So this blog post isn’t about my time now in India but instead Nate and I have written a joint blog post about our long distance relationship. We decided to create a list of the things we can remember doing over the course of, mainly the time that I was in Kenya, but also kinda over the course of our relationship until now. They are things-mostly little things that we believe helped keep the magic in our relationship alive. We were together in a long distance relationship (3-5 hours apart for the first 11 months that we dated and then we were 7-8 hours time difference apart for the following 22 months. Now we are finally not only on the same continent-but also in the same country/county/town/compound! And it’s AWESOME!!!
Ideas for A Long Distance Relationship…That Worked for Nathu + Zabet
- NEVER underestimate snail mail- everyone loves getting mail no matter if it’s a postcard or a package-everything is good!
- Going along with the snail mail idea, we found that it was a good idea to number each envelope we sent to each other and then we would know a) how long letters would take to arrive b) if one was missing c) how many we’d sent over the course of our time apart
- Take pictures before you leave on 2 disposable cameras (1 for each of you) but then when you get them developed (if you do before you leave, don’t show the other person) and then send them with letters or postcards as a fun surprise/reminder of past memories made
- Cut out interesting newspaper clippings (comics, stories of interest, sweet pictures & funny misprints) to send each other which can be fun to read but also good reminders of current happenings to reread later
- Rarely, if ever, say ‘I miss you’- and we realize this one might seem weird. You can say I miss you to friends and family but don’t say/write it to your one and only homeslice cause you know it’s always implied and saying it sometimes makes seem more real and harder to be apart-not that it isn’t hard being away from family and friends too but you know what I mean
- Create a scenario with the two of you doing fun things that you’d like to do together in the future (places you want to visit/restaurants to try/parks to explore) and tell each other these through thrilling letters, phone calls or emails
- Send little packages of…fun things they might miss/never have seen (food & candy can be great!) if you’re in a new place/funny things they might have no use for except to get a good laugh
- Create an album on FB where you can share pictures
- Make surprises for each other and give little hints for suspense-from things as little as a special postcard idea to a package in the mail to a flash drive
- Create a list of things you want to do/movies you want to see/places you want to travel when you’re together again so neither of you forget; and because crossing things off of the list later is really fun!
- Write down your love story thus far so you can reread it whenever you want –get the key moments like first kiss, first ‘I love you’, first hangout, trips taken together and any really memorable times together
- Send mix tapes! That might sound really 90s but a) the 90s were awesome and b) getting new music is always good especially when it’s suggested by someone you love
- You can go a step farther than just the mix tape and send a list of hints/reasons for each song on the CD that they can look at the first time they listen to it and then send the list of actual artist/song names that they can check out after a full listening
- Copy little phrases or text messages sent that were especially cute or special in someway onto a word document to reread later
- Send a list of Top 10 things you’re excited for when you see them
- Send dried flowers, leaves or other things to give them the flavor of the season they might be missing
- Create ridiculously over-the-top cute/punny/ridiculous cards
- ‘Owl’ always love you
- I love ‘ewe’
- I’m longing for you (pic of giraffe or swan)
- “There is always some madness in love but there is also always some reason in madness”-Freidrich Nietzche
- Come up with fun exchanges to do when you’re together – like if you do something then they’ll do something in exchange like a dance, song or crazy dare – make ‘em as foolish as you want! Or you can create exchanges for you to do apart and then you have to document them for each other and it’ll bring some great laughs
- Send a journal back and forth or two journals so that you can read/write in both and almost always have one to continue writing in
- Send each other a flash drive back and forth with short videos you take, pictures, little stories or whatever you want. And my advice is if you are only sending the USB in a regular envelope-tape it to something else like a pencil or whatever so to disguise it a bit and then people won’t want to open it and take it.
- Calculate time differences and make sure the times of phone calls are convenient for both people, and don’t over think it if one isn’t able to make a pre-decided time.
- Explore websites to find the cheapest rates for calling, if free Skype isn’t a possibility. Also, buying Skype minutes is usually on the more expensive end—ex of a cheap calling rates website: telephonekenya.com
- Exchange a couple T-shirts or something before you depart—it helps you feel close even when far away (take your time washing them for the first time, cause the scent goes away).
- For the time difference: Ironman Triathlon watches have a two-time setting—if you’re bad at simple math, it helps.
- Send each other stuffed animals of your sprit animal….
- Don’t be afraid to write venting letters (about things happening in your life, but not relationship related, just if you had a rough day) if phone calls aren’t a possibility at the moment. It helps to get thoughts out on paper, and maybe it can help you partner better understand the situation or even learn something about you.
- Difficult conversion topics can be brought up in letters initially so each person has time to evaluate their thoughts/opinions before discussing it on the phone
- If you’re able to send text messages, make little funny random ones/jokes/cheesy pick up lines-to let your partner know they’re on your mind (think the scene from Enchanted J ‘That’s How You Know’)
- Calculate when special holidays/birthdays are coming up and how long it usually takes for the mail to deliver and send packages filled with special items for those days like balloons, funky party glasses, streamers, cards and confetti!
- Check out the website: http://www.lovingfromadistance.com/thingsforldrcouplestodo.html which has some more good ideas for long distance relationships
Hope this list gave you some ideas if you’re in a long distance relationship-no matter the distance! Believe in your relationship, communicate and if it is meant to last, then it will stand against all odds.
Kisses from India,
Zabet & Nathu