Study abroad and long distance relationships; Love across time zones

I wrote in a previous post about relationships on study abroad but today I found this entry on the travel blogging website, Students Gone Global. “How to keep a guy (or girl) across 10 time zones.” Here is a little snippet but I definitely recommend you reading the full article for advice on how to make your long distance study abroad relationship work.

“10 Ways to Make Your Relationship Work Across Continents via StudentsGoneGlobal.com

1.    Be supportive. This has to start before either of you ever leaves the country. If you are leaving the country but they are staying behind at home, then try to be conscious of the fact that your life is probably going to be a bit more new and interesting—but that doesn’t make their stories or days at work any less important. Be supportive of each other from every angle, and make sure you are both aware of this support.

2.    Be spontaneous. Randomly send something to your partner back home—and try to resist telling them about it before it arrives. Send songs that make you think of each other, send emails or texts (thank you whatsapp) at random hours, or do something crazy and live to tell him about it. Give each other enough space to actually experience the culture of wherever you are, and to just be there. If everyone who traveled just sat on Skype in their hotel room, traveling wouldn’t be very exciting.

7.    Talk about him. Tell your friends about him. Talk about him, but not so much that everyone wants you to stop talking about your boyfriend. Don’t let that be the first thing people know about you; let it come up naturally. Unless it’s a creepy guy, and then you tell him FIRST. Don’t make him your identity, but do remember that he is a part of your life—even if it doesn’t always feel like it when you’re on separate continents.

10.  Don’t do it. Be selfish. I asked my friend and fellow intern Jamie what advice she has for this topic, because she and her boyfriend were in different time zones for nearly eight months. Her first reaction was “don’t do it!” but she obviously thinks it’s worth it, since she is still with the same guy! Her serious piece of advice was to be selfish, which I think encompasses almost all of the tips so far. Here’s what Jamie had to say: “This sounds really bad, but I think the most important thing is to be selfish. To concentrate on yourself and being happy first. If you’re unhappy all the time, it creates more distance between you and your significant other. And if you’re always thinking about them, you will go crazy! You can’t always wait for them to make you feel better; you’ll just be disappointed, because that’s impossible. So just be nice to yourself.” Chances are,you went to another country for you, not for someone else. Don’t forget that. Trust each other enough to be able to give each other freedom to be selfish, to be individual, and to learn about yourself. The more you learn about who you are, the better you can be in a relationship. So close the computer, put on your shoes, and go for a walk. You might discover something new. And your boyfriend will want to hear all about it. ”