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10 tips for being in a Long Distance Relationship

This month marks a year that I’ve been in a long distance relationship. With all the expectations, fears and concerns I had about being in a long distance relationship, I never expected it to go by so quickly! My partner and I have never been anything other than long distance but we’ve also been lucky enough to have seen each other multiple times this year, which admittedly made things quite a bit easier! We are actively taking steps to try and close the distance, but even then it will still be at least another year.

What really made me reflect on it however, was when my best friend discovered that her relationship would soon be long distance as well, and was seeking my advice. Well, here’s what I’ve got!

10. Look at photos

Sometimes, distance can make it feel as though you’re living two different relationships. Like you’re working on one with your partner when you’re together, and as well need to build and put time and consideration into this whole other relationship you’re building while apart. Looking at old photos of you two, experiences you’ve shared, moments when you were happy and physically together can really help to remind you about the other relationship that you’re fighting for. It can be easy to lose sight of it, I know I’ve been there, but don’t be scared to ask for reassurance or spend some time looking at cute photos or even posting them social media! All those cute, love filled moments between the two of you are real and deserve to be remembered and shared!

9. Don’t just text

Let’s face it, we text way too much in general. I can see why, it’s a simple and non-intimidating way to communicate with someone. The thing is, whether you realize it or not, with texting a quick reply is expected. Relying on only texting all the time can make you dependent on instant validation of a reply from your partner, and the content isn’t always the best way to communicate either.

JUST CALL THEM! Even if it has to be over wifi, just call them. Leave a voice message over Skype or Whatsapp if they don’t answer. I’m sure they’ll appreciate not missing a chance to hear your voice. Video messages go a long way too, even if it’s just rambling about your day. That way, when you actually do get a chance to talk live you don’t have to waste those precious minutes just reciting events.

8. Schedule dates nights

Yes, you can still date! The internet is a magical, wonderful thing. Schedule a time to log on together. Skype, chat, just stare at each other, make dinner and eat together. You can even get dressed up for it! Set up your room all nicely, put on perfume, shave, wear your favourite undies, have any toys handy (there’s no point pretending, we all know what skype is really for). In those moments, it really helps to make the distance not feel so far.

7. Watch netflix together!

Like number 8, have Netflix dates together! There are tons of extensions and sites like Netflix Party for chrome, or showgoers. Both let you synchronise your viewing, pause together an even chat right on screen! If you’re ready for next level LDR, you could even have a specific show that you watch only together. Warning though, this requires a lot of trust; LDR tv infidelity does happen people! Enjoy some downtime together. It’s something special, simple, and I highly recommend it!

6. Write letters. Don’t send them.

We all think things we probably shouldn’t say so our partners, but that doesn’t mean you don’t really, really want to. So maybe next time you find yourself having a shower argument, take advantage of the distance for once and write it all out. Re-read it and maybe you’ll realize that you don’t really want to say all that to them, maybe that’s all you needed. There’s no point starting fights over little things.

5. Make plans.

Don’t be afraid to make plans for the future. Talking about it makes things less scary. Maybe the long distance is temporary, maybe you don’t know when you’ll be able to close the distance, but either way talking about the future makes it a whole lot less scary! Plus, then you both know what to expect and you can continue on the same page.

4. Share the little things.

Those passing thoughts you have, maybe while going to bed, or driving somewhere together. When you’d normally just bring them up while you’re side by side, but otherwise seem just seem to random to talk about? Those build intimacy, which can feel lost during a period of long distance. You don’t have to text every time you have one, but consider writing an email, or posting to a mutual, private blog. Give each other time to read and respond to them in their own time. You’ll be surprised how deep the conversations can go, and how lovely it can feel to wake up to a long message that you didn’t expect.

3. Date your friends.

We all do it, get into a relationship and just spend less time with your friends, especially if they have significant others as well. When you’re in an LDR, it can feel like you’re missing out of fun date ideas or events because your go to partner in crime is just not around. So, well, date your friends! Loneliness is difficult, but that connection and intimacy can be found in a good friend and really help pass the time until the next visit. Don’t forget about your friends!

2. Talk about them.

It can be disheartening if you somehow feel like you’re dating a ghost. You can’t really bring them around to family functions, and it’s hard to relate with your friends’ day-to-day relationship complaints if you S/O isn’t around. Regardless, they’re still there, and they’re still a large, significant part of your life. Some people may see the distance as a lack of commitment, but I know it as a greater commitment to each other, why else would you choose to be in one? So don’t be afraid to talk about them. They’re real, and important, and although any issues or spats you may have might be different, they’re still important. Your friends and family should be supportive of that. So talk about them!

1. Remember why you’re doing this.

Admittedly, sometimes it can be easy to forget why you’re willingly in a long distance relationship. The fact of the matter is though, this was a choice. This person is worth it, and you know you’re happier with them, distance or not, than you would be with anyone else just because they’d be close. Take time to remind each other about that. I highly encourage the daily “I Love yous”, the mushy moments and the shameless reminiscing. Look back at when your relationship started or last time you were together. The proof is all there, I promise.

That’s all I’ve got! I believe in you guys! Long distance is hard, but people do it all the time, every day. You can do this!

Stay optimistic and love deeply!