The long distance relationship (LDR) is probably the most contentious and intriguing when it comes to types of relationships. Some people doubt them, some refuse to be in them and pretty much everyone agrees that they are not ideal. However an increasing amount of couples seem to be embarking on the challenge that is the LDR.
And for good reason. Don’t put an expiration date on a relationship before it’s even begun! Despite there being no way of sugar-coating the fact that LDR’s are really hard, why give up something potentially amazing?
Researching for this post, I spoke to seven friends, all of whom have been or are currently in long distance relationships. I asked each of them a series of questions regarding their relationship, and the results proved extremely interesting. The following tips and strategies are a culmination of their answers.
Learn to communicate in a way that works for you.
Out of all of the answers, the biggest factor that came up was communication. Not only is communication key, but you have to adapt it in a way that works for you. Not everyone enjoys constant texting, or conversely, barely talking, but as a couple you need to establish what works best for you.
Some couples prefer the constant updates in each others’ lives. Whereas some prefer a long phone call every few days to catch-up. Either way, you have to make sure you’re both on the same page. It’s easy to feel like you’re missing out on the other person’s life, so keeping updated is great. Plus knowing they want to speak to you, and hearing their voice makes you feel closer.
There are positives to the LDR.
Not only does a long distance relationship teach you bountiful amounts about yourself, you gain an independence that otherwise you may not necessarily have.
There is a tendency in relationships to merge into essentially one person, living your lives together with very little independent time for friends or studies. With the LDR, you each have the freedom of your own lives and develop yourself as a person.
Another positive is the anticipation and excitement that inevitably comes with the build up to seeing the other person after time apart. Furthermore, you appreciate the time so much more and nothing is taken for granted.
The LDR makes you develop in a way that other couples don’t. You feel stronger and closer somehow, you bicker less as the time is so valuable, savour time just being together and trust each other completely. Honesty and trust is a huge factor.
Remember the light at the end of the tunnel.
Whether it be until the next time you see them, or until the end of the long-distance aspect, always keep a positive mindset. Investing in someone in this way will prove worth it, even if it just teaches you how strong you are as a person.
Create the unexpected moments.
Surprise them occasionally, be spontaneous if possible – if you’re used to texting, send a photo instead, mix up the way you communicate. Imagine how great the feeling is when you receive an email, or photo or text when you’re not expecting it from the person you want to be with most. Making them feel amazing, even when you’re not there in person is one of the best feelings.
Don’t be afraid of what people think.
Not everyone will agree with you being in a long-distance relationship, particularly as there is a lot of stigma attached to them. But nobody knows your relationship like you do. They don’t see the moments together or the excitement and how worth it it is. Distance can amplify love, or it can weaken it, but for those who succeed, their love and commitment doubles.
Interestingly, it is the girls who come across as more logical and level headed in their answers, with the guys being rather more sentimental, using more emotive language. As a thank you for their help, here are some of the reasons why they think the LDR is worth it:
So if you’re on the periphery of a long distance relationship, why not give it a go. If you care about the person, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel then it’s totally worth it.
Thank you to all of the friends that helped me in writing this post. Your genuine and honest responses were invaluable for this piece, and I really appreciate the time you took to answer my questions!