Tiger Tips #6

Long Distance Relationships

Hey Tigers,

We still have quite a bit of time before Thanksgiving break, and if you’re a far-away-from-home student like me, it will be the first time seeing your family since coming to Witt. You also may be having a hard time if you have a significant other far away. One of the most important things to do is to maintain that long distance relationship. I live in Maine, which is far enough away, but this week I decided to interview someone who has the ultimate long distance relationship. Freshman Marisha Meijer is an international student here at Witt whose boyfriend lives 4,000 miles away in the Netherlands! So here are some tips she had about maintaining love across an ocean.

  1. Accepting That Things Will Be Different: The simple fact is that things aren’t going to be the same many miles away. You will only be able to communicate via technology. There is going to be a serious lack of physical contact, which can sometimes put a strain on a relationship. The best thing to do is to talk it through and don’t deny it’s happening. Remember the other person misses you just as much, so they will probably find it comforting to hear that it’s hard for you, too. Meijer said, “when you’re together, it is simpler to know how the other person feels about you, but when you are so far away, you need to hear them say it.”
  2. Realize The Time Difference, If There Is One: There isn’t always a time to talk if there is a significant time difference between the two of you, so sometimes Meijer and her boyfriend just leave notes for each other over text about their favorite memories. Just because you’re far away doesn’t mean there can’t be spontaneity in your relationship. So leave a sweet voicemail, write a letter, video message or midnight text saying the things you love most about them. It will most definitely make their day. Meijer’s favorite thing is writing a letter because it is a physical reminder that the other person is still there even when they’re not.
  3. Skype: “Sometimes we turn on Skype and we just do homework. You don’t always have to talk; you can just do things together,” Meijer explained to me. She said that texting doesn’t always reveal the emotion needed to really maintain a connection with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Messaging is fine when you have a good relationship with a friend, but you are so much closer with your partner that seeing them makes it much easier. When you Skype, it allows for a deeper connection that will keep your bond strong.
  4. Talk About Things You Will Do When You Are Together Again: Sometimes you need something that will make all the time away seem smaller. Meijer and her boyfriend plan what they are going to do together, such as a picnic or watching a movie, on her first day back. Meijer told me that planning your next time together, “changes your focus from how long it’s going to take before you’re together again to all the fun things you’re going to do when you see them.” It makes all the time away from home a little more bearable.

EXTRA TIP: Meijer told me that in order to feel a little closer to her boyfriend, she has a sweatshirt of his that she can wear. Exchanging objects with your boyfriend or girlfriend is a great reminder of what is waiting back home.

Tiger Up!

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