll have to patch it up ASAP because it’s just so easy to forget the love when you’re that far apart.
DO link each other
Can’t find anything to talk about? That’s okay. Send each other music, news, video links, or even internet memes you can laugh about to share your opinions with. You can always take pictures of your dorm, your roommate, your friends or your classes so that your separate lives aren’t so unfamiliar.
DON’T be a social control freak
College is about exploring yourself! If you limit your freedom or your partner’s freedom by being clingy and insecure, you’re not letting each other grow. This kind of attitude can lead to resentment or an unhealthy dependence on each other. But if you’re worried that your partner may be meeting people who aren’t exactly a good influence on him/her, then you do have a right to express your concerns. Just remember- ultimately, it’s their choice.
DO introduce friends to each other
It’s inevitable that you’ll meet friends you’ll quickly become close to. So why not introduce them to your partner? This way, everyone can feel included, and it’s your chance to meet someone new too.
DON’T be shy
Invest in some sexy lingerie, have phone sex, sext, or write erotic letters to each other. With the distance looming between you, it’s not exactly easy to be intimate. But communication is so fast and efficient these days that it’s not entirely impossible. So set up a Skype date, sit back, and enjoy the show, or if your roommate’s out, be spontaneous! However, remember to be careful and remain respectful. What if the worst happens and you two break up? Do you really want that type of sensitive content out there?
DO send letters or packages to each other
A non-sexual but still very intimate way of being close when you’re far apart is by sending handwritten letters or packages to each other. After all, who doesn’t love the feeling excited every time there’s a love letter in their mailbox? And you can be creative. Draw, colour, or even write poetry. Having something physical to hold on to can be more heartwarming than you think!
DON’T hang on too long
Sometimes, things just don’t work out. But clinging on to something that isn’t there anymore can only hurt and damage you. If you feel your relationship is declining to a point where neither you nor your partner are enjoying it, then allow it to end naturally. A satisfying ending is better than one that will wrench your heart out.
*Dayumn will be back with more sage relationship wisdom from dating guru Tanya Kunwongse on Aug 21!