I’m here to clear the misconceptions of long distance relationships!
Just because you are geographically separated does not mean your relationship will not succeed and be an eventual recipe for disaster. Most people are natural skeptics and I can already hear them disagreeing with me. Actually, long distance can work and be amazing if both partners are mutually invested and committed. I feel credible enough to tell you this since my boyfriend and I are perfect examples: having endured 4 years of long distance through three different countries. The farthest distance between us was 5000 miles, one continent and a 9 hour time difference. I would like to tell the skeptics that it was all worth it, every long drive, train ride, airplane and bike route. He and I have closed the 5,000 mile gap and now live together in the same cty.
However, let’s be realistic LDR’s an be quite challenging and difficult. Reuniting after time apart can seem like a whirlwind fairytale romance. The truth is that it’s not like this all the time and you will spend a lot of time distanced from the one you love. This is why I would like to share with you my effective tips for surviving a long distance relationship. These are tried and true and I hope they can help you on your journey.
Be Truthful to Yourself and Sincerely ask if you can do this
This is on the top of the list for a reason. Long distance relationships are not for everyone. There are important questions that you should ask yourself and your partner: Can I commit to this person while being physically apart? Do I trust this person? Do I have trust issues? Do they or myself have jealousy issues? What is the maximum amount of time we can be away from another? Can we communicate regularly and on a set routine? How can we better close the distance? What are your long-term goals? It’s important to talk about these things if you want to make it work.
Keep Yourself Busy
It’s hard not to constantly think about the other person when so far away. So why don’t you start that new hobby you were always interested in? Get out of the house and hang out with your friends. Spend some time with your family or try volunteering for the community. When I was living in London I would see my boyfriend every month or two at a time. I spent a lot of my time at the gym, solo exploring and finding new hobbies! Don’t stop your life just because he or she isn’t there with you. Whether a LDR or not, relationships are all about balance, so you’re are totally capable of doing things when your partner is not around.
Planning is Essential
With the all the time and distance away from one other you will both need something to look forward to. Plan for the weekend away, holidays and vacations! Plan for a time to see each other in the future. It may be days, weeks or even months away but having that time planned will give you something to look forward to and not sad or uncertain of the next time.
It takes Two to Tango
Every relationship is a mutual effort (and sacrifice) and in a LDR you better crank that up a couple extra notches. Are you on the same page and have the same end goal in mind? For instance, if one of you is committed to closing the distance and the other cannot envision that anytime soon-I highly recommend to reconsider your next steps.
Foster Healthy Communication
When in a LDR you always want to be with your partner so be sure to make it a priority to check in with them and catch up. I say healthy communication because you both have to compromise what works best. When it was nighttime for the boyfriend I was barely starting my day. We always made an effort to greet each other and talk, and on the weekends when we had more time we would video call for a few hours.
Also, being so far away, communicating by technology can lead to some misunderstandings when compared to speaking face to face. Be as honest and clear as you can with your communication and I cannot stress to to let your mind wander to assumption and let it dictate the course of your relationship.
Heed everyone’s Advice but with Caution
Your friends and family always have your best interest at heart. So try not to get upset if they question your relationship, it’s actually quite understandable if they do. These may be some of the standard questions: How can you make a relationship work if they are in another country? What do she think he/she is doing? Do you really trust him/her? Believe me, if these don’t come up I guarantee someone will ask you. Don’t let it get to you but understand that others may have their reservations.
Use the Distance as an Opportunity to Travel & Rekindle Your Bond
This has got to be one of the biggest perks of being long distance. It’s so exciting to meet each other in another country or city and explore and share experiences together. We both decided to meet in Marrakech, Morocco and it was one of the most memorable trips we have taken. Discovering the wonders and beauty of a country we both never visited – I was so blessed to have these experience with someone I cherished.
There Needs to be a Time Limit
Yes this also refers to how long you can be apart before seeing each other again. But what I’m mainly referring to is need to know when things end or one of you one has to go back to their respective country or job back home, what will essentially happen afterwards. Will you share a life together? Will one of you be relocating? Get engaged, move in together..?
Just Stay Positive
This tip is pretty self-explanatory. Long distance can already be quite challenging and so having a negative mindset is really going to set your relationship back (or probably end it). There are great aspects to LDR so try to focus on the good as well.
This brings me to the end of this article. I last mentioned that there being great aspects to a LDR and I hope you can recognize them the light of these too.
Deeper Appreciation for one Another
When you have such limited time together you tend to appreciate the actual time you do get to spend in person. You value the quality time and do not take one another for granted.
Improved Communication Skills
Frankly, you have no choice but to improve your communication as this is the main lifeline of your relationship. You will learn how to listen effectively. You will learn your communication style and your partner’s, not to blame the other but look inside yourself and be honest of your mistakes and take ownership, expressing your expectations instead of dancing around them or assuming the other will know. The list goes on but watch this improved communication style come across in your personal and professional life
Growing as an individual
Whether I had a boyfriend or not growth would be eventual. However, this specific relationship has developed me into a person I never envisioned 5 years ago. I moved, worked and studied across 3 countries, learned two languages, pushed myself out of my comfort zone various times, picked up cool projects and am still stunned by the woman I am today compared to that shy 21 year old.
A Stronger Relationship
You can survive nearly anything that comes your way if you’re able to get through this. I guarantee that the bond of your relationship will strengthen and grow, you will feel more connected, appreciative of one another and it would take an incredible force to break it down.