Updated: 3 days ago
Surviving during a long distance relationship
After endless searching, you finally found someone worth holding onto and you are really happy together but through certain circumstances, you find yourself separated from the one you love by miles and miles of distance. No matter how much you love each other, there is probably a part of you that wonders how or if your relationship will survive the long distance between you.
If you’ve never been in a long-distance relationship, you probably doubt the possibility of one truly succeeding but surprisingly, if you ask couples who have experienced one and have come out on top, long distance relationships can work. Having a loved one far away can be difficult. Often, it can even lead to emotional and physical stress. However, having the right tools at your disposal can help. In fact, most couples find themselves geographically separated at some point during their dating or marriage relationship. Many couples even point to a season of long distance as the cornerstone of a stronger relationship.
With that in mind, I have compiled a list of the very best tips for maintaining, surviving, and even thriving in a long-distance relationship or long-distance marriage. I hope it is just a matter of time until you and the one you love are side by side again. But in the meantime, here are some recommendations to strengthen your emotional connection, ease the ache of geographic separation, and help your relationship go the distance.
Discuss together the level of commitment to each other and to the relationship.
Have a lengthy discussion about what you want from yourself and each other in this relationship while you are apart. Some couples believe that they are in the same place when really, they are in different spots, they have just not talked out loud about their differences.
Assume nothing. Discuss everything.
Will you be monogamous when apart as well as together?
How will you deal with attractions to others? How will you handle loneliness?
What about time alone with co-workers of the opposite sex?
Avoid jealousy and be trusting. It is easy to let your thoughts run away when you are not together. Do not let jealous questions contaminate your relationship. Find ways to calm your thinking. Talk about concerns that you may have when you are in a good spot and know that these relationships are difficult for most people.
Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want the other person to see on social media, you should do your best to stay out of situations that might make your long-distance partner feel uncomfortable or threatened — within reason. You don’t need to check in before or get approval for every social interaction with your partner, but you should set clear boundaries and rules that work for the both of you and adhere to them.
However, the extra distance also makes the simplest things the sweetest, being able to hold the other person’s hand, eating together at the same table, feeling each other’s touch, taking a walk together, smelling each other’s hair… these small wishes could suddenly mean so much more in a long distance relationship.
Communicate as much (or as little) as you need to feel connected.
Greet each other “good morning” and “good night” every day — this is a must.
Check in and catch up with each other every day. Be sure to have time to catch up with each other at the end of each day whenever possible. Block out at least 30 minutes at the end of each day to catch up with what is happening in each other’s world. Build on your “love map” as you grow in your understanding of your partner and what he or she is experiencing each day.
Get creative, send each other pictures, audio clips and short videos from time to time. By putting in this kind of effort, you make the other person feel loved and attended to.
We are living at a time when we have unprecedented round-the-clock access to one another. For those in a long-distance relationship, devoting extensive free time to catching up can be a tremendous gift—so long as you are both on the same page about it.
It’s really about teasing at the right moments and tugging at the right spots.
Some couples want to feel connected every hour. Some find it tedious to talk every day. Discuss with each other what works for the general frequency and length of time you will spend texting, talking, or video chatting in a day or week. And be open to modifying your communication tendencies as life creates new and unexpected demands.
A lot of the glue in a relationship is in the day-to-day minutia, and with technology, you can share that in real time, instantaneously, with photos, texts and FaceTime. Also, because people in long-distance relationships rely more heavily on technology to stay connected, in some ways tech allows you to communicate verbally even more than couples who see each other [often], but sit in the same room not interacting at all.
It’s important to share details with your partner instead of just generalizations. For example, don’t just say, “I went to this dinner and had a great time.” Instead, really delve into the details. Talk about who was there, what you talked about, what you ate and how it made you feel. It will make the everyday come alive for your partner even though they weren’t there to witness it.
Talk about your future together. Plan for vacations, holidays and weekends. Talk about goals for yourselves and, if you are married or engaged, for your future as a couple.
