Long-distance relationships stink but can be so rewarding. I spent some time in my past few relationships doing long-distance and learned a lot about myself and what I wanted in my life partner. Although they can be really hard, frustrating, and at times make you feel hopeless, as long as you and your partner are on the same page, it can make your relationship stronger than ever. Here are some things I mastered when doing long-distance with my current boyfriend.
- Communicate– I think I’ve rolled my eyes every time someone told me how important this was before I was in a relationship, but there’s a reason why it’s the number one rule! I should have titled it, “COMMUNICATE!!!!,” because it’s the most important thing to do. Communicating your feelings and what you need from each other is SO crucial to making it work. Even if you tend to be petty, you better figure this one out because it’s even more difficult to read minds when you have miles between each other (I learned the hard way).
- Be honest– especially with yourself and listen to your feelings. When I really paid attention to what I needed and then communicated them, things became a lot easier. Be honest with yourself and figure out what you need. It might be facetime dates once a week, a good morning and goodnight call every day, or maybe even some space. My last time doing distance, I realized a few minutes of undivided attention a day drastically changed my mood, but it was something I had to reflect and be honest with myself about. I’ve always been a busy person and have dated guys with a similar mindset, so a five-minute catch-up facetime usually held me over until we both had some free time.
- Plan your next visit– things are going to get difficult from time to time and it’s going to suck. Planning the next time you see each other (even when you’re together and about to go back to distance) always gives both people something to look forward to and makes it a light at the end of the tunnel.
- Be thoughtful– distance relationships never work for selfish daters. Ordering someone lunch, surprising them with something they’ve wanted, or even a sweet text while they’re working are really what counts. Showing your partner you care or that something made you think of them is so crucial during long-distance because of the in-person time you’re both missing out on to do this is few and far between.
- Be patient- it’s reallllllyyy easy to read into things when you’re doing distance. Be patient with yourself and your partner. This goes hand-in-hand with being honest, but patience is another huge thing I’ve learned in my long-distance relationships. Give them some grace and don’t make rash decisions.
- Remember it’s temporary– even though it might be a few years, long-distance is temporary and something I found that I needed to remind myself of often. Sometimes it’s easiest to set a rough goal or idea of when you’ll be living in the same place. In the grand scheme of things, it’s such a small portion of your life and you can get through it.
- Take it day by day– both parties have different things to tackle every day. Remember the 60/40 rule- some days, you’ll have to give your partner 60% when they’re giving you 40% and vice-versa. Sometimes it’s caused by work, sometimes school, and sometimes just life, and it’s important to remember that. Outside factors and stress from other things can obviously cause someone to be on edge; don’t take it personally. Be patient for the day, and address it tomorrow if it’s not something extreme.
- Make your time in person count– plan dates and put your phones away. I always thought of seeing each other like spring break: a tease for summer, but will hold you over for the rest of the school year. Each time you see each other is one time closer to close-distance, but make sure you both make the most of your time together.
- Think positive– you’re lucky enough to be with someone you genuinely love during a not so ideal situation. You wake up every day choosing each other and that’s so cool. Think about that more than the dumb petty things. Your feelings are valid, but temporary and amplified due to the distance.
- Change your mindset– try to think of your LDR as a positive not a negative. You’re learning how to live apart before you live together; try to embrace the space. Afterall, it’s all just temporary.