3 Actually Helpful Ways To Survive Dating Long-Distance For The Summer

When my college (now ex-) boyfriend and I officially became a couple sophomore year, he was heading to Italy for a semester abroad. I was in New York, navigating my first relationship long-distance. He left in January and came back in June. We saw each other in person twice before I headed off for my own study abroad in Paris that summer. With a little creativity, I found ways to make my long-distance relationship for the summer work for me and my then-partner.

If you're in a long-distance relationship this summer and are worried about how to keep the partnership strong, do not worry. There are plenty of things to do to keep your significant other close to your heart while you both are off doing your own things. Whether it's school being out of session, jobs keeping you in different locations, or travel that's separating you, there are several "tricks" I learned that summer in Paris.

That summer when I was in a LDR was one of the best of my lives, honestly. I lived in one of the most beautiful cities in the world (in my opinion), was surrounded by some of my best friends, ate delicious food, saw beautiful art, and learned a new language. It would've been even better if my significant other could join me during those few months, but asserting my independence, making new friends, and exploring places on my "own" was exciting in its own right.

This is my friend Emily (left) and I in a patisserie. Most of my adventures in Paris were with this cutie by my side.

What worked for me won't necessarily work for you, but these several things helped me feel closer to my SO when I was abroad, and I hope it can maybe help you and your partner, too.

Send each other handwritten letters.

My then-boyfriend and I sent each other letters while we were physically apart. Sure, we communicated digitally daily, but receiving something that was physically in his hands at one point made it feel more real, more like him. He sent postcards from Italy, and I sent my personalized stationary back with a spritz of perfume I wore around him. If you can't be near your significant other much while being long distance, getting something physical from them they once touched is pretty close enough.

Schedule video chat dates.

Keep up with each other by catching up at the end of the day or week over video chat. Talk about your school or work days, friends you're hanging out with, and anything you want to vent about. Basically, update each other what's going on while you're in separate locations. Utilize video chat to do more than talking, too – schedule these times for you both to eat a meal, watch a Netflix movie together, or play a board game you both have. My ex and I played Scattergories – well, our own version of it that we created ourselves with paper and pen, and it was a fun way to do an activity we'd do together in person. And if video chats turn sexual, I say embrace it. Gotta keep that excitement alive, right?

Wear a piece of jewelry they gifted you.
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I admit this was ridiculously over-the-top, but before my ex and I started dating and referred to one another as best friends, we gifted each other necklaces with the other's initials on it. My sister teased me mercilessly for this, but soon after we got the necklaces, he and I became a couple. This served as a way for him to be with me while he was in Italy, and then I in Paris. I could always touch the necklace when I missed him and couldn't talk (when I was in class or had no WiFi), and it was an instant source of comfort. For other couples, I recommend gifting some piece of jewelry to one another to wear while you're long-distance. Go for the initial thing if you want, but let this also serve as a warning that your friends will prob tease you hardcore for it.

Whatever you try, find ways to keep close that feel authentic to your relationship. And maybe you can even incorporate some strategies you learned to communicate and be present with your partner during long-distance when you resume dating "short-distance" again.

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