So, Can a Long Distance Relationship Really Work?
For many of us, the thought of our lovely boyfriend or girlfriend having to re-locate and move away is something equivalent to a living nightmare, which is best left in the realms of fantasy. There’s no chance in hell your partner could possibly move across the country for work or college, right?
But what if something happened and they were forced to live away from you for a while? This is something many couples have unfortunately had to go through, and it can be a testing period for both people involved. You need to know some important things ahead of the big change in order to give your relationship a fighting chance at survival.
So what do you need to do?
Be sure to read our comprehensive guide to navigating long-distance relationships. We have covered all the basics to get you up to speed.
Check them out below!
Can You Have a Long Distance Relationship?
Firstly, some good news in regards to cold, hard facts. In the United States alone, three million people have indicated that they had to spend substantial time apart from dearly beloved. So there are plenty of cases which prove this is not the final nail in your relationship’s coffin. What’s more, lots of couples claim that they feel just as satisfied during this time as they do when they live with their partner and even claim that they enjoy the added sense of independence and feel less restricted.
So how did they manage to pull it off?
Remember: Technology Is Your Friend!
There’s no escaping the fact that technology has come a long way in recent times. In fact, there are now numerous ways to connect with people all across the globe. We have no doubt you’re already well-versed on social media and your mobile device. Both of these will serve as your go to-to modes of communication and become something you truly value as a result.
Your phone will allow both of you to experience the little things which happen throughout each other’s day. You can phone them, text, and even use FaceTime to get that face-to-face bonding required to keep your connection as strong as ever.
Our advice? Have scheduled phone or video chat times throughout your day or week and stick to them. Try not to have them too close together, or you will run out of things to talk about fairly.
It’s funny – many people who live together actually blame technology as one of the reasons they no communicate like they used to do, but, in this case, the opposite is actually true.
We also suggest getting very specific with your partner when telling them what you have been up to recently. Really try to capture the scene and paint a picture for your other half. Generalizations and vague conversations may breed insecurity and doubt. You want to strengthen your bond, not push each other away.
Commitment Is the Only Way to Get Through this Ordeal
Most people who end up in a long-distance relationship usually do so when they go to college. In our estimation, this is single most difficult time to make this sort of relationship work. That is why you need to ask yourself some serious questions BEFORE you go away about whether you’re willing to give your all into making this relationship work.
College is a time of self-discovery, a place where many people experiment to see what feels right for them. You’ll be presented with a lot of opportunities, many of which you won’t be able to take when committed to somebody on the other side of the country.
Therefore, you must ask yourself whether you actually love your current partner. If, after some soul-searching, you decide you do want to be with the person in front of you, prepare to turn down these opportunities and not feel bad in doing so. Your partner will be asking similar things of themselves as well.
Make some decisions about what you’ll do when you are back together and try to achieve those goals. Undoubtedly this is the most difficult and most tragic part of any long-distance relationship.
After all, how can you be expected to plan your life around somebody else when you are still figuring it out yourself?
Have an Idea When the Long Distance Will Be Over
Without a doubt, nobody wants a long-distance arrangement to last longer than necessary. You should have a rough idea about when you’ll be heading home to be with your dear other half. Mark this date in a calendar, and be sure to stick to your plan as best as you can. Knowing your current situation will one day come to an end is usually enough to help many couples through the difficult times.
You should also plan those weekends when you actually meet up and see each other and keep those in the calendar as well. Trust us; you’ll be counting down every day like Christmas!
You Can Still Have Fun, You Big Softies!
Even though you can’t physically hang out with your girlfriend or boyfriend, be sure to try and spend quality time with one another. You can still plan to do fun things together. With a little bit of creativity, you can do all the same things you would do at home over FaceTime. Agree on a movie and watch it simultaneously – streaming services are your best friend in this regard. You can both binge-watch your favorite series and gossip about all those characters you love and hate.
If you both enjoy playing video games, why not download a multiplayer game and get lost in it together? After all, some people make great connections via online gaming and never even meet the other person. You can have hours of fun every single day in this way if you so wish.
You could also arrange to surprise your partner. You’ll obviously know their address while they’re away. Why not send them their favorite food or a special gift to let them know you simply cannot get them out of your love-addled mind? Heck, you could even send yourself for a surprise visit!
Never Let Insecurity Swallow You Whole
The number one reason long-distance relationships struggle is a complete breakdown in trust between the pair of you. We get it – you are bound to get little twinges insecurity during this time. You will have to just accept this scenario usually results in your partner hanging out with new friends and making connections. This can create tension, but you must try to refrain from smothering them. Make sure you fight the urge to check in all the time – we have learned from the first-hand experience this will eventually do more harm than good.
If these feelings arise, your best bet is to communicate your insecurity quickly and clearly to your partner.
Create a Schedule and Follow It
As previously mentioned, it is important that both of you schedule time into your diary for each other. Plan for future meetings and make sure neither of you breaks those plans.
Ideally, you don’t want to wait too long in between your face-to-face dates. A long-distance relationship will fall flat on its face unless you see each other on a semi-regular basis. If it is too far to travel for one person, meet in a location somewhere in the middle. This is actually a great way to explore parts of the country you have never seen before – an unexpected perk of long-distance relationships.
Make Sure You Have Established Rules
A long-distance relationship relies on both partners to stick to your established boundaries. The worst thing to do in this situation is making your partner uncomfortable. The best advice we can offer to you is simply this: keep yourself out of the type of situations that would make your partner jealous if they were actually with you.
Of course, you should never have to check with your partner before you do every little thing (because that’s borderline insanity), but you should remain mindful about the sort of things you post on social media, not to mention the way you treat other people while your partner is away.
A Long Distance Relationship without Communication
If one thing can be learned from our advice on how to handle long-distance relationships, it is that effective communication is the single-best way to ensure you survive as a couple. Many people fail to implement this correctly and end up losing each other’s confidence as a result. In order to last, you should always be up front about your feelings and make yourself emotionally available wherever possible.
Couples are supposed to pick each other up. It is both of your jobs to make each other feel valued. If your relationship is unshakeable enough to withstand this test, you’ll already do this on a regular basis.
We hope you have gained something from reading this article on how to manage your current predicament.