5 Tips on Maintaining a Long-Distance Relationship

*Photo taken by Alex Choi 

On Saturday, my boyfriend, Surim, left for his final year of university in Pittsburgh, which is roughly a 5-8 hour distance depending on mode of transportation. He was supposed to have graduated in May with me, but had to go for a “victory lap” as we jokingly call it. This is now our fourth year of enduring a long distance relationship. I understand 6 hours is minuscule in comparison to some other long-distance relationships, but as we cannot afford to make the trip often and are forced to see each other only one weekend a month during the school year.

Related: Surim Kim and Enclothed Cognition

Although we are a seasoned long-distance couple by now, saying bye to Surim this past weekend was still so hard for me. Writing this post even has my tearing up. This past summer, I basically spent every day with him and to go from seeing your best friend everyday to only once a month is definitely rough. However, I am so grateful our relationship is strong enough to have been able to endure this for such a long time now.

I wanted to share with you guys some tips on how our relationship has been so successful over the years. Dating is no easy feat, especially in this new millennial society in which cheating is normalcy and “side-baes” are praised. Even within my own peers, I have the longest relationship. This is how we continue to conquer the distance together:

Related: Surim reviews Maxwell Scott – Men’s leather duffle bag

*Photo by Alex Choi

1. LOYALTY. You heard it from Kendrick and Rihanna, “All we ask is trust. All we got is us”. These lyrics could not be more true. I am sure you have heard it time and time again, but honestly trusting your significant other is half the battle in any relationship, but especially when there is some distance involved. I have so much faith in Surim and I know he would never do anything to make me question his loyalty. The two of us have very similar values and I know he has the same kind of trust in me as well. I think this trust has been established because we are really open with each other and lying simply isn’t in our vocabulary.

2. MAKE TIME FOR FACE TIME. Since we are forced to see each other only once a month, we find other ways to close the gap between us. One of the biggest ways we do this is through Snapchat. This has been one of our favorite methods of communication the past couple of years. We like it because we are able to see each other’s face and it makes talking more personable, Plus, we feel like we can get more context by physically seeing each other’s facial expressions and whereabouts. In addition to Snapchat, we do FaceTime occasionally and always make time for phone calls when we can.

3. PLAN REGULAR VISITS. As I mentioned already, we are sure to see each other approximately once every month. Before he left on Saturday, we already decided I would visit at the end of the month for a weekend. By having this time frame set in mind, both of you are able to have something to look forward to. Last year, we also planned around celebrating the holidays together. For example, in October, I went to Pittsburgh during Halloween weekend and in February we visited each other during Valentine’s Day weekend. People are likely to feel more lonely during these occasions, so if it is possible to see each other during then – go for it!

4. SEXUAL HEALING. I do not want to touch on this personal topic too much, but long-disatance relationships are hard because of the lack of certain physical aspects of a healthy relationship. However, there are ways to overcome this and to keep a relationship spicy and interesting  even with the distance. Get creative with it!

5. OPPORTUNISTIC MINDSET. Lastly, long distance relationships are never ideal to be quite honest. Surim and I were forced to because of school, but keep in mind that this distance is not forever. I keep reminding myself that come springtime, there is nothing that will keep us from being apart anymore. Keeping this goal in mind is important. Plus, they do say that distance makes the heart grow fonder. I would never choose to go through a long-distance relationship, but I did come to appreciate the fact that it made us treasure our time together more and definitely strengthened our relationship.

Related: What My Boyfriend Wore

 

I hope these tips on making a long-distance relationship work were helpful for those who are maybe in the same boat as me. Long-distance is not easy, but with patience and trust and the right person, it is definitely not impossible.

If you have any other relationship advice or any long distance relationship questions, be sure to leave a comment down below. I would love to hear your experience and thoughts on this matter!

