All relationships require hard work but being in a long distance relationship comes with a whole new set of difficulties. Whether you’ve started off your relationship with distance or you went from a ‘regular’ relationship to a long distance one, it’s always tough not being able to be with the person you love. If you’ll make it in the end is entirely up to you as a couple, you have the power to make or break it. Follow these top tips and you’ll be well on your way to survive your own long distance relationship.
1. Know that communication is key
Communication is key in any relationship. Being in a long distance relationship can make communication challenging since there’s barely any face to face communication. Let’s start of with the various different ways of communication. The easiest way is probably through sending text messages. Find yourselves a good app that works for you. We’ve tried a bunch and found that Whatsapp was by far the best option for us. You can not only send text messages, but also make phone calls, video calls and much more. Whatsapp uses the internet so no worries about expensive overseas phone calls. Don’t limit yourself to one way of communication, make use of everything that is available to you.
Another part of communication is how you communicate. Not every conversation you have will be a good one. Just as in any other relationship there will be discussions and arguments. Try to be as open about everything as possible, stay transparent about the way you’re feeling. Don’t shut your partner out when you’re worried, sad or angry and always be honest with each other. If things get heated try to remember you are both really trying. Sometimes ending a conversation is better than to keep fueling your argument. If you choose to do so always explain to your partner first that you are going to take a step back for a moment and talk to them later, never hang up on them! I’ve been guilty of this and trust me it never made things better.
2. Learn to trust
Trust is one of the most important things in any type of relationship. Since you are not around each other on a regular basis, your trust can really be put to the test, especially if you have a more insecure nature. Try to remember that this is hard on you both and if your other half wanted to be with someone else, why would they go through so much trouble to be with you? That being said, if your gut ever tells you something else, try to talk about it with your partner in a non-accusing way. Calmly express your concerns and try to talk it out together. On a last note, trust goes both ways so in any case make sure you yourself can be trusted too.
3. Support each other
While it’s great to share the good things in life, it is also important to be able to share the bad times. There will be days where one of you will be able to handle the distance better than the other. Be there for each other when this happens. Listen, try to understand and be supportive. Of course being supportive also applies to positive situations such as new ideas or undertakings.
4. Include each other in your daily lives
What you consider little and mundane things can be of great value to your love. Make sure to include each other in your daily lives as much as you can. Tell them about your friends, your family, even your coworkers. Call each other while you’re shopping or walking the dog, ask their opinion on things and share your schedule. Make sure your partner feels that they are a part of your life.
5. Master time management
For me one of the hardest things about being in a long distance relationship was time management. Juggling a job, spending online time with Tommy and finding spare time for myself was so frustrating. All the more reason to carefully plan your time. First of all decide between the two of you what a good amount of ‘together time’ is. For instance we needed to speak daily to both stay happy. Find out what works for you and then stick to it! Of course sometimes things don’t go as planned but make sure talking daily doesn’t turn into one phone call a week. Do the same thing for spending time on yourself. This time is meant for anything you want from meeting up with friends to binge watching your favorite show like a couch potato. It’s all about finding the right balance so you both stay happy.
6. Plan your next visit
One of the most important tips to survive a long distance relationship is to plan your next visit. By planning your next visit you not only give yourselves something to look forward to but also something to work hard for in the meantime. Keep a calendar or download an app such as Dreamdays, that will count down the days for you. Visually seeing your visit come closer helps so much. Talking about how you just reached the thirties when it’s now 39 days until you see each other again will turn any FaceTime or Skype session exciting.
7. Write each other letters
Yes I mean actual letters written with a pen on a piece of paper. E-mails and text messages are nice but they can’t compete with a good old handwritten letter. “Why?” you ask? Well first of all a letter is something tangible. There’s not a whole lot of that going on in a long distance relationship. Holding something your other half also held makes you feel closer to them. We wrote each other one letter for every week we were apart. Which brings me to my second point, a letter gives you another thing to look forward to. And lastly, letters make great memories. You can still read everything you wrote to each other years from now which will take you right back to all those beautiful memories.
If you are lucky enough to see each other once a week, I understand this may not be for you. But for those out there having to miss each other for longer periods of time, writing letters is an amazing way to stay connected.
8. Get creative
Since most of your relationship is happening online, getting creative is so important to keep things fun. Writing letters is a perfect way to get more creative. Include little notes or drawings, start a game you can play together over the course of a few letters or even surprise your lover with a spicy letter every now and then. Send each other silly voice texts or videos. Mail a little surprise package once in a while, play online games together or watch the same movie at the same time while you’re video chatting. Depending on the time difference you can even have dinner during a video chat and then do a movie afterwards. Hello date night! There’s so many ways to get creative and forget the distance for a bit, even for the lack of physical contact. But I’m sure I can leave that one up to your own creativity.
9. Plan for the future
Long distance relationships force you to think about the future quite early on. If you don’t see a future together there’s really no point in putting yourselves through the trials of a long distance relationship right? Talk about where you’ll live together, about the steps you need to take to get there, read up on immigration laws if one if you will be moving out of the country. Check all of the requirements well in advance because some may take you a long time to prepare for. Making a plan for the future will provide structure in the chaos and make you feel like you are actually working towards something.
10. Stay focused
Daily life can be hard enough as it is, but make sure you never lose track of your shared goals. Times will get really tough and sometimes you might even wonder what the heck you got yourself into. Try to see times like these as an opportunity to grow even closer to each other. Remind yourself of why you are doing this and keep your focus on the end goal.
Tip: Sending kisses and smiles in pictures is a great way to help each other stay focused. It always worked uplifting for us.
11. Treat your long distance relationship like a regular one
No, overall you can’t quite compare the two. But in some instances it is actually really helpful to treat your long distance relationship like a regular one. With regular I mean a relationship where there is no physical distance between you, because let’s be honest what is a ‘regular’ relationship anyway? But let’s get back to the point.
Don’t start or stop doing certain things you normally wouldn’t in a regular relationship. For instance scheduled dates or phone calls are just as important as a face to face date. If you wouldn’t cancel a face to face date, don’t think it’s okay to cancel an online date. Just because the dynamics may be different that doesn’t mean your online date is any less important. Which brings me to a next example, if you would dress up for a face to face date, do the same for your online date! Make an effort for each other just like you would in a regular relationship.
I think we can all agree that long distance relationships are hard. I also think we can agree that they can be very rewarding. Chances are when this is all said and done and you’re together every day, you won’t take each other for granted because you know how hard it was to be apart. Having been in a long distance relationship can build a great and solid foundation you will benefit from for the rest of your lives. With these top tips to survive a long distance relationship, you’re armed well enough to see it through until you can finally close that distance. Click here if you’d like to know more about how we made it work. How have these tips helped you in your long distance relationship? Let me know in the comments below!