The Long Distance Relationship Survival Guide
Long-distance relationships (LDRs) can be difficult to manage; some days, you may feel like giving up because you miss your partner too much. On other days, you may think that your relationship might not work out because you can’t see your significant other as often as you’d like. But, whether you have to have a long-distance love life due to work or you’re in a brand new relationship with someone who lives on the other side of the world, you can still make it work. Check out our survival guide here with 10 effective tips to help long-distance couples:
Create a bulletproof communication system. Strong communication is essential for every relationship, especially a long-distance one. You want to be on the same page about your relationship and understand what you both want out of it. Since you and your partner can’t see each other whenever you want, you’ll need a stress-free and firm communication system in place. Understand each other’s daily schedules and figure out times where you can chat on the phone or have a voice call. Know what to expect from the other in terms of communication. For instance, does your partner prefer to have their alone time in the mornings before work? If so, send them a text or call them after a certain time when they’re ready to talk and catch up with you. Other factors you may want to add to your communication system:
- Use a messenger app like Skype to stay in touch all day and voice call when you want;
- Set boundaries and guidelines for communication such as not yelling at each other during arguments;
- Do certain things together, such as having lunch or dinner via web cam, every day without fail;
- How to deal with disagreements or arguments so that fights don’t strain the long-distance relationship;
- Write letters to each other sometimes for a fun and new way to communicate or send cards on special occasions;
- How to handle emergencies, such as family deaths, together.
Act like your partner is physically with you. No matter if you’re long-distance or not, when you’re in a relationship, you make compromises and changes in your life to make your partner more comfortable and let them know you care. You’ll make some lifestyle changes to adjust to the new changes your lover brings into your life. For instance, if your significant other doesn’t want you to go on those evening walks around your neighborhood due to safety reasons, you may have to sacrifice seeing the sunset and choose to go on morning walks instead. Think about the way you would act if your companion was with you physically and make adjustments in your life that you know will help make them more comfortable and feel respected in the relationship.
Do things together even when you’re apart. Although going on normal dinner or movie dates may be difficult, you can still spend quality time together besides talking on the phone. Focus on activities that you both are interested in; if you’re feeling adventurous, though, why not try something new, too? Here are some ideas for you to test out with your long-distance lover:
- Work on a fun project like building a food blog or reading fiction books every month;
- Exercise together by going on walks or training at home;
- Make dinner together every night over a video call;
- Spend lunch breaks and dinner with each other via a video call;
- Watch movies or television shows at the same time (Netflix is an option.);
- Play online games or video games with each other;
- Plan trips to visit each other and take time to talk about different places you want to travel to together;
- Make care packages for the other and take your partner shopping with you.
Plan visits as much as you can. Physical contact is important for most couples, and planning your next visits to your partner will help you both have something to look forward to. You can create a travel schedule where you and your significant other see each other every 3-6 months for 1-2 weeks before heading back to your home. You can even plan a destination vacation a few times a year and meet your partner there and enjoy traveling together, which can help strengthen your bond. However, if you’re unable to meet 1-2 times a year at minimum, don’t lose hope! Use this the time before you can see each other again to improve your relationship emotionally. Get to know each other and build the foundation of your relationship. Start building a travel fund and save up for the time you can visit each other in person.
Have a bigger goal to work toward together. With long-distance relationships, you’ll have to think about long-term goals. If you had the freedom to see your companion any time you wanted to, you have the ability to test things out before making any long-term decisions with each other. Although we can’t predict what will happen in the future, if you feel that your relationship has a chance to thrive in the long run, then agree on a common goal together with your partner. For example, if you and your significant other live in different countries, decide where you would move to when you both are ready to move in and live together. Plan out the process and what will be required for you to relocate to another country. This would be your ultimate goal for your long-distance relationship, and it’s something to work toward together.
Build a foundation of trust. Unwavering trust is vital for a healthy long-distance relationship. If you let your insecurities get to you or bottle up your doubts, this can cause you to blow up later and create a strain in your relationship. For long-distance relationships, any challenges can weaken your bond even more compared to normal relationships. You won’t be able to see each other to solve problems in person, so that’s why it’s important for you to prevent negative habits from forming, such as worrying constantly about if your partner is being faithful to you. Trust that your significant other feels the same as you do. Discuss any doubts or fears you may have with them. Always have open communication with each other to proactively overcome challenges you may have while you’re away from each other.
Find unique and fun ways to be more involved in each other’s lives. Take pictures of your environment, such as your home or shops you like to visit. You can also share videos of your life and help your partner see how you live. One of the big mysteries about long-distance relationships is that you don’t get to see each other in your daily habitat, which can make you both feel disconnected. However, you can help your partner feel more involved in your life by sharing pictures and videos.
Take the time to learn each other’s differences. The time spent apart may seem like a disadvantage, but why not use it to your advantage? Talk about your differences, from habits to views on life, and learn more about your partner as an individual. You can also use the time away from each other to hash out any issues you may have with each other’s faults and find ways to work through your problems. (This can help make transitioning to offline meetings and living together easier, too!)
Have your own life, but also make time for your partner. Although your love life is a major part of your life, you don’t have to make it the center. Enjoy your hobbies or spend time with friends, but don’t forget to have scheduled quality time with your significant other, too.
Stay positive. Don’t let negative thoughts or feelings blind you from reality or define your relationship with your partner. Long-distance relationships are challenging, but they can work and last. Focus on being present with your partner and what is currently going on in your relationship; avoid thinking about the past or going too far into your ideas of the future. Pay attention to the positives instead of giving your energy to the negatives.
For all long-distance relationships, it’s best to be prepared and know what to expect. You can make your LDR work, but it requires the proper systems in place to ensure that it runs smoothly as possible. Although it’s different from traditional dating and relationships, there are many ways to make long-distance love work for you and your significant other. Avoid putting your relationship into a mold and having expectations that may not work out; roll with the punches and adjust how you handle your relationship as you go along. If it’s worth it, test it out and use our survival guide to help your LDR progress.
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