When my boyfriend and I first met, we lived in different cities. It was an hour each way between our doorsteps (I know that some of you have hundreds of miles and for that I applaud you. Even this short of a distance was hard). Since I worked late and every weekend, we could only see each 2-3 times a week.
Being in a long distance relationship, you learn tips to make it work and realize things that could be detrimental. If you are currently in a long distance relationship (even a mental one, where you are separated by work/life and can’t make time to see each other as often as you’d like), then check out these long distance relationship tips to make it last:
1. Talk on the phone.
It’s so easy to send a text, but talking on the phone is harder. You have to pay attention to the person speaking, there’s a risk you could say the wrong things, and you have to make time to be on the phone. Why would we want to do that?
Because talking on the phone is the only way you can hear the other person’s tone and what they’re actually trying to say. It also adds a more personal touch, because we do it in so few of our relationships. I recommend trying to call each other once a day, even if it’s only for 5 minutes just to say hi.
2. When you can, Facetime.
The souped-up version to talking on the phone is using the visual component. When you have time for this, it’s a better form of communication. We use this every time one of us goes on a work trip (Probably my saving grace when he was in China for almost a month).
With the visual, you get to see their smile, their eyes, the way they’re talking etc. It’s almost like having a conversation across from each other at a restaurant. Almost. The video adds the human component you sometimes lose talking long distance. Which brings me to point 3…
3. Be flirty.
Whether you’re texting or using Facetime, take the time to be flirty. Send a “thinking of you” text or snap. Talk a little dirty on video. The goal is to keep the spark alive while not being able to physically touch the other person. And don’t be afraid to send a naughty picture (Bonus: I find that sending photos is a great body confidence boost).
4. Incorporate little surprises.
Being spontaneous and sending surprises is both fun for you and your significant other. Sending snail mail notes and cards are enjoyable to make. You get to be excited thinking of them reading it and clever in what you put (Sometimes I would even hide the notes in his belongings when he’d leave. Then he could find them later and be reminded of me).
Everyone likes to be thought of so you can be rest assured that no matter what you do will go over well. Bonus if you have free time to make a spontaneous trip to see them (Just make sure to ok it before you leave).
5. Get to know yourself.
For any relationship to be successful, you need to be a whole person. Since you’re not able to be together often, you’re able to spend more time getting to know yourself. Learn your true dislikes/likes, what your strengths/weaknesses are, and how to be alone.
This helps you have hobbies and ways to distract yourself when you can’t be together. It increases the things you have to talk about past missing each other. And it gives you more substance as a person.
6. Have guy/girl nights out.
Since you’re not able to hang out with each other, and don’t want to always be alone, you need to have time out with your friends. Go out for drinks or stay in and watch movies (We like to do face masks and paint our nails). I also like to check the local city events page for different things going on. Anything to add socialization to your life.
7. Pick a show to watch together.
With Netflix, Hulu, and all the other streaming sites, it’s easy to find new shows. It’s also easy to wait and watch them together. With being apart, you find many differences in your daily lives. If you can incorporate a similar aspect, it helps strengthen your relationship.
Pick a TV series that you’ve been talking about starting then watch it together. It doesn’t have to be same time, video watching together (I don’t know why but that seems like it would be weird), but keep the same pace and talk about it over your phone/Facetime conversations.
8. Spend the time you have together well.
The time you get to be together is slim and far between, so don’t spend it in a tiff over minor issues. Yes, it’s important to talk about problems in person, but don’t cause unnecessary drama.
Instead be present on your dates. Keep the phones away and just be together. Even if you’re out with friends or only relaxing at home.
9. Be open with each other.
Communication is key for all relationships. You need to be candid in your conversations. Talking openly about your feelings, emotions, expectations, past, how you view your future. There shouldn’t be any conversations that are off limits and you shouldn’t feel like you can’t say certain things or be yourself.
A fun way to break down barriers and get to know each other more, is through games. There’s always board games when we go to breweries, and we’ve played games like Would You Rather when it’s just the two of us going out. It’s entertaining to talk about your answers and creates a light atmosphere to learn more about each other.
10. Plan for the future.
There’s no point to having the distance unless the goal is to one day bring it to an end. Being far away can be sad and lonely at times. Talking about your future together and your plans to be together can help keep you positive in the hard times. Talk about moving in together, or getting careers in the same city, or what will happen after graduation. Anything to feel strong as a unit and confident that you’re in this together.