You start to say your goodbyes, and you feel the lump in your throat grow larger. Your stomach is in a knot. Who knew that when you met in camp or on vacation or last year when graduation felt like it was years away, that this wretched day would come. The fact that you won't see him for months is tearing you up inside. When you wake up tomorrow, he'll be hundreds, maybe thousands of miles away. Welcome to the world of long-distance romance where you will look for long distance relationship advice.
When the time comes to bid farewell to your boyfriend, it's not surprising you feel nowhere near ready. Just because he's far away, doesn't mean you're not thinking about him all the time, wanting to talk to him, and wanting to see him. Because you care deeply about each other and feel sincerely committed, you resolve to try and make it work. In this day and age, communicating is a cinch, you think. Instant Messaging, email, cheap airfares, phone cards—if you really make an effort and listen to good long-distance relationship advice, maybe staying in touch won't be so hard.
If you think about people you know, you'll realize that some long-distance relationships do really work. Some couples date in high school, go to separate colleges, and then end up together. Some couples meet in a summer resort and start dating, but visit each other frequently throughout the year and manage to keep it together.
So what is the secret to staying together? Although there's no guaranteed answer, here's some long-distance relationship advice to think about if you're deciding whether to give it a go.
Long-distance relationship advice—Be realistic about your feelings for him and vice versa
Long-distance relationship advice—How strong is your connection?
For most guys, a strong relationship base is important. How long have you been dating? How close do you feel to one another? Are you equally involved in the relationship? Try to look beyond what he's saying and pay attention to how he's acting, leading up to when you're going to part. Does he talk about the future and about when you're going to see each other again, or does he just mention it here and there?
Long-distance relationship advice—Is your long-distance relationship fact or fantasy?
How often do you contact each other? Does he call you as much as you call him? Who initiates the emails, you or him? Some guys are honest about cutting off a relationship if they start feeling distant, or if they want to start dating someone else. But some guys are NOT. So you have to be prepared that what you're imagining him doing, for example, sitting home on a Friday night mooning over you, may not actually be what's happening.
Long-distance relationship advice—Facing the challenge, anticipating the obstacles
Long-distance relationship advice—The pain of saying goodbye.
The first time you say goodbye to your boyfriend is only the first of many. Be prepared to relive the ordeal every time you visit each other. Beth, who only saw her boyfriend every other weekend because he lived a few hours away, would cry every time after he left. Jenna saw her boyfriend every couple of months, and when he left, it took her a few days to stop feeling sad. Long-distance relationships can be emotionally draining, so you must decide if you're up for the heartache.
Long-distance relationship advice—The importance of seeing each other as often as possible.
Phone or email can keep you connected, but seeing each other's face means oh-so-much more, especially for boys. For most guys, closeness comes from shared experiences. For girls, intimacy comes from conversation. When you're talking on the phone, you may feel close, but unfortunately, it's another one of those Mars/Venus deals. With some young men, out of sight means out of mind.
Long-distance relationship advice—Make sure you're clear on the terms of your relationship.
Are you fully committed and exclusive? Are you still together but are seeing other people? Are you going to tell each other if you're seeing someone else? Talking this out beforehand will make it easier to handle the situation if it arises later on.
Long-distance relationship advice—Finally, make sure you don't start living the life of a hermit when he's not around.
Is your relationship making you miss opportunities, social or otherwise? Do you not go to that party and just stay home and paint your toes because, hey, your friends are just going to meet guys and you've already got a guy? If your friends are going to the movies on Saturday, do you stay around, just in case he calls? Don't stop your life because you've got a boyfriend. Whether or not it works out with the two of you, being miserable will never increase your shot at happiness.
No relationship is easy, even if your boyfriend lives next door! Go with your gut. If you feel this relationship is strong enough to handle the burdens imposed by being apart, then try to make it work. But make sure to be realistic and remember our long-distance relationship advice. Only honesty, combined with your love and commitment to each other, will bring you the healthy relationship you deserve, no matter how many miles separate you.