I’m in a long distance relationship. If you don’t know, now you know. My boyfriend lives in Illinois and I live in California. When this is brought up, I am often presented with the questions “how do you handle the distance?” and “isn’t that hard?” Short answer: we handle it to the best of our ability and yes, it absolutely can be difficult.
I had a girlfriend ask me recently about my thoughts on a LDR. She asked if I thought she should give it a try and if I believed it to be worth it. I chatted with my boyfriend to get his thoughts in order to give her the most realistic and helpful answer possible. Since I so frequently get this question, I figured it might be helpful to publicly share my thoughts and give some advice regarding the topic. Here we go!
While we are fortunate enough to have the means to travel to each other quite frequently, the time in between is what obviously is the toughest part. The truth is, with the distance comes added hurdles and stressors. Everything takes a little more work and issues that normally blow over get magnified. The questions you must ask yourself are, are your feelings for the person and hopes for the relationship worth dealing with the extra hurdles? Is it worth the risk? If so, we say give it a shot! I can say in my relationship that it is absolutely worth it.
Here are some ways to set yourself up for a successful long distance relationship…
- Communicate! Surprise surprise, communication is key! Be transparent about your feelings and share whats going on in your day-to-day. If something is on your mind and is bothering you, talk it out. DO NOT let it fester and build up inside. Be vocal about your feelings, needs, and desires. Make sure you make your partner feel loved and cared for even from afar.
- Trust. Building trust is extremely important for a lasting relationship. Without trust, I hate to break it to you, but it ain’t gonna work. I trust my boyfriend whole heartedly and that is something that makes our relationship so successful.
- Make time. Make time in your day to talk on the phone or to “spend” with your significant other. When we can, my boyfriend and I like to end the night on Skype (thank god for Skype and FaceTime!) screen sharing and watching a show, movie, or stand-up special together. Even if you are super busy, keep in touch! It takes 2 seconds to send a text letting someone know you’re thinking of them.
- Have things to look forward to. Plan trips to visit each other as frequently as you can. I find that having a date to look forward to in the books eases some anxiety. Unfortunately, right now is particularly difficult because we had to cancel our next travel plans due to COVID-19. Not knowing the next time we will get to see each other makes the physical distance seem even larger. If you’re in a LDR, I feel ya.
- Stay positive. Sometimes this can be difficult especially when you know you aren’t sure of the next time you will see each other. Regardless, it’s important to try your best to remain optimistic and positive. Obviously be realistic, but if you both want the same thing, keep an open mind to possible ways to make that work.
- Make the most of your time together. Since the time you physically spend together is limited, make the most of it. Do things that make you both happy and try not to sweat the small stuff.
Like in any relationship, love and support your partner, listen to them, and show them you care.
Hope this gives you a little insight into what goes into making a LDR work.