For those of us who aren’t isolated with our significant other, we’re all in long-distance relationships now. I’m no expert, but I have five years of experience with three thousand miles between myself and my partner Joseph.
Our relationship has always been a long-distance relationship – me in Las Vegas and him being wherever the Navy has him stationed. Throughout the years we’ve learned some ways to show kindness to each other despite our distance and I want to share with everyone new to long-distance relationships some tips on how to be kind to each other.
Start or end your day together:
Imagine waking up, checking your phone and seeing you have a “Good Morning” text from your partner. You instantly smile, quickly respond then go about your morning. It’s something simple and easy to do to show your partner you were thinking of them. The same thing goes for ending your night together by sending a “Goodnight” text.
At the beginning of our relationship, Joseph and I promised each other we would always send each other “Good Morning” and “Goodnight” texts as long as we were capable of it. Five years later, the good morning and goodnight texts are still coming and it makes me smile every time.
Use technology to your advantage:
Technology is one of your best friends when it comes to being in a long-distance relationship, use it when you can. We all know about texting and video calling, but there are so many other things you can also do together like: watching tv shows and movies, listening to music, online shopping, playing games, and etc. Joseph and I FaceTime and watch shows together when we can. Try FaceTime, Spotify to share music, ScrabbleGo & Game Pigeon for games, and Netflix Party to watch things together!
Surprise each other with some snail mail:
Who doesn’t love getting snail mail? You get to open a package and find a fun surprise from your partner. You can send each other anything, from small silly gifts or care packages to things you know your partner wants or needs. When you send the gift, it brings you joy when you get that excited
Being the sender, you get that feeling of joy knowing your partner will be surprised by the gift.
Being the receiver, you feel loved and you appreciate that your partner thought of you.
Recently, I opened a package and inside was coffee and matcha – I quickly realized it was from Joseph! He kept hearing me talk about how I didn’t have coffee and he decided to surprise me by sending me some!
Check-in with each other’s family and friends:
Having a partner means you get to know new people – their family and friends. Now more than ever in the time of social distancing this is important. This can be as simple as sending a text to your partner’s family or friends asking them what their day is like or letting them know they can text or call you for anything. Another way of checking in can be sending a handwritten card when you’re thinking of them or when it’s their birthday. I stay in touch with Joseph’s family and friends by texting them; Joseph stays in touch with my family and friends by interacting with them on social media.
Write each other kind cards:
This is especially powerful when you don’t see each other for long stretches of time. Joseph works on a submarine and there are times where we can’t communicate with each other. When these times happen, I make sure to write Joseph a set of “Open When” cards. These sets of cards can cover a wide range of topics like, open when: you need a laugh, you had a rough day, you feel lonely, you need some love, you feel stressed out, and etc. Having these physical cards makes it easier for you to look at immediately when you need kind words instead of endlessly scrolling through text messages.
Remember, it’s only temporary:
Being away from your partner is hard, especially if you’re new to long-distance. Remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and you will be together again.