 

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Enclothed Cognition: Surim Kim

 

Surim Kim

 



Enclothed Cognition describes the concept in which the clothes you wear has an impact on your cognitive process. When you wear something you genuinely love, it is an instant confident booster. That being said, this phenomenon is important to me because getting dressed is something everyone faces each morning. If aware of this concept, one would be able to dress more confidently and have a positive impact on his or her own day. This is part of the latest installment on my blog:

Not only do I want to emphasize the importance of self-confidence in women, but men as well. This interview is dear to my heart because it features my boyfriend, Surim. Not only does he bring a fresh male perspective to the table, but he’s also one of the most confident people I know. Between the two of us, he is undoubtedly the one that is more outgoing. As far as style, Surim prefers a more minimal look with tasteful touches of streetwear influence with pieces such as a Supreme waist bag and Nike Flyknit Racer


Why did you decide to wear this outfit to go hiking?

I just purchased the olive bomber jacket(similar) the other day, but it was too hot to wear it. However it cooled down significantly the day we went, so I got to give the jacket a test run and based my outfit on that.

How do you typically decide what to wear?

I pretty much have set outfits in my mind and choose one based on the vibe I want to give that day and what I am doing.  


Do you have a style influence or icon?

Not really. I don’t look at one person to see what they are wearing. However, I tend to look at product launches and lookbooks if I need style inspiration. Specifically, I go to Hypebeast, the Cos lookbook, and /r/rawdenim

Anything else that inspires you stylistically?

I am really drawn to western looks like Clint Eastwood. Also, the classic rock era has a big influence on me.  

Do you think streetwear has gotten too mainstream lately?

I have been into the streetwear scene since 2007, and have witnessed the rise of the obvious big labels such as Bape and Supreme in mainstream media. As well as seeing brands such as Stussy and The Hundreds go from being in boutique stores to being in suburban malls. However, I understand these trends come and go and no one should base their purchases off of what is mainstream and what is not. I mean, I still love Supreme even though it is considered the quintessential “hypebeast” brand. I believe it was extremely beneficial that streetwear became mainstream, since it forced designers to push the boundaries and evolve, leading us out of the graphic-tee era to the more minimal/tech inspired looks out now. 



How does what you wear affect your mood? Confidence?

Dressing well definitely corresponds with how I feel for the rest of the day. When you know you are dressed well, your attitude reflects that – not in a cocky way though. Simply put, when you look good, you feel good. 

Do you think there a lot of guys who lack confidence? What advice would you give to them?

Of course there is a lot of guys who lack confidence and I feel like this is something that isn’t touched upon. Men can have confident issues too and I wish it was more normalized. But everyone deals with it a lot of different ways. Personally, my way was reaching out to new people and learning how to spark conversations. One does not have to be outgoing to be confident, however, confidence is a double-edged sword and can be confused with arrogance. 




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Self-Love

 

 

I have come a long way these past few years of my life as far as confidence goes. I was always the shy girl in school who was often forgotten about and was left to fade into the background, but somehow I summoned the courage to change this. I learned to appreciate every part of me – inside and out. This is certainly not an easy task, especially in today’s modern age.

These past couple of months, I found my self-confidence quietly slipping away. Yes, I was still happy, but I felt a sort of mild anxiety bubbling beneath the surface. I was weeks away from graduating university and although I was ecstatic to be done with my education forever, I did not have a plan and it absolutely terrified me. Friends and family were asking what I was doing after I graduate and all I could do was merely shrug. This is where my self-confidence faltered and I started to question everything. What if I chose the wrong major? Attended the wrong university? Didn’t study enough? Should I even pursue fashion?

This quietly went on for the past couple of weeks and I thought I should just come to terms that I would be unemployed forever (Dramatic, I know). I continued to half-heartedly apply to jobs online, hoping for a miracle. Finally, after what felt like ages, I received a couple of requests for follow up interviews from a few companies. I rejoiced and I finally received an offer last week. I felt so relieved that I could finally provide an answer to those asking about my future plans. My incessant worrying and fears seemed so silly.

