5 Ways to Stay Connected from Long Distance
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Today for “Think About it Thursday“, I wanted to share with you a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Before D and I got married, we lived in different states. Then, I moved away from my family to be with him. In both scenarios, I had valuable relationships I wanted to keep strong despite the distance. This became even more difficult when my first nephew was born. From states away, I missed so many of the big events in his first year. I had to get creative to stay connected. I am proof, though, that it is possible. With a little thoughtfulness and intention, it can work for you too! So here are my 5 ways to stay connected from long distance.
1.) Facetime or Skype
Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without Facetime. My nephew got to know me on my brother’s iPad during the first few years of his life. I remember one exchange, he and I played “Hide and Seek.” He hid and then my brother carried the iPad around while I called his name and exclaimed I wasn’t able to find him. He popped out from behind a chair looking so proud of himself. I was able to play with him even without being there and it warmed my heart.
2.) Gifts and care packages
Connecting doesn’t just mean finding ways to keep yourself satisfied in long distance relationships. It’s about finding ways to make sure the other person knows they have your attention and affection even from miles away. Before I moved to be near D, I would send him care packages every once in a while. The items inside were things I knew he’d like or appreciate plus little personal touches here and there. His favorite part of the care packages were the mixed CD’s I’d make him of songs that reminded me of him. In fact, he would probably tell you these gifts were what made him fall in love with me. The idea was to make him feel special. In making him feel special, his heart kept reaching back out for me.
3.) Plan future trips
Whenever I would visit my family, I always wanted to give them an idea of the next time I’d be back. This made saying goodbye so much easier and helped us all look forward to the next time I’d be coming. Leaving them without an idea of the next visit seemed to make those departures so much harder. We would say things like, “When I come back in May, let’s visit that place in Kansas City we’ve been wanting to go to.” It may be a year from now, but make that reunion something you talk about and plan for.
4.) Consistent contact
Sure, not everyone loves to talk on the phone, or text or email. Everyone has their own preferred method of communication. Find out what method works for the people you want to stay connected to and contact them consistently in that way. That means being intentional about setting time aside for those people and following through. In a time where we get so worn out by the end of the day, choose times when you will be at your best so the communication can be enjoyable and meaningful.
5.) Shared activities
While you’re miles away, there are still things that can be done together. For instance, D and I read the same book together. Later when we would talk, we would discuss the book and what we thought about each chapter. Reading the book made me feel so connected to him because I knew he was reading the same words. I’d often get excited about what I would ask him during certain turns in the storyline. Take that idea and how would it look for music, movies or sports? Maybe you both enjoy baseball and watch the game at the same time and talk about the highs and the lows. Whatever it is, if you’re both doing it, it will strengthen your connection and bond that much more.
What about you? What are some ways you stay connected to loved ones that are far away? What methods have worked for you or what hasn’t?