There are more people in long distance relationships than you’d think. I myself, am currently in one. I’ve been doing the whole long distance thing for about a year now. My boyfriend and I had only been dating about 3 months when he had to leave to go to a college two states away. But when you love someone, you know. And when someone is worth going through the tough times, you know. And I knew. I have a long distance blog on Tumblr, and the number of people in the LDR community astounded me. You don’t really think about it until you’re in one, but there are so many different ways to be in a LDR. Being with someone who is serving our country, meeting online, meeting on vacation, going away to school, etc. It’s crazy! But it’s so wonderful to see all the love and effort that goes into making all of these relationships work. So here are my top 10 ways to make sure your long distance relationship works and lasts.
- Communicate.In a long distance relationship, communication is key. Don’t ever be afraid to say what you feel. Your boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t with you, so they can’t get a good sense of what’s going on in your mind and heart. You need to have a very open and honest relationship that allows both of you to speak and feel freely, and talk things out. This will help you to have a strong connection and build trust, which is incredibly important in a long distance relationship.
- Figure out your schedules and make time for each other.Whether it be work, school, time zone differences, there is always something that can keep you from having time to Skype, or text, or call. And these things can sometimes be mistaken for lack of love and effort. So make sure that you and your loved one talk about both of your schedules, find times that work for both of you to sit down and Skype or talk on the phone. And texting is great too, because it allows you to multitask and keep in contact throughout the day. In my relationship, I make sure to know when Jim has classes, and he knows when I work, and we keep each other updated on changes in our schedules. That way, if one of us isn’t answering a text, the other knows it’s just because he/she is busy at that moment. Also, unless one of us has a really late engagement, we make sure to Skype every night and talk about our day. It’s a good way to wind down and get some quality time in each day.
- Surprise them.Send them cards, little gifts, leave little love notes on their Facebook wall, whatever you can. There are all sorts of free online cards and apps for iPhones that allow you to send little notes and cards, and there are plenty of websites that have great personalized gifts and goodie baskets that can be sent straight to your loved one’s house – or you can even make your own! And sending flowers to a girl is always appreciated. Just putting in the extra effort, saving up some money to remind them that you love them can help keep a relationship alive. Sometimes people just need to be reminded that you care about them even though you may not be able to be there in person to show them.
- Go on dates.Well, not necessarily go, but have dates. Virtual ones. It may seem silly at first, but having a date over Skype or through the phone is actually kind of fun! Make dinner together while Skyping, rent a movie and watch it at the same time while texting or talking on the phone, or pick a few TV shows that are put on Hulu shortly after they air on TV and vow to only watch them together online. That’s one of my favorite things to do with Jim. It’s so simple, but it’s almost like sitting on the couch, bumming around together watching TV. We both love it.
- Plan for the future.It’s hard to keep waiting when you don’t even know when you’ll be together. Try your best to get some kind of time frame on when you can either visit one another, move in together, go to school near each other, etc. Having a date or time frame to look forward to will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Play games together.Play a game online, or have a running game of Draw something or Words with Friends going. (Jim & I always do). It’s a fun, easy, and simple way to do something light-hearted together. When in a long distance relationship, it’s often the simple little things that you miss the most. This might help with that a little.
- Flirt.Send a steamy text message in the middle of the day, share a fantasy, or compliment your loved one randomly. Because you can’t be physical, you have to find other ways to keep the fire going. Being flirty (or dirty) allows you both to have some fun, feel good and wanted, and gives you both something to look forward to when you do finally get to be together.
- Don’t let snail mail die out.Love letters are a sweet, classic way of communicating and expressing love. Writing a love letter shows a person that you care enough to take the time to write something sweet. Write or find a love poem that reminds you of your significant other, or write a letter that sounds old-fashioned (like something from a Shakespeare play). Spray the letter with your perfume or cologne so that when he/she opens it, they’ll get a whiff of you. Trust me, they’ll love it. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy getting mail?!
- Make Kodak moments.Share photos of yourself, of the places you go, or of a random activity that you do. Jim and I are always sending each other pictures through text messages of simple things that we do, or things that remind us of each other throughout the day. We also end the night with a goodnight text message and a photo of ourselves. Photographs are a great way to feel like you’re together during the day. You see what they see, and they see what you see. It’s almost like you’re right there. Plus, it’s just another way to communicate and let them know that they’re on your mind.
- Make a list of all the things you want to do when you’re finally together. Include date ideas, movies you want to see/rent, places you want to go, etc. Writing these things down gives you a sense that someday they will happen, and it gives you something to look forward to. Don’t be afraid to get excited about these things either. Without hope, a long distance situation can get pretty difficult. Even talking about these things together can help build a connection, learn about one another, and spark new conversations.
For more long distance advice & info, check out my LDR blog: Loving Long Distance