The first thing people say to me when I tell them I’m in a long distance relationship is “I could never do that”. Honestly, I don’t blame them because long distance is not for the faint of heart. It requires insane patience (which I barely have), trust, communication and unconditional love. The last one seems pretty self explanatory but if you don’t love someone enough, you won’t be able to go months without seeing them. The longest my boyfriend and I have gone without seeing each other is 6 months but that was for a deployment. We normally see each other once every 2-3 months but I have been so lucky this year because I have seen him every month so far. Anyway, you’re probably wondering “Lexy how have you been able to survive this?” Well, here are some of the tips I’ve come up with over the last 2 years of being in a long distance relationship.
This is something that I really can’t stress enough. You and your partner can’t see each other face to face all the time and communicating how you feel and what you are thinking will save you so much arguing. If something is bothering you or you have a concern, tell them! Do not leave it up to your partner to try and guess what’s wrong.
Being able to trust your partner and not constantly worrying about what they’re doing is going to help you a lot. Obviously, every relationship needs to have trust, but in my opinion long distance relationships require way more. If you and your partner already have existing trust issues, you need to find a way to resolve them because you will not be able to function if you hold onto past problems. At the end of the day, if you do not trust your partner and you are constantly fighting then you need to reevaluate your relationship and decide if this is something you want to be in. (I know that sounds harsh but it’s the hard reality of trust in a relationship.)
3. Being understanding
It is very easy to not be understanding of your partners life away from you. I know I struggled with this at the beginning of being in a long distance relationship. My boyfriend is in the military (I will have a whole separate post on military relationships) and it was hard for me to accept his unpredictable schedule. Things will come up and you might have to go a day or two without FaceTiming or Skype, and you need to be understanding. If your partner wants to go see a movie with their friends or take a weekend vacation, you have to realize they have a life. However, if your partner is frequently coming up with excuses to not talk on the phone or text, then maybe you should take a look at who you are with.
4. Stay busy!
Holy moly I cannot explain how important it is to stay busy in a long distance relationship. I have spent many days sitting in bed not doing anything, which makes the distance feel that much bigger. The best thing you can do for yourself is have a daily routine. Whether this be going to work, hitting the gym, going for a run, etc. I started having a daily routine and it makes the days fly by. I remember my first summer of being in a long distance relationship. I was so depressed and I literally sat in bed all day watching Grey’s Anatomy. I look back at that summer and I wish I had been more productive.
There are plenty of ways to keep intimacy alive in a long distance relationship, but you won’t find those dirty details here! Keeping to the “PG” theme I have going on, don’t let distance keep you from complimenting your partner or texting romantically. There are plenty of ways to get creative and keep the romantic part of your relationship alive. Sending them a selfie and receiving a compliment can go a long way. If you shut off any romantic and intimate parts of your long distance relationship, you are essentially shutting off your “sex life”.
6. Plan Visits
This is one of my favorite parts of being in a long distance relationship. I usually plan my visits 1-3 months ahead, however it’s a little bit different because my boyfriend is in the military. Things change and he’ll have to suddenly be somewhere so it gets a little difficult to make solid plans. However, if you both are in school or just work in different states, planning trips doesn’t have to be so hard! You can either plan for you both to fly somewhere and meet there, or you can fly to visit one another. I was just in Florida and met my boyfriend there and we’re doing the same thing later this year in Germany. Having a trip planned makes the days go by faster because you have something to look forward to every day.
7. Have an end goal
Depending on how long you have been with your partner, it might be time to start looking at your end goals. This could be eventually moving in together or getting married. Having an idea of where you both want to end up makes the distance go by quicker because you know it’s only temporary.
8. Video chatting and phone calls
I don’t know how many long distance relationships I have seen fail because nobody makes it a priority to video chat or talk on the phone. Texting is a quick and easy tool to tell someone you are thinking of them or just to say hi. But if you are looking to keep your relationship alive, you need to have real communication. If you both have busy schedules, try to have 30 minutes in the day to talk on the phone or FaceTime! This will keep your relationship so healthy and remind you of why you’re with this person.
9. Patience is key
It’s very easy to get heated in an argument and either shut off your phone or not respond to the other person. I don’t know about you guys but I seriously hate being ignored. One thing you need to realize about long distance relationships is that you are going to seriously hurt your partner if you ignore them. If you are arguing and you start to feel yourself get really mad, communicate this to your partner and take a breather. My boyfriend and I had a bad track record of shutting the other person out and it made arguments unbearable. Be patient and realize that you are on the same team.
10. Never argue over text! Seriously, don’t.
Okay you millennials, this one is for you especially. I understand that texting is so easy and we tend to never make phone calls anymore. However, DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT (!!!!) argue over text. This is seriously going to kill your relationship and send you and your partner in a downward spiral. My boyfriend and I used to do this all the time and it is so unbelievably unhealthy. It’s a lot easier to say mean and hurtful things over text than over the phone or on Skype. In addition, people perceive texts differently and somebody’s feelings will get hurt. So please, if you took anything from this article, let it be this tip because I wish I never argued over text.
If there was something you think I missed, feel free to comment and let me know! I’m sure the readers will appreciate the extra advice.