Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Long-Distance relationships can certainly have its challenges, since being away from your partner is pretty tough! However, long-distance relationships can also have its benefits and positives, if you open yourself up to it. In this post, I'm sharing my top tips on having a healthy and successful long-distance relationship, while pulling from my own experiences with being in one myself!
It's a no brainer that communication is so important in any relationship, but it is especially important with a long-distance relationship (let's call them LDR from here on out) given it's kind of all you have because of all that distance getting in between you two. We're pretty lucky that in this day and age, we have so many forms of technology that can help keep us in touch with each other. There's various messaging apps, video chats and social media platforms that can help you two keep in contact. It's important to schedule in your time together. After all, those video calls or phone calls are your dates! Just like how any other couple would go out for dinner or a movie, try and make it a habit that you two have your video chat scheduled in since it helps you have something to look forward to.
In addition to your communication methods, it's important to let your partner know how you're feeling or where you're at. It can be challenging when you are apart, especially since your partner can't read your mind. So if you're having a bad day and you are being short with them or distant, try and let them in on that. It's okay to need your space from people some days and to take days for yourself, but be sure to (or at least try to) fill them in on what's going on for you so that your communication is open and that you both know what's going on with each other. Even if it's as simple as letting them know you need some quiet or a you-day.
Exercise: If you're in a LDR, how about trying this fun little exercise. How about one day a week, you have some fun with your communication where you document your day through photos and send them to your partner. You can share pictures of your walk to work, your morning coffee, what you had for lunch, a pre or post-gym picture, walking your dog, or whatever! It can be a fun way to engage with each other. It's nice to try and share experiences with your partner, as if they are right there with you.
2. Plan Ahead
In a LDR, I find it's so beneficial to plan the next time you're going to see each other as it gives you something to look forward to and a positive frame of mind to keep onto. I find this especially helpful when you're on your last couple days together to start making those plans so that the goodbye isn't as tough, since you know you'll be seeing each other in X amount of days/weeks/months. Planning ahead can also include what you might do when you're together next, any fun trips, new sights you want to see and where you want to go. Whether it's a few hours apart, countries or timezones apart, scheduling in the next time you will see each other is a beneficial tip for success in a LDR and also for your own mind to keep your spirits high.
3. Share Your Goals
For myself anyway, I find it fairly important to share your short-term and long-term goals with one another. Although some may stray away from talking about what they want within the next 5 years because it's "scary" or whatever, I think it's pretty awesome to talk about these topics and see where you two align. If you are both in it for the long-haul, these conversations are certainly important given you two need to decide whether you will live together one day (and if so, which city?), do you two want to get married, do you want to have kids, what about your careers, how about traveling, and all that fun stuff. Being open, honest and vulnerable with one another will bring you closer together if you are on the same page. These dialogues help you understand one another more and where you two place values and importance on certain subjects. So don't be afraid to have these serious talks, because neither of you want to waste each other's time if you are not on the same page or want the same things!
4. Explore Your Interests & Independence
I like to include this tip because I think it's so important that you do not lose yourself in the relationship. Some people may end up revolving their lives around their partner (which you shouldn't do in any relationship, by the way), and miss out on fun times with friends and family, career opportunities and self-development. You are your own person as well and you need to try and be open to opportunities that come your way in other realms of your life. Given you have more free time without having your partner physically there with you, why not spend that time on growing and flourishing with all the activities, volunteering, classes, hobbies or even relaxation that you want. It's exciting to see what comes your way when you open yourself up to it, and it's always great to share with your partner as well on all the fun stuff you get up to! Use your time wisely in between your scheduled dates to develop yourself and your interests. Plus, this helps time go by faster, too :)
I hope these tips work as well for you as they do for me and my partner! If you have any questions or tips of your own, please feel free to leave comments. What works well for you and your partner in a LDR?