Long distance: Image: RDNE Stock project/ Pexels
Image: RDNE Stock project/ Pexels

Near, far, wherever you are

In every rom-com, most TV shows, and colloquial contemporary culture, long-distance relationships have been doomed to fail for one reason or another. Why? Mostly because people give up before they’ve even tried, are scared to try, or simply don’t want to try because it’s too hard. Here’s my unsolicited advice on how you can close the distance between you and your person.

Any distance can be long distance

Define ‘relationship’
I’m going to be honest, when I think of relationships, I know most people think of romantic relationships but I’m also thinking of my sister or my best friend from home or my family. ‘Relationship,’ as a term, has become so steeped in the connotation of romance and seriousness that you forget or neglect your platonic, sibling or familial connections which are just as rich in their own right. So, when I talk about relationships, I’m generalising but also covering all of these veins of what a relationship can be, feel, and look like.

Define ‘long distance’
So immediately I’m sure, reader, that you’re thinking long distance involves a body of water separating you and your person but that’s not always the case. Any distance can be long distance. And I don’t mean like you and your person being on opposite sides of the classroom. Think campus-wide, nationwide or, obviously globally. So, how can we make it seem like we aren’t so far removed?

My unsolicited advice
Firstly, relationships no matter the level of seriousness, take a lot of work. The effort and work put into maintaining your connection has to be reciprocated when you’re further away. It’s vital. Schedule and carve out time to call or message each other. Communication is key and transparency no matter how awkward or uneasy it makes you feel, is important. You have to be able to talk about things because eventually it will make you stronger and feel closer to one another as you work through it.

Regular texts remind your person that they’re loved as it’s intentional and they know they matter to you

Ring, ring. You there?
Facetime will be your right-hand man when it comes to feeling closer to your person even though you’re apart. Find windows of time (subject to if you have a time difference) from five minutes to a couple of hours where you can just be in each other’s company. Catch up, debrief, or just have each other there while you carry on studying, cooking or whatever it is you’re doing, and you’ll be in and involved in each other’s worlds. Be alone, with company!

‘I got a text!’
A simple ‘good morning’, ‘goodnight,’ or other daily message shows someone you’re thinking about them. It shows you care. You can send it at the start of your day or as you go about it. This is another simple way of checking in or saying you miss them without explicitly saying it. My best friend from home and I don’t go a day without messaging or snapping just to show each other we’re alive amongst the chaos of uni life. Regular texts remind your person that they’re loved as it’s intentional and they know they matter to you.

Coming at you live
Mini vlogs. These are vlogs that are exclusively for both of you. I usually make them on Snapchat because you can create a private story exclusively for them, name it after them or an inside joke. Then, you can post yourself going about your day, living your main character moment, and romanticising your life. This way you can see what the other is doing and hear their narration and rants across the day. Your own personal YouTube video and channel which is unfiltered and unedited with two POVs as you can interact through the vlogs.

TikTok made me do it!
I saw this TikTok where two best friends wrote a diary to each other, journaled in a notebook every day for a year and then they gifted them to each other. I sent it to my best friend from home over the Christmas break and since the first of January, we have been writing and journalling to each other ever since. Although it may seem hard or long, it can be as deep, pretty, rugged or unserious as you make it. I’ve made to-do lists, decorated the cover with stickers, as well as vented – it’s free therapy. At the end of the year, you have a handwritten diary by one of your favourite people and you can see what they got up to over the past year in tandem with your own memories.

Cinema, Snacks and Scener
During lockdown, everyone was participating in watch parties at home. Scener is a Google Chrome extension where you can host watch parties across various streaming platforms (it should be noted that these should be streaming platforms you have subscriptions to already) such as Disney+, Netflix, HBO, PrimeVideo, and YouTube; all you need is a code or joining link. You can have up to 10 people at one party, you watch together in real-time with video, audio and a live chat feed. Teleparty also works as a similar extension with an advanced premium option which allows for streaming services such as Paramount+ and Apple TV. If you can carve out an evening or weekend you can pop some corn, turn on some fairy lights, and warp yourself in your duvet as you and your person watch your favourite TV shows or films together in two different places.


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