If you have ever had a long-distance relationship with a significant other, a family member, or a friend, you understand they are not easy to navigate. Travel distance, emotions, and constraints all play a part in this challenging dance. 
 
The pandemic has played a part in relationships due to travel restrictions, COVID testing, and vaccine requirements. Most of all long-distance relationships have been pushed to new uncomfortable limits. Even before COVID raised its ugly head, there were still challenges when developing and maintaining relationships that were spread miles apart. 
 
Here are a few tips on navigating uncertainty and continuing to grow your relationships even when you are miles apart. 
 
Prioritize your schedules.
Taking the time to understand and respect one another schedules is important. This way, you can set specific days and times to talk on the phone or video chat. It also helps to put it in your calendar and clear an exact time to connect so that it does not get forgotten. 
 
Figure out the best way to communicate.
Whether it be a phone call, FaceTime audio or video, a Zoom meeting, or something else, having everyone on the same page of where you are connecting is essential. This way, everyone is prepared and knows how to navigate the application. 
 
Take time to travel and meet in person.
Meeting in person is essential. Unfortunately, in 2020 it was difficult to almost impossible. As the pandemic slows, we are better able to see our loved ones face to face. Seeing one another, hugging, laughing, etc., is healthy, and much needed to develop or sustain a positive relationship. 
 
Count the days until you can visit.
Once you set a date to visit one another,  use some type of calendar to count down. Much like the excitement for children with an advent calendar at Christmas, you can do the same by counting the days until you reunite. It gives you something to look forward to, and the feeling of anticipation can considerably improve your mood. Try always to have a date booked for your next meet-up. 
 
Find ways to be a happy person even if you are not together.
It is hard to miss someone, and you don’t get to see them as much as you would like. During these intense feelings of sadness and loneliness, try finding new ways to keep yourself busy and to have fun. Put yourself first and get involved in new projects, meet new people, or take a class that you have always wished you had time for. This is not a time to isolate, but just the opposite. 
 
By taking these few small steps, you will start to get in a rhythm, and the distance will feel less and less complicated over time.