People always want to know “if being in a long distance relationship works” and to be honest, there is no big formula for this type of relationship. because YES they can and have worked but they also suck and can be harder on the two people. Long distance relationships aren’t easy, but they don’t have to be extra complicated if both parties understand each others emotions, boundaries and needs. It would be a good idea to talk about these things before beginning one so that everything is out in the air beforehand, preventing any unreasonable arguments in the future.
I should be considered a professional when it comes to long distance relationships because if I am going to be totally honest with all of you, ALL of my relationships have been long distance since the ripe age of 18. The closest being a hour and some odd minutes and the longest being 4 hours away in another state. I have to admit they weren’t all daisies but I don’t regret any of them because each relationship taught me something different and made me out to be stronger independently from my partners — this aspect is very important. I have never had the privilege of dating someone that lived in the same town as me, so I had to get used to being in a relationship where seeing this person would not always happen and I had to find other ways to enjoy life without them so that I don’t have co-dependency issues — which usually happens with couples who live close then have to consider a LDR because of work, or other obligations OR when someone is not comfortable being alone. If you are going to be in a LDR then you have to realize being alone is going to happen, but doesn’t have to be that way if you continue with the same social life or heighten your social life so that you still have friends & family while your partner is away. I am going to share some important aspects that helped my LDR’s and some that important aspects to help prepare you for this change.
- In order to survive a long distance relationship, you need to have a sense of self (meaning you need to have time for you) because your partner is not always going to be there, so find hobbies you enjoy, hang with people you enjoy and do things that make you happy so that you don’t rely on your partner to do that. I made the mistake of relying on my partner’s calls/text to make me happy and guess what when shit got busier and time constraints happened, I was sad and upset and constantly paranoid.. this isn’t healthy and it will only put a strain on your relationship.
- Don’t kick your friends to the side because of this newfound relationship. We tend to do this a lot ladies and when shit goes down and we need someone to lean on, we have no one because we kicked our friends to the curb (intentionally or unintentionally) – balance your friendships and relationships, your friends will be there when your partner is not, and when you feel alone they will be there to remind you that you’re awesome, so keep them around!
- Family support is important as well, having their comfort while your partner is away will fill your heart with smiles. Sometimes we tend to think our parents or siblings have no idea how we feel, but honestly they probably know more than what we assume and if they don’t, they love you regardless.
- Communication is KEY! in a LDR, you will have to keep the lines of communication open more so because you don’t get to see them on a daily basis. Communication is important but don’t over exert yourself, if they don’t respond within 5 minutes, or call back immediately, don’t panic .. give it some time and then figure out times/days that the both of you can have talking — catching up on life, sharing stories, etc. Make a date out of it!
- Trust. Which many people tend to lack when they start a LDR. If you come into a relationship with trust issues, it will already start off badly, don’t do that to yourself or your partner. If your partner hasn’t given you a reason to not trust them, then trust them because if you don’t going into a LDR , it is bound to fail before it begins. Temptation will happen, it happens regardless if they live close or far so there is no way of avoiding it unless they are hermits and don’t go outside their residence. You have to trust that your partner is committed to you and hopefully you have spoken to them about this beforehand, go in knowing if this will be a committed relationship or open relationship.
- Set a date. Make it a goal to finally see one another within a week or two months, etc. Having a goal to see one another can be helpful for the relationship and make things exciting! plus it gives your partner something to look forward to!
- You will want to talk about when one of you plans on moving closer or moving in, etc. Nobody wants a LDR forever, so have plans set where eventually this LDR won’t be the case anymore because you will be near one another or living with one another. If that is not goal within the relationship, then .. you might want to question where this is going.
- Be realistic. LDR’s can be hours or miles away. 1 hour compared to 12000 miles away is a HUGE difference. If you know there will be VERY minimal visits due to the distance, and you aren’t comfortable with it, then don’t go through with it because otherwise it will be a let down. Look at the pros and cons of the distance between you and the other person, discuss traveling expenses, discuss times/days you will be able to make it to them , take turns driving or flying to visit one another, have a PLAN! because if you don’t and the distance starts to wear on you, it won’t work.
- During the holidays, you might not be able to spend dinner with them, but sending gifts through the mail can be just as special 🙂 have them open it during FaceTime or Skype..
- Have date nights. Where you skype or Facetime one another or a phone call. It’s cute and keeps things fun and entertaining.
- Sex.. as adults we all have needs & sex tends to be an important factor/ affection. This is where you either have to be creative with another or get it done on your own (masterbate, toys, videos, magazines, etc) sending sexy pictures to your partner, or having phone sex.. figure it out BUT don’t rely on cheating.
- Alone time. Even though you live hours/miles away, alone time is still important. People need space and while we tend to think the distance is space enough – I learned the hard way that eventually it gets to the point where they might feel suffocated because of having to always keep in touch with you on daily, hourly basis. It is important to have communication but DON’T get to the point where you are constantly needy (easier said than done) but you have to allow people to miss you — talking to them every hour of the day becomes less and less fun and more of a nuisance because it becomes repetitive and job like. Let your partner live! Give them a chance to be without you in a sense where they don’t have to constantly be up your ass.
- Stay positive, share good news. It is true, you will have bad days, and those are fine to share with your partner BUT don’t make that the only kind of news or the majority of news. The more fun, exciting news you share, the better the conversations and outcome. Not to mention, I noticed having positive news to share helps build the relationship and bond between the both of you and builds confidence in the LDR.
This is some of my tips, I kept the list short and simple for the sake of readers, but realize there are plenty of ways make a LDR work, you just have to find what works for you and the other person. Take it from me, long distance relationships are hard, but they are rewarding if successful. I am currently single, so none of mine have lasted long enough for me to talk about the happily ever after but they ended due to the other person realizing they don’t like LDR’s and most of the time they didn’t come to realize this until late in the relationship when feelings have been shared; which always made it hard for me during break ups. Hopefully this list will give you hope in your LDR and prepare you for what might be to come. Thanks for reading.