Relationships are hard—throw in the factor of it being long distance and you have something that may seem impossible to keep together.
Although long distance relationships have their challenges, don’t get discouraged when you hit bumps in the road. Just remember that all of your friends that have their significant other close by have to endure fights in person rather than over the phone (sometimes, they might even envy you!).
If you want to survive your long distance relationship, it might take some extra work—but hopefully it will be worth it to you. All relationships take work, but there are some unique ways that you can help a long distance relationship to stay romantic, fresh, and healthy.
Once you learn how to do a long distance relationship well, you will eliminate your fears and boost your confidence in your own ability to make your long distance relationship successful.
Try these tips to surviving your long distance relationship and you might become the example that all of your friends follow!
- Technology. One of the great benefits we get to experience in this day and age is technology. Now, you have to be careful with such a valuable tool because it could end up backfiring. For example, if you think that texting all the time is a substitute for meaningful, “in person” conversations, you are sadly mistaken. Sometimes texting can ruin relationships because it masquerades as communication when in reality it is just a cheap substitution.
So although you should be wary of too much texting, there are other forms of technology that can greatly benefit you. For example, Skype or any form of video chatting can greatly ease some tension in your relationship. One of the most difficult things about a long distance relationship is that you never get to see that person that you dearly miss and love. Video chatting can solve this problem, making you feel like you are miles close than you actually are. So try setting up some video dates and see if that helps you feel closer!
- Snail Mail. There is something romantic and nostalgic about getting a letter in the mail. Are you sick of just texting or emailing all the time? Try setting aside a little extra time every now and then and handwriting a letter to your significant other. The extra effort will go a long way in reminding that person that you care about them. Also, letters are a great way to change things up and do something different while still retaining that all important factor of communication.
Although letters might take a little longer to respond to, it can be really fun to take a break from the habit of technology and try something different. Also, packages are the best! Who doesn’t like getting presents? Every so often, send your significant other a small package with a few of their favorite things and it will show them that you are thinking about them and miss them.
- Trust. Trust is probably the most important survival tool in a long distance relationship. Even in relationships where you are around each other all the time, trust is a tricky thing—it is hard to develop and easy to lose. If you want your long distance relationship to work and flourish, you need to establish a pretty deep and real amount of trust. Trust is developed differently in every relationship, but one of the best ways to create trust is by being trustworthy.
If you are a trustworthy person your significant other should have no reason to question their trust in you. Trust also means that you aren’t constantly asking each other what you are doing, who you are with, and things of that nature. Believe that you will be faithful to each other and you will learn to trust each other (Read: 10 Steps to Saving a Broken Marriage).
- Quality Time. One of the most important things in relationships is quality time, and unfortunately, quality time is not something that you will have a lot of in a long distance relationship. Therefore, make sure the time you actually get to spend with your significant other means something. Do things that you love to do. Have good conversations. Share meals together. Go on adventures.
In long distance relationships, it is so important that when you get to see each other you actually get to spend time together. So also make sure that you plan ahead to not just be running errands or seeing other people when you are in town. Make time to be alone. Enjoy the time you have together to the fullest and don’t waste a second.
- Surprises. Sometimes it is tricky to keep the romance alive in a long distance relationship. One of the solutions is surprises! The possibilities are endless. Surprise presents, surprise letters, surprise visits—all of these will keep your significant other remembering that you are in love and that you only have eyes for each other. One of the best things in a long distance relationship is a surprise visit. These can be kind of tricky to pull off sometimes because of scheduling, but it is good to get friends involved (as long as they are good at keeping secrets!).
Surprises are such a good way to keep the romance kindled in a long distance relationship, but make sure that they don’t become too predictable or frequent! Keep your significant other guessing and looking forward to the next time you will go out of your way to make their day brighter! Surprises are also a good way to keep romantic relationships alive in general, long distance or not (Read: 8 Ways to Rekindle Romance in a Waning Relationship).
- Honesty and Openness. With trust being one of the most important factors in a long distance relationship, honesty and openness become even more important factors. In order to have trust, you have to be honest with your significant other and you definitely have to be open. If you aren’t honest and open, you will end up falling very short in communication which could completely ruin your relationship, especially a long distance relationship. Make sure that you are honest about the problems you are having and that you communicate them openly to your significant other. This can help reduce anxiety and can help build up trust.
- Live Your Life. One of the most important factors in a successful long distance relationship is your own personal mental health. You need to make sure that you are still living your own life. It is easy in a long distance relationship to get caught up in the drama of not being with the person you love all the time, but you have to remember that you still need to enjoy your own life apart from your significant other.
This is important for being sure that you are secure enough in yourself to be away from your significant other so that you can be grounded in your own identity. This is good preparing for the future when you get married because it is so easy to find yourself in your husband or wife but you need to be sure that you know yourself.