10 Best Tips to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work
So you’re in a long distance relationship, huh? Join the club. The club of misery and loneliness. I kid. There are so many positives to being in a long distance relationship, even if the negatives outweigh the positives more often than not.
Admittedly, my experience of being in a long distance relationship could be worse. For the past five years, my boyfriend and I have lived a few hours apart from each other. We generally manage to see each other about once a month. So at least he’s not halfway across the world from me. But that’s not to say it hasn’t been tough either. Because it has been tough at times. But we’ll be a heck of a lot stronger because of it. Plus, I like having time to miss him – it’s a good reminder of why you want to be with someone in the first place.
In this age of technology, maintaining a long-distance relationship is easier than ever before. So don’t let people’s nasty comments deter you from joining the long-distance relationship club. In fact, negative comments provide you with even more of a reason to prove them wrong. Because yes, long-distance relationships can be successful! And with these top long distance relationship tips, you’ll be acing the whole long-distance relationship malarkey in no time.
1. FaceTime is your friend
There’s only so much texting and messaging you can do before you start wanting to hear their voice and see their face. To only communicate via messaging can not only become mundane but it can also be unhealthy. Messaging can cause you to disconnect from the person you are speaking to and you don’t want that. And, hey, you love this person, right? Dedicating time to speak to them via a video call, whether that’s by FaceTime or Skype, should be a bloody barrel of laughs.
2. Have an end date in sight
This is possibly my favourite tip on this list of long distance relationship tips. It is one that has kept me going all these years. Our end date is 2019 and I could not be happier to finally be here! The truth is, no couple can be in a long distance relationship for forever. Even if you don’t decide to take the typical trajectory of marriage, buying a house, and having kids, we all need to settle down in one way or another.
Knowing when your ‘end date’ is will be mutually beneficial for both parties. Realising that this won’t be forever will ease the pain of long distance and actually make you appreciate your own space and company. ‘Cause honey, you ain’t gonna have this kinda independence forever. So decide when your end date is. Draw up a plan. It is important that you two are on the same page and have the same goals.
3. Surprise each other with gifts, love letters or trips
I understand that some people may think that giving gifts is just materialistic. I get that. Believe me, ‘Receiving gifts’ is at the lower end of my love languages.
And yet, with that being said, I still think it is bloody lovely to surprise someone every now and again. Everyone loves to receive a little token of appreciation. It doesn’t even have to cost too much money either. Yeah, you could send each other gifts across the country or globe, but the little things go a long way too. Go old school by writing and sending hand-written love letters. This barely costs anything. Make a Spotify playlist for them and send them the link. It doesn’t have to be a massive gesture. Just something to keep the spark alive.
But the best surprise would be surprising them by showing up on their doorstep. You may not be able to afford the train tickets or airfare right now, but save up and surprise them. Seeing as you are the best gift of all time, after all…
4. Plan when you can visit each other in advance
Visits are the highlight of every long-distance relationship. There’s no denying that. Without trying to make your relationship seem like some formal business exchange, it is nice to map out exactly when and where you can see each other. Research the cheapest and easiest way to visit each other. For Gaz and I, the cheapest way to visit each other is by taking a National Express coach. It is great value for money and you can find so many tickets priced at just £5 or less. If you are based in the UK, they have an unrivalled national network of over 900 destinations so you should be able to find a route that is relatively cheap.
5. Live your own lives
As much as you may hate to hear it, living your own lives is so important. You may be alone but you are not lonely unless you choose to feel like it. Whilst your partner may feel like your whole world and more, letting your world revolve around one person is dangerous. This is why many long distance relationships fail, especially if one person in the relationship needs the other way more than the other.
So take this time apart to do more by yourself, with your friends and with your family. Get a new hobby. Go to the gym. Laze on the sofa watching Netflix. Whatever you enjoy doing, just relish your independence.
You need to learn to love being alone to succeed in long distance relationships. And I think that is one of the main reasons why mine and Gaz’s relationship has been so successful. We are both extremely independent people who are more than happy in our own company, and this has put us in good stead for success.
6. Do things together even though you’re apart
Whilst it is important to have your own hobbies and your own lives, one of the best long distance relationship tips is to do things together, even when you’re apart. Read the same book or watch the same film at the same time, even when you’re in different places. This will help you share experiences and give you new things to talk about. You can even play a video game together even when you’re apart. Technology is bloody remarkable, so make the most of it!
7. Honesty is the best policy
Honesty is, of course, important in any relationship. But it is especially important in long-distance relationships because you may not know what the other is up to 100% of the time. Lying isn’t going to get you anywhere so be honest about how you are feeling. If you are feeling jealous, tell them. If you are feeling insecure, tell them. It’s not rocket science. As they say, the truth will come out in the end. So be upfront about it. Besides, feeling a little jealous now and again is not unusual in any relationship. And especially not in a long-distance relationship. Jealousy is healthy to a certain extent as it means you really care about that person.
8. Know each other’s schedules like the back of your hand
No matter whether your partner is working full time, studying full time, or whatever it might be, knowing each other’s schedules like the back of your hand is really important. By doing so, you can avoid times where you may find yourself waiting around and wasting your time when you are not going to get a reply anytime soon. This will also help in that you can schedule regular calls that work well around both of your schedules.
9. Properly enjoy your time in person together
When you only have a couple of days together each month or – god forbid it – a couple of days together each year, it feels like there is a lot of pressure to make every in-person second count. However, try not to get stressed about it. Instead, just enjoy each other’s company for what it is. You may not get to do stuff you wanted to do but hey, that’s life.
If you want to spend all weekend doing lots of fun-filled activities, that’s cool. But if you want to spend all weekend ordering takeaways and watching Netflix in bed, that’s equally cool. Determine what it is that best feels like quality time spent together and do more of that. Just remember that time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. In fact, it’ll probably help the two of you connect even more.
Personally, whilst most of the time our weekends together are very lazy, sometimes we like making our time together feel more like a holiday. For example, rather than meeting in either Exeter or Cardiff next weekend, Gaz and I are spending a weekend in Bristol thanks to National Express and Visit Bristol. Our National Express coach tickets were only about a tenner each for a return which you just can’t get with Britain’s extortionate train prices. Plus if you use your Young Person Coachcard (for 16-26-year-olds) on top of that, you’ll get another 1/3 off the ticket price. Coaches may be longer but when you are guaranteed leather seats, air conditioning, power sockets and free WiFi, it beats standing up on a crowded, stuffy train any day of the week. And you don’t want to start your trip off on a bad foot now, do you?
10. Remember that most people in long distance relationships will struggle at some point and that’s totally okay!
We’re all human. Sometimes these long distance relationship tips won’t work. Sometimes you’ll just have to acknowledge that despite their benefits, long-distance relationships can be a bit shit. And that’s okay. You don’t have to pretend that you’ve got it all figured out. Because, spoiler alert, most of us don’t. Just remember that this isn’t going to be forever, and as long as you’ve got an end date within the next ten years, you’ll be alright, pal.
Are you in a long distance relationship? How are you finding it? Please let me know your long distance relationship tips in the comments below because let’s be real, we could all do with the help!
This post was sponsored by National Express and Visit Bristol but as always all opinions are my own.
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