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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A Thought on Self-Confidence

 

I posted this photo on my instagram yesterday and mentioned how I used to be so self-conscious of the rather large birthmark running across my ribs (it is hard to see in the photo above with the filter). However, as I grew older and wiser, I came to realize that instead of being embarrassed by it, I should embrace it because this mark is what makes me an individual. This is a gentle reminder to love yourself because despite what social media advertises, perfection isn’t realistic. Instead, I really wish society celebrated the imperfections more often.

Do you know what Enclothed Cognition actually means? I chose this title for my blog because I wanted there to be a focus on building self-confidence within yourself. Working in fashion can get a bad rep because many view it as materialistic and superficial. Yet, if we look at fashion at a different angle, enclothed cognition comes to light and highlights the idea that we can gain confidence by merely feeling good in the clothes we decide to wear.

Listen: My talk on fashion & self-love via the podcast, “The Tao of Self-Confidence”

I wanted to bring up this subject of self-confidence yet again because I think we all should be continually reminded to love ourselves. I started a new installment on this blog a month ago where I interview people and their take on the correlation between how we dress and how we feel. I will be continuing this segment very soon, so please stay tuned! Also, if you have anyone in particular you wish for me to interview, drop a comment down below.

Read: Enclothed Cognition – Claudia Jordan

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Enclothed Cognition: Claudia Jordan

 

 

 

 

 

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:
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Claudia Jordan is the epitome of all around talent as she is a model, actress and TV personality and host. Her list of accomplishments include winning Miss Rhode Island USA, modeling on Deal or No Deal and The Price is Right, competing on The Celebrity Apprentice, and appearing on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Recently, she just finished promoting her latest venture starring in the new movie, Jason’s Letter, a powerful film addressing unarmed police shootings in America. In addition, she also has her own business entrepreneurs with her wine, Just Peachy, and Claudia Jordan handbags.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Claudia while she was enjoying her breakfast and recovering from a 2 AM flight to the East Coast. Despite this, she was poised and beautiful as ever.

 

Congrats on the premiere of Jason’s Letter. Did the fashion from the movie have an impact on your character?
Yeah, especially because of the roles I usually do – pageants, modeling – it’s just about putting on something for them. For this role, I had to dress down because it wasn’t about looks. It was about being a mother who lost her child. So, I had to go back to the basics.
You won Miss Rhode Island Teen USA in 1990. Do you remember what you wore?
 
I don’t know the designer, but it was a light green chiffon dress and my makeup was totally wrong, but I guess it was right for then because it was the late 80s – early 90s. I forget the dress I wore once I got to nationals, but it was like an old school designer. I was trying to be so conservative. Especially, since a black girl won Miss Rhode Island. I thought I had to be extra classy, so no one could say it was inappropriate. It was lavender and strapless with a lacey, glittery bodice. If I could do it over, I would probably go with something a little more sexy because when I got to Miss USA, the girls were really coming with it. And I was so conservative and had the most natural makeup on.
How old were you then?
 
I was 22.

You were a model for Deal or No Deal and the Price Is Right. Did you like doing that?
 
It was so fun! The Price Is Right was only 3 hour days, so you could still go out all night if you wanted to, haha. But a lot of times, with the wardrobe, they would find little, cheap dresses and that’s where I learned how important it is to have a good tailor. They would get dresses size 12 and the way they would amend them to make them into a whole different dress was amazing. They looked expensive too!
Did you have a say in your wardrobe?
 
No, they had a wardrobe person. In both shows, we always had to dress alike, so that’s kind of interesting when you have to wear the same thing as 25 other models or 2 other models. That’s where you have to make your personality stand out.
You have your own handbag collection, Claudia Jordan Handbags. How’s that going?
 
It’s okay! I launchd it about a year ago. It’s harder than I thought to get going, especially because I am not known to be a style icon. But, they’re made in Italy and I partnered with this guy who has done a lot in the fashion world and together we’re just trying to figure it out. We’re in the really early stages of it.


What made you want to start a handbag collection?
 
People approached me actually and they thought it would be a good idea. It’s around the same price point as a Michael Kors bag, but I always want to make things more affordable for the masses. I feel like then you’re super big, you have the audacity to have super expensive product. I don’t see myself like that. Plus, I want to make it so the average person can buy it.
Who is your style icon?
 
I love J-Lo and I feel like Halle Berry always gets it right. She is always so feminine and pretty, know what I mean? And J-Lo is just sexy, beautiful, and putting a lot of these young girls to shame. I like that more mature glamour. I feel like everyone is so naked now. You go online to go shopping and everything is about a fake body. Then, you buy that outfit and it looks nothing like it did online.
What would you tell a girl who is lacking self-confidence?
 
Do not compare yourself to everyone else. Be proud of who you are and no that it’s okay to be different than what you see on TV. I would also say, sometimes people are too obsessed with the name brands. A lot of women on reality TV are dripping in designer brands and the reality is, they might have 3 or 4 roommates in real life. Don’t try to break the bank to try and copy these looks. I feel like we should be responsible role models. Personally, I might throw on a nice shoe, but my outfit  is more affordable.

What are you wearing today?
 
This red jumpsuit is from Pink Boutique UK. Really affordable, yet trendy pieces. I got a really nice dress form there and it was like $50, but it looks red carpet ready. I’ve done this over and over. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to look good. As long as it’s the right color and fit, you’ll look good. Clothes are also meant to be repeated and not to be worn once just for an instagram photo.
You definitely look confident in that red jumpsuit. What do you wear when you want to feel more confident? 
 
Something that flatters the body and accentuate something you do have. I like bold colors and pieces that are sexy, but still classy. An outfit you can still wear around the parents, but still catch someone’s eye.
What was your favorite fashion moment in your career history?
 
 When I hosted the Miss Universe Pageant in 2009, myself and Billy Bush. They gave me this chocolate sequin gown and a beautiful necklace. I felt so glamorous at that moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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A Day in NYC

Remember how I mentioned I was going to be in New York for spring break? Well, that trip was condensed into just one day since this Nor’easter just so happened to be at the same time. All the weather forecasts were calling for 12-18 inches of snow in NYC and at my home in Philly. Needless to say, my friends and I thought it was not worth paying for an airbnb only to be stuck inside it for the majority of the trip.

However, we did go on Monday and had an immense shopping trip. We braved the bitter cold and basically hit all the good stores in Soho. I only picked up a new pair of sunglasses from Urban Outfitters and this gorgeous cream bodysuit from Top Shop though. I was kind of in a picky mood, so I didn’t want to buy anything else, but I was very happy with my purchases!

 

We also met up with Diana from Queen Horsfall and she joined us for some shopping and food. We found this pretty good restaurant in Little Italy and the artichoke pizza was amazing! We wandered around with her for awhile, before ending the night with some guilty pleasure fries from Shake Shake. Mmm.

It was a lovely, fun-filled day trip. We were a bit bummed we couldn’t stay in the city longer, but ya’ll now I will be back soon! x

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