Surviving long distance


Right – so my significant other is in Berlin and I’m in Cape Town. For those of you who’re thinking, “Yes…and so?”…let me put it this way. There’s  9622.83 km’s between us. Still don’t understand? All right…5979.35 miles…or 5192.47 nautical miles. Yes, it’s FAR.

But we’re making it work and our relationship still manages to get stronger and stronger by the day, regardless of the distance. But it’s not easy, and there are certain things that GH and I do to make it easier. I thought I’d share a few tips of long distance dating with you:

Care. Love. Understand.

Remind your partner that you care about them and that you love them. Understand that being separated isn’t easy, so try to do all you can to make it easier.

Send emails regularly

GH and I are always in contact via email! I get in to work about 4 hours before he does, so it’s become custom that I send an email to him so that when he arrives at work, he has one waiting. It’s an awesome thing to do – to know that he can look forward to switching his computer on and starting his day off with an email from the girl he loves!

Send sms’s/text messages

It’s not always cost-effective to do this, but now and then it’s a great way to surprise your partner. I can’t even begin to describe how it makes me feel when I’m walking around the shops, hear my mobile phone’s message tone and realize it’s a message from GH – saying something simple like “I love you,” or “I miss you”.

Play online games together

Skype, Yahoo! and the Internet in general have links to a wealth of online games such as Chess, Chinese Checkers, Hangman, Battleships, memory games, etc. Just find one that suits you both. In the case of GH and I, I got increasingly frustrated when playing games because I always lost – mostly because they involved a lot of strategy which – at 2am… – is not something I’m good at. Needless to say, games normally ended with me stomping my feet (in a virtual manner of course) and saying, “I don’t want to play anymore!” Sounds like a 2 year old, doesn’t it…?!

But we’ve found one we both enjoy now, and I have no problem losing anymore 😉

Organise ‘Date’ Nights

Don’t just meet online at a certain time and chat – why not invite one another ‘out’ on a virtual date! This is an example of an invite I sent to GH today:

Eat dinner together

With the technology that’s available these days, almost anything is possible, short of teleporting in order to be at your boyfriend/girlfriend’s side. So, slip out of the ordinary video-chatting routine and actually have dinner together over video instead.

“But we can’t video-chat” I hear you say. Well, that’s no problem at all. The Internet connection from South Africa to Germany isn’t great at all, but GH and I don’t let that stand in our way. Sure, so we don’t actually get to see one another, but we can hear one another’s voices. So instead of having dinner over video, we take photos of what we’re eating and send them to one another.

Send photos regularly!

It’s difficult when you can’t be with the person you love in the same physical space. But you got to do what you got to do! One thing that helps GH and I is sending photos to one another regularly. So now he can see how the dye has grown out of my hair and I can see the different stages of his beard…(which has now disappeared).

There’s nothing better than opening up your email and seeing a photo of your partner waiting for you! It makes me feel like a kid at Christmas time – I get so excited that I could, literally, wet myself!

And just remember – no photo is unnecessary or stupid! I take photos of the most random things – for instance, I was out with some girlfriends this past weekend having lunch. When my sandwich arrived, I noticed that – if I flipped the pieces of bread around – it would look just like a heart! So I proceeded to take a picture of it just for GH:

Family and friends

Use mediums such as Facebook to get to know your partner’s friends and family, and for them to get to know the person you’ve fallen in love with.

All my friends and family can see the positive effect GH has had on me, and the way in which he’s changed my life. As a result, they want to get to know him, so they’ve all been connected through Facebook.

Send videos regularly

It’s nice to get photos, but it’s even better to get videos! And again, remember, nothing is too random or silly! GH recently sent me a photograph of the snow in Berlin, and I sent one of my driving home from church. It was just a short message to say, “I love you”. So simple, yet so touching.

Create email stories together

This was a great idea that GH had. Basically, one person starts an email off with a sentence or phrase containing 4 words. The other person then adds a 4 word sentence or phrase to this, and returns it…and so on. Eventually you have a (rather funny!) story developing – something worth digging out of a box one day and re-reading.

Send Q&A emails

GH and I started a Q&A email 4 weeks ago, and it’s still going! It’s simple, you ask a question…the other person answers it, and asks their own question…etc etc…

This is a lovely way to discover more and more about one another, and questions can range from intense to absurd – nothing’s a no-no!

At the end of the day, just think…what could you partner do for you or send to you to make you happy if you’re not able to see them? And then, DO IT!


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