Self-confidence is a tricky matter and something that needs to be continually worked upon. It may be diminished with FOMO or scrolling through an instagram model’s feed or from being temporary unemployed and feeling lost. I have come to realize it is just a part of life, but we should collectively do all we can to love ourselves. Here are some of my self-confidence tips:

1. Compliment yourself when you look in the mirror everyday!
2. Play dress up. Find a cute outfit and go out for the day. After all, enclothed cognition is a real thing! What you wear does affect your overall attitude and confidence.
3. Do something you love. Make time for your hobbies!
4. Spend a few hours during the week to spend some time alone and focus on yourself. For me, this is my Sunday night ritual where I like to spend time pampering myself. This means painting my nails, doing a face mask, and listening to my favorite music.
5. Surround yourself with at least one good friend.

 

 

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How I Combat Stress

The semester is dwindling down to the end and I cannot be more relieved. It honestly has been a drag and I am so ready to ditch my current classes. However, there are many hurdles to get past along the way; projects, presentations, and final exams. It seems like professors just love cramming everything towards the end and having their students reach maximum stress levels! That being said, I thought I would share how I reduce stress in these kind of situations.

1. Try and get enough sleep. I know this is incredibly hard to do as time runs out. There is simply so much to be done and unfortunately, our sleep tends to suffer. However, I try my best to squeeze in a decent night’s sleep and often treat myself to sleeping in one day during the weekend. Being well rested definitely makes a difference in how you feel throughout the day and brings your stress levels down. Even if you have a lot of work, if you are falling asleep through it, chances are there will be a lack of quality. Make it a point to catch some Zzz’s!

2. Aromatic therapy. I always study in my room. I find that suits me best because in public places, even the library, I tend to get distracted by my surroundings. That is why during finals week, you will find me holed up in my room and only leaving for journeys to the kitchen (haha). As a blogger and a girl, I love candles. I cannot get enough of them. Whenever I study, I always have one burning and I found it makes your surroundings more soothing. So find a candle with your favorite scent. I find the especially calming ones are scents like clean cotton/fresh laundry. If you are into more of the husky scents, think about trying some incense! It is much more of a potent smell and the sight of the smoke wafting through the room is equally as calming.

3. Tea/Coffee/Hot Chocolate. Depending on my mood, I like to make a warm cup of something to sip on as I work. Tea is a given and you can get a special blend that is specifically made for relaxing (Chamomile, etc.). I am a coffee addict and you can most always find me drinking a cup. If you are having a late night snack craving, make yourself a cup of hot cocoa! You can even go crazy and add some marshmallows. It satisfies your sweet tooth and did you know that chocolate is a natural anxiety reducer?

4. Music. I am addicted to music. I start my routine with it and end my routine with it. Music accompanies me as I shower, walk to class, and go to sleep. If you are feeling super stressed, make a playlist with music that calms you. Throw some headphones on and zone out for a couple of minutes. It is like music meditation and works like a charm! Or if you can listen to it without getting distracted, put it on as background noise as you study. To study I cannot get enough of these playlists by Ta-ku. The “Drive slow, homie” and nujabes tribute is beyond amazing. As for relaxing, I have been loving the Otis Redding and J. Holiday stations on Pandora! I live for old and new school R&B!

5. Plan ahead. I live by my planner. As soon as I get assignments, I open it up and jot it down and make sure to mark the due date on my calendar. I admit, sometimes I can be so forgetful and certain things just leave my mind. By physically writing what I have to do down, it is embedded in my memory more and I can keep track of everything I have to do in relation to each other. By planning ahead, especially as all the work is due at once, it takes a lot of stress off your shoulders. You know when everything is coming and can plan accordingly. Plus, I am the type of person who likes to get things done A.S.A.P. and often times I have assignments done way before they are even due. This is definitely one of my strengths as a student and I am proud of it!!

Those are my 5 tips to reducing stress, especially at the end of the semester! Shout out to all my readers who are currently in school too! Balancing work, a blog, school, and whatever else you have going on in life can be quite the struggle. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and focus on yourself for a moment. I am hoping that at least one of these tips can help you reduce your stress levels! I would love to hear your own stress reducing tips. Leave a comment below!

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