You will survive! You got it!
It may seem like you won’t be able to survive this long-distance relationship, but there are tons of things you can do to help yourself get out of this life!
1. Spend extra time with your friends
Your friends are the ones who will help you get through this. Spend some of the time that you normally would have spent with your partner with your friends. They missed you while you were busy with your relationship! Make plans with your friends regularly so you always have something to look forward to. You may find that you missed them more than you had noticed while your partner was around.
2. Find new hobbies
This is an opportunity for you to spend more time doing things that interest you. If you have hobbies, go back to them! Really challenge yourself to be good at what you love to do. If you don’t have hobbies, this is a time when you can learn a lot about yourself. Try something new like painting, pottery, yoga, knitting, or a sport. You can try to find some classes or a team to join. You will find a hobby and potentially meet new people.
3. Make new friends
Making new friends is always an exciting experience, and now that you have more time, you may want to fill your life with more friends! Finding group events and classes close to where you live is a good place to start. You can also try spending more time with coworkers you don’t know yet, or have friends bring people they know when you go out together. This idea may seem daunting or uncomfortable at first, but you will soon be meeting new people.
4. Get into a routine
This is especially important if you were living with your partner before your relationship became long-distance. You need to restructure your routine around your independent life. When you spend a lot of time with a partner and they are suddenly not around, you will notice all that time that you would normally be with them. Adjusting your schedule to what you are doing now will help you create some stability and normalcy in your new situation.
5. Don’t just survive, thrive, and be tough!
Exercising is a great thing for long-distance relationships for many reasons! It’s a great stress reliever, which can come in handy when it comes to the emotional cost of a long-distance relationship. It will also promote healthy sleep. When you get a good night’s rest, everything is easier to handle. Feeling physically strong can also help you feel mentally and emotionally strong. Long-distance relationships can be heavy and having a boost will help you get out alive!
6. Schedule your phone calls
Being able to contact your partner in a long-distance relationship can be frustrating at first. You want a chance to talk to them, but their hours may be different and you spend a lot of time playing tag on the phone. Try to choose times and days to plan your phone calls or video chats. Then you can spend less time trying to locate them and feel annoyed that you will never be able to connect. This also gives you something to look forward to during the week. You will also have time to think about what you want to talk about and not have so much dead space or small talk.
7. Make your home yours
If you had been living with your partner before your relationship became long-distance, try redecorating your home to make it feel like your own. There is nothing more uncomfortable than living in a space designed for the two of you. Adapt your space to your independent needs and transform it into a place you love.
8. Diary to survive
Keep a journal to create a space to process your emotions when you are in a long-distance relationship. This is also a good opportunity to be able to look back at previous posts and see how far you’ve come as time goes by. It will be easier, but sometimes it can be difficult to identify when you are in it. Over time you will notice that you get used to a routine and things begin to feel more normal, that you are happier. Having a place to reflect will help build your confidence about this situation.
9. Have virtual date nights
Plan nights a few times a month for a virtual date. Pick a time when you can be in video chat and do something together. For example, the two of you can cook something for yourselves and plan to share a meal despite being far apart.
10. Try not to focus on your long-distance relationship
One of the best tips I can give you for surviving a long-distance relationship is not to spend too much time concentrating on it. If your mission is to wallow in your own misery, it will never be easier and you will feel that you will not be able to overcome this alive. If you find yourself caught in a loop thinking about how far apart your partner is, try to distract yourself with something lighthearted. You can try out funny TV shows or get into a video game.
11. Learn to do your time with yourself
Learning to spend your time focusing on yourself can be strange when you’re used to being in a close relationship. Give yourself time alone where you do what you want. Don’t fall into the trap of being at home and getting caught up in tasks or work, but actually make the decision to spend time with yourself.
12. Your support system will keep you alive!
Make sure you have a group of people you can trust for support when you have difficult days. It can be anyone, from that coworker you let off steam on breaks, to the parent you can call about anything. Letting people into your support system to help you will make this new situation easier, but you need to let them know what you need. They do not mind readers, so if you need them, be sure to call them for help. If you can identify days or hours that are particularly difficult for you, let them know. You may find that they will come looking for you in those difficult times and offer their support without you having to ask. However, that requires letting them know what you need ahead of time.
13. Get a pet
This is especially useful if you are just living alone. A pet will give you love and companionship in this challenging time. They will help you fill the empty space in your house and give you someone to snuggle up to! If your partner is going to return and live with you again at some point, it is important to clarify this with them before picking up a friend at the shelter. But if you are not living with a partner, there is nothing standing in the way of a confused friend to comfort you at home!
14. Keep your schedule full
Boredom can be one of the biggest challenges in being in a long-distance relationship, but here’s how to keep your life from getting boring. Keep a schedule full of things to do! Make plans with friends, even if it’s just for a coffee date. Even schedule things that you wouldn’t normally be able to put on your schedule. When a new season of your favorite show comes out, schedule a takeout night and have a TV addict on your schedule. This may sound silly, but it will mean that you are always waiting for something to come up in your week, which can help alleviate some of the boredom you might face in a long-distance relationship.
15. Learn to enjoy your time alone
Find things you love to do alone and with yourself. You may find that you love to watch movies without interruption or take a long bath once a week. Work to find the things that make you happy to do for yourself, and make sure you make time to do them!
16. Have a plan for tough times
Some days are going to be difficult. This is an unavoidable reality. Make a plan for who to call or what to do when you have one of these extra challenging days. Maybe you call a close friend to come over or save something exciting that you are looking forward to doing on a difficult day.
17. Breaking time
Focusing on all the time your partner is leaving can be overwhelming to think about. Set aside time by measuring how long until your next visit, phone call, or your own exciting plans. Four months sounds long, so try 1 month until your next visit, 2 weeks until the concert you are waiting for, or just 3 days until your virtual date night!
18. Travel if you can
This is an opportunity to travel alone. Go out and see the world! There are many tips and tricks online for traveling alone and on a budget. Go out of your way to do something really exciting, rather than idly waiting for your partner to come home.
19. Change things up
Routine can help you manage your new life, but it doesn’t have to stay the same forever. If your routine is boring or no longer working for you, actively try to change it! See different people, change your training, try making new foods at home, or redecorating a bit at home.
20. Plan a visit
One of my tips for when you miss your partner is to try to plan a visit. Going to see them might help you feel a lot better about your new situation if you can. If not, sometimes the act of planning (or hypothetically planning) can make you feel a little more in control of your situation. Doing something, no matter what it is, will generally make you feel better than doing nothing at all.
21. Consider opening your long-distance relationship
If after a while your long-distance relationship is still very difficult, you may want to consider an open relationship. This would allow you and your partner to see other people while you are not together. This helps ensure that both people’s needs are met while you are separated, but you will remain in a relationship and committed to each other. This option is NOT for everyone. You know what your needs are and how your relationship works, just are sure to advocate for what you need from your long-distance relationship.