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If you and your SO are separated for the summer, dealing with the distance is hard but definitely doable.

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Millions of people all over the world are in long-distance relationships, and 33 percent of those couples are college students. Unfortunately, romantic relationships in college often have to cope with distance problems during the summer and winter breaks, and an unnerving 40 percent of those long-distance relationships end in failure. So, if you don’t want to become another discouraging statistic, there has to be 100 percent effort from both parties, since long-distance relationships often fail when one person puts in more effort than the other, causing the relationship to begin to fall apart.

This summer, my boyfriend and I switched from our standard routine to a long-distance relationship. I had no idea how to be in this situation, or what to do without my boyfriend. After a summer of long distance, I have learned that it can be really tough, but I know that I want to be with my boyfriend more than ever.

Be prepared to work twice as hard as you are used to if you want to have a successful long-distance relationship. To get you through the pain, here are some tips to ease your achy breaky heart.

 1. Video chat will be your lifesaver.

FaceTime, Skype and JusTalk are great apps that allow you to video chat and talk to your loved ones wherever they are in the world. However, if your significant other is living in a different time zone, video chatting can be tricky. A helpful tip is to plan around your hectic schedules, choose a time that works best for the both of you and make sure you commit to that time. Even if you get to video chat for only a few minutes, it’s still better than nothing.

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There is a three-hour time difference between me and my boyfriend, but every morning we FaceTime before he goes to work. When he comes home from work, I am usually getting ready for bed, so we try to sneak in a quick five to ten-minute FaceTime date to talk about our days. Being able to see my boyfriend’s face for those few minutes is so worth it and brightens my day. Whether it’s daily or weekly, try to set a schedule for your video chat dates so you always have something to look forward to.

2. Don’t be jealous and respect their space.

Living in a digitally advanced generation can be a blessing and a curse for relationships.

To have a successful relationship, as difficult as it may sound, I recommend that you don’t get jealous of their experiences. I know my boyfriend is having the time of his life in California, but sometimes it’s hard seeing his posts on social media. I am so happy he is having a great time, but a little piece inside of me gets jealous when I see those pictures and videos of him having fun when I’m sitting in bed doing nothing. My best advice for beating jealousy is to close out of social media and go do something to occupy your mind!

You have to let your partner live their life to the fullest without being needy, naggy and overprotective. Trust is a huge part of a relationship and without it your relationship will be doomed. Trust isn’t given, it’s earned, and it can take a long time. Having faith in your partner and your relationship is very important when it comes to any relationship, but especially in a long-distance one. If you don’t have confidence in your significant other, then you are going to drive yourself crazy wondering what they are doing every second of the day.

If your partner fails to text you back within seconds, don’t fret! Chances are they are preoccupied and will respond when their hands aren’t tied. If you are constantly nagging your partner, then they will most likely become frustrated and not want to talk to you.

Millennials have grown so attached to the digital world that we sometimes forget it’s not real. Try not to be jealous when you see their posts on social media. I suffer with this, especially since my boyfriend is in the city of stars, but driving yourself crazy over a post on Instagram or a snap on Snapchat isn’t worth it, and definitely isn’t worth a fight.

3. Keep yourself busy and focus on positive outlets.

Whenever I feel upset or depressed, I like going on runs to clear my head and spending the day at the beach, which is my happy place. If you sit around moping, you are just going to fall into a pit of depression. Try to keep your mind busy by staying occupied and active. Whenever I get sad and miss my boyfriend, I surround myself with positivity through my friends and activities I enjoy.

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The gym has become my best friend this summer, and I train at least five times a week to stay active, healthy and keep my mind focused. It’s hard to stay energized and peppy when you’re feeling down, but I promise everything is going to be okay and you will see your partner soon. Staying active and keeping your mind busy is really important when it comes to long-distance relationships.

Distance can make you very frustrated. Instead of being discouraged, try putting your anger out on something positive and doing something that makes you happy. Go relax at the beach, go for a jog, make a new recipe at home, learn a new hobby or just chill out with your friends. If you keep your mind busy, you aren’t going to focus so much on how much you miss your other half.

Long distance can be difficult, but there are also some benefits to it. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. It’s heartwarming when you are apart for so long and you finally get to see your significant other. Sometimes, when I spend too much time with my boyfriend, we get on each other’s nerves and end up bickering about nonsense. Distance can make your relationship stronger over time and it’s definitely worth the fight, so push through the tears, schedule those Skype dates and keep your mind busy!

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