I will be the first to admit that I am not hip with today’s abbreviated lingo. When I saw I was assigned to a story about LDRs, I had to ask my editor (the youthful and benevolent Maddie Smith) what the heck that meant. She kindly informed me that it stood for “Long Distance Relationship” and that I was an old fart for not knowing that. I gladly accept the title of old fart, seeing as I spend at least half my weekends watching “Murder, She Wrote” while eating raisins. Despite my fast-approaching old-lady days, I do know a thing or two about being in a long distance relationship, seeing as I have been in one for the past year. I will admit, being over 200 miles away from your bae is hard (I’m not sure what that word means either, but kids these days seem to use it a lot concerning their significant others and some inanimate objects), but there are a few things you can do to make your time apart pass by smoothly. Here you go.

Acknowledge each other’s busy schedules

One of the toughest things about being in a long distance relationship is not being able to see each other all the time. I know, that’s a given, but that fact can cause a lot of stress in a relationship. Since you can’t physically be in the same room most days, you feel like you have to compensate by calling each other or Skyping once a day in order to make up for the time that is being lost. But what if he has a lacrosse practice that you forgot about? Or she’s at a movie with her friends? You cannot get upset if they don’t answer your call or text right away or if they have to cancel a pre-arranged call because something came up. You’re flexible when you are in the same city, so you also should be flexible when you are apart.

Being jealous? Don’t.

If television has taught me anything (and it should have since I never did anything in high school except watch TV), it’s that nothing kills a relationship faster than jealousy. Nothing makes a person less attractive than jealousy or trying to make someone jealous. If your boy toy says that he’s been invited to a party hosted by some girls at work this Friday and that he’s going, don’t automatically assume that it’s going to be a bunch of girls strip teasing for him. Chances are they are drinking stale Bud Light while playing Settlers of Catan (sexy, I know). You have to trust that your partner won’t do anything stupid while you are miles apart, otherwise you will drive yourself insane, which will drive your relationship over a cliff and into a fiery inferno. And, if on the rare occasion your bae is cheating on you while you’re away, dump their ass and crush it into a small cube.

Consider each other’s emotions

If you are like me, an awkward 20-something who can barely form an intelligent remark in class, talking about your feelings is hard.

Unfortunately, when in a long distance relationship, you have to talk about your emotions. A lot. Otherwise your partner may be confused on why it is taking you five hours to answer their text about how your day was. Sure, you could be taking a little nap (which is often the case with me), but you could also be so stressed with all your schoolwork that you forgot to reply to that text. Now your significant other is worried that something has happened to you. Maybe a Chupacabra mistook you for a goat and sucked all your blood. Or Ryan Gosling came down to Trinity to force you to become his bride. Regardless, you have to talk about your emotions constantly in order to keep the relationship flowing and worry at bay. If you can’t really talk on a specific day, explain why so they don’t think that you are mad or ignoring them.

Also, don’t send dick pics. Just don’t do it, unless you want the government to have those pictures forever (Thanks for the tip John Oliver!).