7 Tips to Make Your Long Distance Relationship Work
“If you want to see how you will live together, first see how you live apart.”
This saying is something that people in long distance relationships, sometimes referred to as LDRs, should keep in mind. All relationships have their challenging moments, but LDRs have more of their fair share because being far away from your loved one can be lonely and frustrating.
You may be the most independent woman in the world, but when you need your guy because you are unwell, overwhelmed or just plain missing him, you might question the wisdom of having agreed to this long distance thing.
But while often challenging, long-distance relationships can also have inherent benefits, such as providing the partners with an opportunity to build trust, good communication, and the space to live rich lives before ultimately combining them when finally the two people are able to be together.
Let’s examine some ways to make your long distance relationship work
1. Make sure you both have the same goal in mind
If your goal is to one day live with the person you are starting the long distance relationship with, make sure this is also his endgame.
There’s no point in going through the built-in hardship of a long distance relationship if one of the partners is fine keeping things as is and not in a position to ever make the move to take the relationship from long distance to proximate.
So be upfront with your expectations.
Establish a timeline for how long this situation could last, and make it clear that your ultimate goal is to be together in real life.
2. Communication. Keep it going
Because you two don’t have the opportunity to catch up in person whenever you feel like it, make it a point to have daily check-ins.
These can be through Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook or any video messaging system. You don’t have to have a set agenda for the phone call—even boring stuff is fine. The goal is to remain connected.
3. Don’t put your life on hold
When you and your partner aren’t together, make sure you take care of yourself and continue to do social things. It’s a good idea for your partner to know your friends so that when you tell him that you are going out with your BFF, he knows and can picture who that is.
Do not make the mistake of sitting at home pining away for your loved one, this will make you very uninteresting when you finally do get to spend valuable time together.
You want to be able to share your vibrant life with your guy so make sure you keep up with all the fun things you do normally.
4. Get creative about how to spend your online time together
With a long distance relationship, you don’t have the luxury of going out to the movies on the spur of the moment. But you can watch a movie together.
Queue one up, get online with each other and watch the movie. Share your observations in real time, and then talk about the film once it is over.
You aren’t sitting in a dark cinema holding hands and passing the bucket of popcorn back and forth, but you are sharing an experience together, just not in the same physical space.
5. If possible, set up a schedule for visits
This doesn’t work for military spouses, but for those who are in separate cities due to jobs or school, have a planned routine for visits.
Some couples set up trips every three weeks, purchasing the tickets in advance to get a good price and a sure reservation.
This eliminates the stress of not knowing when you will see each other next and provides you with both with a set date for looking forward to the next time you will be together.
6. During your visits, allow for some downtime
A couple in long distance relationships will all tell you that it is important to have time to relax together when you two do get to see each other.
You may be tempted to overschedule the visit and fill it with significant moments: restaurants, cultural activities, visiting his or your friends and family. But build in some chill time, too.
After all, you want to have the gift of just relaxing together, like a normal couple, so that you can see what that is like, too. Not every moment has to be filled to be rewarding. The small quiet moments can be especially special since you don’t get to share them often enough.
7. See the positive rather than dwelling on the negative
It would be easy to look at other couples around you and feel envious. But the comparison is the thief of joy.
Yes, it is true that you’d love to have your guy right there, right now.
But look at all the positives your unique situation is bringing into your lives: you are learning great communication skills that will serve you well once you do live together; you are learning how to manage a budget to allow for all the travel necessary to see each other; you are learning to carefully construct your time together to get a maximum out of it, and you are learning to navigate the long stretches between your physical meetings.
All of these lessons will be helpful when you are finally able to share your lives. Your bond will be all that stronger for having carefully built this relationship through your phone calls, texts, letters and daily sharing.
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