Keeping up with long-distance relationships

Leaving for university can be stressful, especially if you’ll be living without the familiarity of your childhood home, neighbourhood friends and your high school sweetheart.

Whether you are leaving your country or just going to a new city, there are ways to make sure you don’t forget those who matter most.

Leaving family

When I moved to Fredericton to go to university, I planned to visit my family (and cats) as much as possible. However, sometimes I can’t visit for weeks at a time and it feels like months, but just because I can’t see my family doesn’t mean I don’t keep them updated.

If you feel lost or confused or just bored, my recommendation is to call home. Your parents will appreciate you thinking of them and sometimes you just need to hear their voices.

As for me, I call my mother at least once every few days because I generally have stupid questions that I’m too embarrassed to ask anyone else. “How long do I boil an egg for?” is a prime example.

I call my dad when I need to complain because he always just lets me talk and talk and talk. But I also get an update on how the cats are doing and what has changed since I last visited.

Just because you leave home doesn’t mean that you don’t need your parents. Make sure to call as much as possible because they want to know how you are doing. It’s important you show an interest in their lives as well. They will appreciate it more than you know.

And don’t forget about your siblings as well. Make sure they know you love them too (and that you kind of miss them).

Leaving friends

After graduating high school, most students typically go off to university to pursue an education and that sometimes means losing your best friend to another province. Long-distance relationships go a lot farther than just your significant other.

I was lucky enough to move in with one of my best friends after graduation, but the third member of our trifecta decided to go to school in Newfoundland. Before she left, we made sure to talk about what our friendship would entail when we were provinces apart.

We knew we may not be able to talk everyday, but that doesn’t mean we don’t send the stray Snapchat or tag each other in memes and inside jokes on Facebook. We still keep an eye on one other, because we still care even if life gets in the way. One day, we’ll hopefully get to settle down somewhere near each other, but if not, we know our friendship can go the distance.

Leaving your significant other

When you hear about a long-distance relationship, especially between high school sweethearts, people don’t expect it to last very long. In my opinion, if both people are stubborn enough, they can make it last. That is exactly what I’ve been doing for the last three years.

While I was still in high school, my boyfriend of one year left to join the military. It was heartbreaking to see him go, but we made sure to talk about what we wanted before he left.

Lucky for me, we were both willing to make long-distance work because that first year together was not enough. Knowing that we would be going months without seeing each other was a terrible thought but not being together at all was even worse.

It’s communication, trust and hope that makes long-distance relationships work.

Trust is the number one component in long-distance relationships because although you are in love, you will both have lives outside of the relationship. That is where communication becomes important.

Just because you live far apart doesn’t mean you can’t share the best and worst parts of your days with one another. I encourage those involved in long-distance relationships to annoy the hell out your significant other, whether it’s through text, video chats or by excessively tagging each other in memes. It’s worked for me over the last three years, and I’ve never been more in love.

Stubbornness plays a key role in keeping relationships thriving as well. By not letting the little things get to us, we’re able to discuss any issues that bother us because we want our relationship to work.

In our minds, our relationship is just beginning. Even after four years, we are both endlessly curious about each other and our favourite conversation topic is about our future.

Being in a relationship means that there is an end goal, and it is best to understand what each other wants for the future.

If your future paths align, then one day long-distance will become living together and finally getting your happily ever after.

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If there is any advice I can give people who are apart from their families, friends, and significant others, don’t forget about them. You can still share your life with them, even if you are worlds apart.

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