By Bryant Matera and Kat Dickinson
The countdown has started to the day you get to leave Mary Wash for the summer. We’re not sure what the official count is anymore, but we all have that ticking clock in the back of our minds, and with the beautiful weather, that final day looms ever closer.
Hold on, though, because with summer comes distance from friends, campus and, quite possibly, your significant other. We don’t know much about long distance relationships personally, since we grew up in the same neighborhood (even though it took us until last semester to actually meet). So we decided to ask a friend, senior Michelle Rother, for help on the subject.
Michelle made a point of telling us that, though she and her boyfriend talk on the phone pretty often, they don’t do so to the extent that they interfere with each other’s lives. They each understand that the other will have things to take care of and won’t be able to talk all the time. Sometimes it’s for no more than a few minutes, or even not at all. Keep in mind that it’s okay. We live busy lives these days. One really cute idea that Michelle shared with us is something she and her boyfriend do to feel closer to each other. They’ll each buy the same scent of Yankee candle and burn them at the same time to have the same sensation.
Another tip that Michelle shared with us is to plan for the next time you’ll get to see one another. This way you both have something to look forward to. Always be specific, though. For instance, if a new movie that you both want to see is coming out around that time, plan to see it together at a set time. Set it in stone, lock it in to your schedule.
What do we think?
BAM: One extra thing that would help is a little program called Skype. It’s an instant messaging program that includes video chat, and although it certainly won’t be the same as seeing them in person, it’s much more intimate than an occasional Facebook message. It’s free, and a lot of laptops today come with integrated webcams, so chances are, you’re all set and ready to go. Otherwise, the technology is such that you can buy a decent webcam for relatively little money.
KED: Video chat dates are really fun. You can plan them out and even eat together. Some websites even allow you to play games with friends. Try out Pogo.com. It has a million games, and if you’re friends with someone, you can always jump into the game they’re playing. You can chat through there as well, which can always add a nice competition to a video chat date.
BAM: Another really good idea, (one that I hope Kat doesn’t see because I think I’m going to use it myself), is the ancient and mysterious letter. The hand-written word is still, at least in my opinion, the most powerful way of conveying anything to anyone, especially when it comes to your significant other. Sure, it’ll take a while to get to them, but it’ll definitely be worth it. I’d avoid the day-to-day kind of rhetoric, though, since you’re likely to tell them that on the phone. Focus on the details: how you feel when their favorite show comes on TV, what you did when their favorite song came up on your computer, that sort of thing.
KED: Short little notes are always a good idea to send, too. They can even be the size of an index card. The littlest blurb can make a huge difference to your significant other. It doesn’t have to be poetic or flowery. Write about all the qualities you love about the person.
Though the whole long distance thing can definitely be hard, don’t give up. Distance really shouldn’t matter in the long run. One last thing that should really go without saying: don’t mess around. If you really care about the relationship, you shouldn’t go off doing stupid things that would endanger it while you’re apart.