Issue 7The Happy Trail

Surviving long distance relationships

Elderly couple writes eachother Photo Credit:

By: Anna Sweetland

  Happy end of the spring semester! With UPS students leaving Tacoma this summer for jobs, vacation and new living situations some are saying goodbye to their partners. As someone who would prefer to spend every second with my partner, I empathize with the anxiety, stress, and sadness this may be causing. I wanted to share a few tips that can hopefully make this period of time less difficult.

  1) Schedule phone or video calls 

There’s nothing sexier than punctuality! Especially if there are time differences involved, it’s important to find those overlapping free spots in one another’s day where you can catch up. The vagueness of “we’ll talk tomorrow” makes it way too easy to not follow through. While movies and books perpetuate this idea that love is only beautiful if spontaneous, I wholeheartedly disagree with that. Knowing your partner intentionally dedicated time from their day to you and only you is incredibly affectionate. 

  2) Sexting Sexting Sexting 

Don’t be afraid to send a cheeky little text. I’d say if you’ve never done phone sex before, definitely start with texts or Snapchats and then transition to phone and video calls when you get more confident. It can be intimidating having only your words to arouse your partner, but I promise once you get it down it’s such an ego boost. For those struggling with how to initiate a sexual conversation, you could take either the direct approach of saying “I’m horny,” “Let’s sext,” “Send me a dick pic” or more of a transition text like “You were in my dream last night” or “I miss being able to touch you.” Just make sure you get your partner’s permission before sending any nudes. 

  3) Visit one another if you can 

 I know visiting your long-distance partner isn’t an accessible option for everyone; for instance, a road trip to California is much simpler than an international flight to Germany. However, for those who have some time available and some money set aside, even one trip to see your partner can make a really big difference! It gives both of you something to look forward to and makes that time apart a little bit shorter. If you do go this route, definitely make them split the travel costs with you! 

  4) Recognize you don’t need to talk every day 

Don’t feel like you need to compensate for the distance by communicating 24/7. Sometimes waiting a day or two between phone calls can give you both more to talk about! Not to mention, you still want to make sure that both of you can be present in your lives separate from one another. This is also important to remember so you aren’t too hard on yourself if something comes up and you can’t make it to your scheduled phone call. 

  5) Discuss what your long-distance relationship will look like 

As always, my most important suggestion is communication. Before you move apart, discuss what you both need from the other person in order to make your relationship work despite the distance. It could be some of the things mentioned above; for example, if one person values sex to feel close to the other, then talk about what kind of phone sex you’d both find most pleasurable. If one person values romantic gestures, then the other can send surprises in the mail. Don’t just assume that because you’ve been together for some time that you’ll both know how to transition to long distance. Be honest about your expectations, requirements and your worries. Don’t leave anything left unsaid. 

  I hope these tips at least serve as a jumping-off point. I am supposed to study abroad next semester in Amsterdam, so I personally have been thinking a lot about what long-distance will look like for me and my partner. To be honest, I’m terrified. I get really sad thinking about what it will look like even though it’s still four months away. I am definitely going to keep these suggestions in mind and have numerous conversations with my partner leading up to my departure. I wish each and every one of you in long-distance relationships the best of luck, and if you want to start a support group chat, hit me up.