Most people you talk to will say that long distance relationships simply don’t work; we believe that you can make a long distance relationship last. Having a successful long distance relationship is possible. This is coming from a long-distance expert. I have had many failed long-distance relationships, and one very successful one, that led to my marriage.
One of the positive things that comes from building a long-distance relationship is a real value for time spent together, less time spent arguing, more appreciation of physical touch, all of which build a solidly good foundation for a strong future together.
If you’re considering a long distance relationship or have fallen into one without much of a choice, lucky you! But, don’t feel discouraged. Here are the six key things to help you actually enjoy, well … bear being in one of these tough relationships and to make a long distance relationship last. Note… they are not for the faint of heart!
Image Courtesy of Wedding Girl
1. Make sure you are on exactly the same page as to where the relationship is heading.
It’s important for both people entering into a long-distance relationship to have set parameters and know what each of your needs are that you want to come out of this relationship. Think of it in terms of how much you’re willing to put your finances, job, family, friendships and free time towards someone you only see via Whatsapp, Facetime and Skype.
How often do you expect to communicate? How often will you be able to visit each other? If you’re not already engaged, is that where the relationship is heading? Do you plan to get married one day? Are you going to be exclusive, or will your relationship become more open? Be reasonable about your expectations. Will you live together one day? Discuss how you’re going to get to that point in your relationship. This will help you prove to each other that the relationship is going somewhere and that your efforts and frustrations to keep the relationship going are not for nothing.
It might be a difficult and awkward conversation to have, but this conversation will save you a lot heartache later on. Realise that breaking up is actually an option. Most long-distance relationships fail or turn into a life-long commitment. As long as you trust each other and both of you are committed to being in the relationship, you will stick with it and distance won’t change that. Check in often to see how your partner is feeling about your relationship; trust and honesty with each other are key to the success of your relationship. As soon as one of you feels like it’s not working and gives up on trying, or one of you starts spending time or developing feelings for another person, the relationship is on its way to being over.
2. Always have something to look forward to together.
In order to keep the both of you sane, it is so important to have something planned together in the future. For my husband and I, the thing that made our long-distance relationship last was consistency. We were always having the next trip to see each other booked before we had left each other … almost every time. That way, leaving each other wasn’t as hard, because we always knew we had the next time together planned. My husband was in London whilst I was in Vancouver. We planned trips where we met in London and Vancouver, and half way in between in Iceland. Meet halfway, meet in each other’s cities, and spice it up by meeting somewhere exotic!
Spend most of your money on plane, train and bus tickets to see each other. Visit each other more often than other people think is reasonable. If finances or circumstances don’t allow you to plan trips together, plan things that you commit to with no room for disappointment, like a Skype date every Friday. A real relationship won’t survive communication that is just via phone calls and technology though – you need to see each other every chance you get.
3. Make use of modern technology, talk every day!
You’re deprived of the best perk about being in a relationship – being with each other! So plan Skype dates, use Facetime, and send photos of your day. Take advantage of how amazing technology is these days and use them all! Turn Skype on when you are going about your daily life, cooking dinner, having a bath, and all those other things your partner would be there doing with you if you were in the same place! It’s so important to make some kind of contact daily, just as you would in a regular relationship. Send an email while your partner is a work. A simple text good morning and good night can mean everything – texting can lead to sexting, which only sounds lame to people who have never been in a long-distance relationship themselves!
Image Courtesy of Etsy
4. Do things that you’re both interested in simultaneously as well as individually.
It’s so important to do other things together besides the usual phone call or Skype date because, let’s face it, in a normal relationship where you are both in the same place, there is only so much talking you can do. Most couples spend their time out and about doing things, watching movies, or going for dinners. As cheesy as it sounds, watch a movie or show simultaneously so you’re sort of watching it together, or watch it individually and then call each other afterward and talk about it. Cook the same recipe for dinner one night and see how it turned out for each of you. Read the same book, motivate each other to get in shape, or work on a project together. Find creative ways to enjoy things together, while apart.
5. Make use of good old snail mail.
Write each other letters. I sure got to know my man’s romantic side via all his love letters to me! It’s a fun, old-fashioned way to keep the romance in your relationship. Send each other things – use places like Amazon to your advantage. Have lunch or flowers delivered to his or her office. Find ways to make your partner feel special. Send spa certificates, or movie passes. Find a way to make him or her think about you, and vice versa while you are thousands of miles away.
6. Live your own life and do the things you love.
Take advantage of the fact that you have a lot of time for yourself, your friends and your family. These are things that, when you are in a relationship in the same city, tend to get pushed aside a little bit, since most couples spend the majority of their free time together. Being in a long-distance relationship forces you to maintain your individuality, which is also a great foundation for any relationship, and will benefit you both later in life.