So, you’ve found the potential love of your life. Congratulations! Now all that stands in your way is hundreds or thousands of miles between you and the long haul of time before the two of you get to start your lives together in the same place.
It sucks, I know. Long distance relationships aren’t easy and they aren’t always fun but they are possible to survive and thrive if you’ve got the right approach.
There are 5 key elements that every long distance couple needs to incorporate into their relationship to get it off the ground and into full survival mode. Let’s break em’ down…
1. Define Your Relationship
No two long-distance relationships are the same. Before you start building up expectations or fantasies in your head, make sure that you and your lover boy/girl are on the same page. It might be scary, but you’ll need to address the big questions head on.
- Are you in a committed relationship or are you in an open relationship?
- Are you dating casually or do you have a serious end goal in mind?
Don’t make any assumptions. Talk it out so that you can pave the road ahead with a clear reality. This is the most straightforward way to avoid jealously, insecurity, and uncertainty- all of which can be detrimental to the survival of long distance relationships.
2. Agree on Realistic Conditions
The truth is that long distance relationships don’t come naturally- they take a bit of finesse to help the relationship grow in a healthy direction. In order to do this, decide together what your day-to-day relationship will look like with reasonable boundaries and conditions.
Here are some examples of healthy conditions vs. harmful conditions…
Unhealthy Relationship-Killing Conditions:
- No talking to other girls/guys
- Call me 5 times a day no matter what
- Be home at midnight every night with a selfie as proof
Adding such strict constraints in an already strained relationship will almost certainly cause the other person to withdraw. This does not spell out the recipe for L-O-V-E.
Instead, enter into these conditions with trust, compassion, and a little bit of wiggle room.
Healthy Trust-Building Conditions:
- Call me on your commute to work
- Check in with me throughout the day so I can be part of your day
- Let me know when you make it home safe
Communication is key; smothering each other is not.
3. Get Plugged-In
Instead of trying to catch each other at random times of the day, plan out the best times to talk. Little chats here and funny messages there fill that void of missing each other. You have so many options to communicate with your partner that this shouldn’t be too hard!
- Skype or Facetime during breakfast
- Snapchat each other with silly videos during work
- And in between, use messenger apps like Whatsapp and Line that provide free texting options
Whether it’s quick messages or late night chats, be sure to open a window of time for your partner every day.
4. Plan a Vacation
Maybe it’s not the right time to move your whole life across the country to be with the man you met on eHarmony – but you can certainly find time for a vacation together in order to alleviate the longing!
- Invite him to your hometown for a weekend to show him what you’re all about
- Compromise on a location and choose a city in between the two of you for an adventurous getaway
- Or if a vacation is totally impossible- plan a ‘stay-cation’ in your respective towns while you Periscope your day together
5. Live Your Own Life!
When you’re so love struck and heartsick for a person on the other side of the world, it’s easy to fixate on that person. This fixation often translates into skipping social activities and locking yourself inside because you don’t want to have fun without your long distance partner- but this might actually hurt your relationship.
Going out on adventures in your city actually benefits your LDR as it…
- Gives you ideas of fun things to do when you and you’re partner are finally together
- Shows your partner that you are a well-rounded person and increases their attraction to you
- Gives you material to talk about on the phone or Skype
- Stops you from feeling isolated and resenting the long distance relationship
Live a life that your partner will want to be part of!
At the end of the day, make sure to check in with each other’s feelings and take stock of how this whole LDR thing is going for your partner. Long distance relationships take away the opportunity for pillow talk, the ability to read subtle expressions on your partner’s face, and the chance to read their body language so it is crucial that you make the effort to measure the other’s emotions.
No matter how long you’re apart and no matter how far distance separates you, have faith that this relationship can survive the odds. Create a routine but don’t get stuck in monotony. Get imaginative, go out of your way, and keep things fresh! There is a light at the end of the tunnel! Don’t be afraid to have a little fun and communicate openly while you make your way there.
To learn more about online dating, and find the the best dating site for your needs, check out our Top 5 Dating Comparisons, and find your match sooner rather than later!