10 Ways To Survive A Long Distance Relationship

A long distance relationship isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s not for those scared of effort or commitment. It’s emotionally draining, heart-wrenching and ultimately not an ideal scenario for a budding romance.

But it can work, and it can be worth it.

The biggest learning curve from being in a long distance relationship, is that you shouldn’t have one just because you have the opportunity to do so. You both need to commit to it, fully and completely. [Read: The Long Distance Relationship]

For an LDR to work, it’s imperative to focus on the positives – having your own social life and career, whilst building a relationship purely via technological communication.

Grumpy, jealous malarkey is a big no no. It’s natural to get a bit of FOMO when it comes to your other half having a life which (let’s face it) you aren’t in at all, but you’ve committed to this – so don’t complain!

One of the biggest fears is that one of you will cheat, or go elsewhere in the time you have apart. However you just have to remember: couples who live close together also worry about that.

The single most important thing I could say is, you both have to want it to work out. You both have to make the effort and communicate: you have to be in it together, not separately, and ultimately know that it’ll all be worth it.

If one person is putting more in than the other, or someone’s heart isn’t in it anymore: it’s doomed to fail. It’s the hardest part of the LDR, trusting the fact that the person you’re in this with still wants it as much as you.

If you’re in it together, then you will boss it like a pro.

How to successfully work through a long distance relationship

#1 Explore your own hobbies and spend time with friends and family

It may seem strange that a large segment of your week is spent as an individual as opposed to as a pair. A long distance relationship teach you bountiful amounts about yourself, because 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.

#2 Discover more ways to connect and communicate

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.

Just because we are in the age of technology, why abandon the first and possibly one of the most romantic forms of communication: the love letter?. In an age of instant communication, a letter is always an unexpected and romantic gesture.

#3 Learn to resolve disagreements quickly

You’d be wrong for thinking that being apart would mean that you have fewer disagreements when you are together. Arguments will always happen. But arguing during your precious time together feels like a terrible waste of that time, or arguing over the phone and not knowing how the other person is truly feeling will leave you feeling helpless and raw.

Learn to resolve your disagreements quickly to save yourself a prolonged “off” period, which is just a further waste of your time together. This is usually done by reminding yourself that you are not always right, and the issue isn’t that important.

Don’t forget that you can always agree to disagree, or cool down and revisit the conversation when you’ve both had time to reflect. These are all methods we can use in any relationship, because regardless of how much time you spend together, arguing is usually a waste of time.

#4 Get over your jealousy and trust issues

Grumpy, jealous malarkey is a big no no. It’s natural to get a bit of FOMO when it comes to your other half having a life which (let’s face it) you aren’t in at all, but you’ve committed to this – so don’t complain!

One of the biggest fears is that one of you will cheat, or go elsewhere in the time you have apart. However you just have to remember: couples who live close together also worry about that.

Dr. Gregory Guldner of Purdue University carried out a study comparing 200 couples in LDRs with 200 who were ‘geographically close’. He found that LDRs had no greater risk of affairs than non-LDRs: it was factors such as the quality of the relationship and how people feel about infidelity (if they are more likely to take up opportunistic sex) that determine if someone strays.

Moreover, Guldner also found that LDRs have no more chance of breaking up than other relationships (this man is just great, isn’t he?!).

#5 Be appreciative of your partner 

Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. When you are forced to spend time apart from your partner, the times you reconnect are like revisiting your ‘honeymoon period.’

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.

#6 Be appreciative of the time you spend together

After spending time apart, even sitting and watching television together feels special. Every moment is precious and you learn not to take it for granted. It is important to make every moment count, even the ‘boring bits.’ After all, we often seem to forget how big a deal it is that not only are you committed to spending time with this one person, but they also want to invest their time in being with you.

Give each other a return on that investment by making that time as pleasant as it can possibly be, even if you’re not doing anything special at all.

#7 Show an interest in each other’s daily lives 

It’s strange how much more you are inclined to ask questions and inquire about your partner’s daily life after being apart five or more days at a time, even the little things like their daily commute or what they had for lunch.

When you spend every moment together, it’s easy to neglect to ask about the smaller things in your partner’s daily life because you feel like a part of it. But, just as we have learnt to embrace our own individuality in a relationship, it is important to respect and show interest in your partner’s individual life as well. You may instinctively rely on your partner to tell you the highlights of their day, but there’s nothing like the feeling of a loved one inquiring about these simple things before you even think to tell them.

#8 Plan your time together

Go on dates together or make a trip! It’s all about cherishing the time that you have together and making it as special as it can be. This isn’t to say that you have to plan an elaborate outing every time you see each other, but its helpful to have something to look forward to whilst you are apart.

[Read: Long Distance: The Home Stretch]

#9 Be spontaneous and break your usual routine

Spontaneity is one of the biggest sparks of romance.

Make last-minute surprise visits to break the routine. One surprise visit can break up both of your weeks and make it so much more bearable. And there is nothing to say you shouldn’t break your routine in your average relationship. Plan to leave work early and prepare a dinner for your partner, or meet them for lunch unexpectedly. You will make their day.

#10 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.

Plan for the future, so that you have something to look forward to! [Read: Long Distance CAN work (1 Year on and still going)]

Make every step of your long distance relationship count! Use these 10 lessons to inspire you and motivate you to pursue a future that you can enjoy together and make the wait worth it!

never settle kiss

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