As technology has evolved and internet access becomes the norm, long distance dating has become much easier. In politics, it makes sense that long distance relationships exist – students that go to different colleges who meet at conferences, online groups who link people from across the country together, jobs that require you to move to (or away from) Washington, D.C. and so many other reasons. If you are worried about entering a long distance relationship, read the advice from five girls who have been in your shoes.

Name: Jillian, 22

Length of relationship: 3 and a half years of long distance (ongoing)

“Communication is important! My boyfriend and I have settled into a routine of sending Snapchats throughout the day and FaceTiming at night, but of course this is flexible depending upon our schedules. Our schedules can be wacky with our school and work schedules but as long as we communicate the changes (as simple as firing off a quick text), we’re set. We also try to see each other at least once every other month – we’re both lucky to have cars, but it depends on our school and conference schedule. We both work jobs where we can set aside a bit of money to be able to afford the trips to and from our hometowns and college towns. At the end of the day, we’re happy that we started this relationship because we can see a future together. We hope to close the distance after graduating from our respective programs in May!”

Name: Georgia, 22

Length of relationship: 1 year of long distance (ongoing)

“We’re able to maintain a healthy long distance relationship by maintaining our relationships with God first. We try to pray together every night over the phone, and we attend church at the same time on Sunday so we can talk about it as soon as our services end.

We also find ways to still ‘go on dates’ even with distance, like planning a certain time of day to watch the same movie on Netflix, or eat at the same restaurant and FaceTime each other from there. It helps us feel like we still spend quality time with each other, despite being 2,000 miles apart.

Starting in December, we won’t be long distance (ever again!) and we know our relationship will look a little different. To prepare for this transition, we’re both just being very conscious of the other person’s time. We understand that we’re both busy and have our own friend groups, jobs and families. We realize that being joined at the hip 24/7 can lead to unhealthy relationships in other facets of our lives so we’re avoiding that by valuing and respecting each other’s time and schedules.”

Name: Hannah, 23

Length of relationship: 11 months of long distance (ongoing)

“A long distance relationship isn’t as much work as people think it is. It’s still someone you plan dates with and someone you text like a close proximity relationship. I think a lot of people don’t understand that it takes commitment, trust, and honesty in ways a close one may not.

Definitely always be honest. If you couldn’t trust them before the distance then don’t do distance. And don’t let too much time lapse between seeing each other. For some months we see each other multiple times that month or not at all. But we are always communicating when our next visit is so we can hold on to something. 

My final tip is that nothing beats snail mail. The thoughtful writing of your significant other that they shipped to you across the country. It’s beautiful and something you can do even if you aren’t great at writing. It’s about little bits of romance. Ever since the start of our relationship we have been writing letters to each other in a notebook to give to each other when we finally move in together. He sent me a build a bear with his voice in it and a blanket his mother made.”

Name: Sarah

Relationship length: 2 and a half years of long distance (ongoing)

“Trust in your relationship. If you love your partner, it’s well worth the wait and the distance. Try to keep a long distance relationship spicy by having Netflix dates, or even dinner dates over Skype. For military relationships specifically, understand that their job will always come before you. But remember that if they are willing to give up so much for their country, think about what they would do for you.”

Name: Jasmine

Length of relationship: 1 and a half years (ended)

“Being in a long distance relationship is not an easy task whatsoever! Just like any relationship, communication is so important but particularly having face-to-face/over the phone conversations. Sure, texting throughout the day can be nice to let the other person know that you’re thinking about them, but making sure to set out some good quality time when both you and your partner are giving each other your undivided, distraction free attention is imperative. 

Another huge thing for finding success in long distance relationships is putting in effort and showing up for your partner. Whether that’s through a letter in the mail with a small little trinket that made you think of them or planning a trip together to spend time with one another, I truly believe that showing up for your partner is abundantly important. 

While my long distance relationship didn’t last, I would tell anyone who is in one to not disregard the small things that you notice and may not like because you think that things will change when you see each other. Red flags are red flags and, if anything, being with a person in the same place would accentuate these traits. Trust your gut and know that being in a long distance relationship is a full-time job and takes work. Make sure that both you and your partner are putting in work – it won’t work if only one of you is putting in effort.”

Jillian K