Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? I have. In fact, I’ve been in a lot of long distance relationships, including friends, family, and romantic partners. For a lot of college-age students who go away to school, long distance relationships become a fact of life. Whether it’s two hours away or twenty-two hours away, distance can be difficult when it comes to maintaining relationships. Sometimes, it can seem as though all you want to do is talk to the people you’ve left behind, while other times you can barely stand to be on the phone with them for more than a few minutes.
The latter can be incredibly problematic, especially considering that all relationships need communication. When distance becomes a factor, it simply means that communication has to become more of a priority. I’ve seen a lot of different styles of maintaining long distance relationships. My partner and I have a sort of unspoken agreement that if we’re out with other people, we don’t talk. One of my friends drops everything when her partner calls, whether she’s out to dinner with friends or in the middle of taking a shower. Other friends set up strict times during the day when they talk to those they’ve left at home.
The biggest problem I’ve run into is maintaining multiple relationships at the same time. It often makes me feel like a juggling student who decides to pick up too many flaming chainsaws too early. After all, staying in touch can be time consuming. Between Skype and phone calls and Facebook and e-mails, you can easily start to feel overwhelmed.
I wish that I had more advice to offer in this blog, but even after five years of (with varying degrees of success) maintaining relationships over long distances, I’m not a pro. I struggle. Ultimately, though, I think the most important part is discussing your feelings. You have to keep the lines of communication open, or your long distance relationships will simply become long distance non-relationships.