Whether across the country or a day away, doing long distance is a drag. With only a few minutes to spare and an on-the-go lifestyle, finding time to keep up and catch up with your friend or family member is hard. It’s too easy to check in by punching out a one-word text and delay a proper conversation. In addition to overcoming conflicting schedules and the time difference, you’re forced to face the restrictions of talking via tech. From experiencing poor connection to limited interaction, taking part in a long distance relationship is frustrating from time to time. For a list of dos and don’ts of doing long distance, read on.
The Dos and Don’ts
Do: find one communication-based app that works best for you and your phone pal
Don’t: rely on e-mail to set up a time to talk or move from app to app to chit-chat
Avoid any confusion by mutually selecting one form of communication: WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger…(the list goes on). This way, you’ll be able to keep track of text messages, voice messages and phone calls with ease and comfort.
Do: establish a routine to touch base and talk
Don’t: feel guilty about asking to re-schedule a call
Setting a time to talk (daily, weekly or monthly) will help to ensure that you connect on a regular basis. By selecting a date ahead of time, you’ll be able to sit down, relax and swap stories without any distractions. However, life gets in the way. Learn to be flexible (and multi-task). Try flipping from podcast to phone call on your commute to converse on the daily. If sticking to a schedule isn’t your thing, ring on the fly. Simply say hello or leave a message. It’s the thought that counts.
Do: make a point of listening and learning
Don’t: get stuck in the past
While it’s always fun to take a walk down memory lane, make sure to ask questions and live in the present. Along with remembering the old times, try your best to tap into their far away world to continue to build your own relationship. Although you might not be able to put a face to every name, you’re available as a strong support system.
Do: share more than a conversation
Don’t: rinse and repeat
The same old convo gets boring (especially if you’re speaking to the person every day). In the case that your significant other is on the line, make a point of sharing more than a laugh. Crack a bottle of wine separately, cheers together. Spend the afternoon with a pocket partner, gab and grab advice on a new purchase.
Do: send snail mail
Don’t: always be the one to call
Whether out of the blue or around the holiday season, receiving a card via snail mail is always a nice surprise. For bonus points write a thoughtful message with pen and paper. On the flip side, make sure that both parties are working equally to maintain and manage the long distance relationship. A call for a call; a card for a card.