Anytime the topic of long distance dating comes up in conversation with strangers, so many people say, “Wow, I give you so much credit. I have no idea how you do it.” Or, “I wouldn’t last a month dating someone who I couldn’t see every week.”
Needless to say, I’ve learned so much about my relationship and about myself throughout my long distance relationship. Now, I’m here to share some of the tips I’ve learned over the years that will help you if you’re in a LDR, too.
Commit to communication:
This is more important than any other tip out there. A relationship doesn’t work without communicating. Talk often. Send messages during the day that you’re thinking of your partner. If you’re feeling old-school romantic, send a letter to surprise him or her. Whether you text, talk, FaceTime, etc, you need to be talking and checking in. It will help you keep your relationship going. It’s hard to have a relationship via technology, but thank goodness we have technology to keep communication alive with distance.
Plan visits in advanced:
Josh and I plan all of our visits months in advanced. In August, we planned every visit from August to April. Why? It solidifies your plans to see each other. Now, you can’t plan anything during that time. Even if something does come up, you have to make it work. This will keep your relationship strong because you’re making sure your time together is a priority. Josh and I are both very organized and busy, so planning visits in advanced is beneficial for both of us to make sure we have time for friends, work, and other commitments, too. It’s all about balance.
Keep a countdown:
To coincide with planning ahead, make a countdown in your planner for the next time you’ll see each other. Yes, it’s a little cheesy, but I promise once those double digits turn to single digits, you’ll be happier and happier each day. It’s a little reminder that you will see each once again, and that the distance is always temporary.
Make your phone dates meaningful:
Because the majority of your relationship is through a phone, you find yourself lost for words, and your phone conversations consist of listening to the other person breathing while you’re both working on separate things. It’s important to make sure you set aside time when you can focus on a conversation just like you would if you were on a date. You don’t want to sit there in silence. Talk about what’s happening in the world, or what happened during your day. You’ll find it easier to get the conversation going and you’ll end up talking for hours.
You need to give 100% Every. Single. Day:
I can’t stress this point enough. If you or your partner don’t make an effort, it will never work. You need to go into a LDR realizing that you will spend a good portion of your energy talking, scheduling time in your day to make sure you can talk, getting work done in advanced before a visit, etc. Your relationship will not work unless both of you work. It’s that simple. I feel like many people don’t take this into consideration, but having a long distance relationship is all consuming. It needs effort, time and love in order to flourish.
Be honest when you’re struggling:
Some days, you’re going to have a bad day, and you want to cry because there’s nothing more in the world you want than to cuddle up next to your partner and have them make you feel better. Some days, you’re going to be sad because you wish you were together. It’s completely normal. But you need to be honest and open about when you’re struggling, so you can work through it together. Strong relationships are built during the challenging moments, and you’ll come out of it stronger than ever.
Have a “date” in mind:
One of the things you should talk about early on in your LDR is your end date. By this, I mean when you plan on not being long distance anymore. For Josh and me, we planned from the very beginning that summer 2016 is our end date (depending on moving time, house hunting, etc.) This is important because you need an end goal. Without your end date, you don’t have that commitment to move forward together. And if you’re not moving forward, what is your plan?
(Misc. tip) Watch a show together:
This might seem lame, but I swear it brings a lot of happiness. Josh and I pick a show to watch on Netflix, but we can only watch it together. So, on a free evening before bed, we will FaceTime each other, get Netflix all ready, and hit “play” at the same time to watch the show. I love this because it makes us feel like a normal couple who lives together and watch TV. It gives you an activity to do when you’re not together. You’ll love having your show that’s only for you and your partner.
If you’re in a long distance relationship, I completely understand what you’re feeling. There are times where you feel confused, scared, sad and wondering what the future has in store for your relationship. Just remember that distance DOES make the heart grow fonder, and you will have a whole new appreciation for your partner during this experience.
Have you even been in a long distance relationship? What tips do you want to share? Make sure to leave a comment below!