Have a long distance love connection? Follow these summer survival tips


Photo: Jordan Maurice/Iowa State Daily

Sending letters is an old-fashioned way to keep things interesting and make your communication much more meaningful. 

Jolie Monroe

School-year relationships often bring summertime separation. Couples are then faced with the prospect of surviving a long-distance relationship until the next school year begins.

Katie Lovan, senior in art and design and advertising, has been dating Mike Rayford, junior in pre-business, for a year and a half. During the school year, they spend plenty of time together, but once summer hits, she goes off to her hometown, Des Moines, and he heads back to Minneapolis.

Their separation was prolonged further when Lovan spent last spring studying abroad in Rome.

How do they make the “short-term” long distance relationship last? Lovan has some answers to that question that will help any couple.

Snail mail

Old school letters or packages are an easy way to brighten your significant other’s day. While abroad, Lovan sent Rayford postcards from different places she visited. Rayford has also surprised Lovan with a package from one of her favorite stores.

“It’s always fun to get stuff in the mail, and you know it didn’t take them only 20 seconds, like a text would,” Lovan said. Coming up with a unique package idea or sending a special letter shows that more thought was put into the message.

Road trips

What could be a better way to survive a long distance relationship than to visit each other?

Lovan and Rayford make trips to each other’s hometowns for visits. Recently, Rayford came to Iowa to attend the 80/35 Music Festival with Lovan. The couple later played tennis in the 2011 Iowa Games together.

“It’s fun to find something that we both enjoy, so we can make an excuse to see each other and do fun things,” Lovan said.

They also had the opportunity to visit Arizona, a place they’d never been to, as a couple.

“It’s great to travel to a completely new place together,” Lovan said.

Exploring new places together can be a great way for couples to connect.

Couples should make the most of these short visits to see each other by planning a special date.

“We can go out for a really nice dinner, because we aren’t doing that very often. We can kind of splurge,” Lovan said.

Planning special dates doesn’t just afford opportunities for splurging. It also gives you something to look forward to while you’re away.

Text, talk and tweet

Texting and Skype are the couple’s main modes of communication. They use texting for easy, on-the-go communication, while reserving Skype for special occasions. Lovan and Rayford used Skype frequently while she was abroad. But now that she’s home, it’s harder to make time “because we only have time in the evening, and sometimes he’ll go out, or I’ll go out, or we’ll both be tired,” Lovan said. When all else fails, Twitter and Facebook posts are quick and easy ways to keep in touch.