“Be there” even when you can’t actually be there.
At the core of every emotional call, you’re really asking each other one question:
“Will you be there for me?”
Responding to each other’s emotional calls can seem tricky within a long-distance relationship. You can’t physically show up for each other’s milestone days or reassure someone with a hug. But that doesn’t make this crucial element of relationship success any less important.
Instead, long-distance couples may need to be more intentional about responding to each other’s attempts to connect. If you’ve scheduled a time to talk with your partner, make that call a priority, just as you would any work meeting or doctor’s appointment. If your partner has an important day, call or text pre-emptively to find out how it went. By weaving your partner’s needs into your day, you’ll demonstrate that you’re there for them, no matter how far apart you might be.
Do Stuff Together Even Though You’re Apart just because you aren’t physically in the same place doesn’t mean you can’t have fun together. Plan a movie night together via Skype where you can watch the same movie even when you’re in different places, Netflix, or other streaming services, makes it easier than ever to binge-watch shows with your partner.
Make Fun Plans delight in the details of what the two of you will do the next time you see each other. Make it a ritual to talk about the fun things you’ll do together. Maybe you can decide that every night you’re together, you’ll try new restaurants, a bed n breakfast instead of going to the same places, This will create something that both partners can look forward to.
Be Confident in Your Relationship insecurity can lead to one partner checking in on the other one too often. This can result in excessive calls and texts being sent for the wrong reasons, and can lead to unnecessary tension. The frequency of interaction in couples separated by distance needs to correlate to the same parameters of interaction when both are at home. It needs to be at a level agreeable to both parties.
Remind your partner frequently what you love about your relationship.
Doubts, insecurities, and jealousy can run high in long distance relationships simply because you’re spending so much time away from each other. This is why therapists recommend using frequent verbal assurances with one another. They help minimize these negative feelings and clarify where you stand as a couple.
The next time you talk, tell your partner how much you love and appreciate your relationship. And if you’re feeling uncertain about where you stand, don’t be afraid to ask for reassurance for yourself. “I love you and wish we could be together today,” is as wonderful to say as it is to hear. Embrace technology. Text during the day just to let your partner know that you are thinking about him or her. Skype when you can so that you can see each other.
Find a way to hang out together while apart. interdependent relationships are proven to be the healthiest form of relationships for marriage. What does that mean? That means you and your partner do things in sync together while maintaining your own separate identities as individuals. Chances are your long-distance circumstances are forcing you do to more things independently than you would probably like, which is why it’s really important to identify a few activities you can do remotely but together.
Having shared experiences with your long-distance partner increases the cohesion of your relationship. Finding things you can do together as a couple pays off big time in helping you feel more connected. That’s a huge win when it feels like the distance is pulling you in two different directions. Whether it’s reading the same book, streaming the same show while talking on the phone, playing games online, listening to the same playlist, or even eating at the same chain restaurant on the same night—all of these can help you and your partner feel more interdependent and, ultimately, more connected.
Focus on the positive aspects of long distance.
Being separated from the person you’re madly in love with can hardly seem like a positive thing. But where you can’t immediately change your circumstances, you can immediately change your attitude.
Have regular time together…in person. It is important for connection and intimacy to be together as much as possible. Clearly, this may be impossible for some couples. Military families are separated for long periods of time; however, whenever possible, find ways to make it a priority to be together, in person, as frequently as possible.
Be sure to make that time as positive as possible, make memories for the future.
Be Committed to the Relationship
This applies to everyone involved in long-distance relationships, but is particularly true for people pursuing long-distance relationships in college. It’s important to know that you’re truly committed to a person before wasting precious time. It’s imperative that you have a plan for what happens next and that you both work towards that goal.
While long-distance love can be a great thing for a finite time, eventually you probably want to be in the same place as your partner. It helps both parties to know when that will happen. “It’s hard being apart, so you both have to be equally committed to the relationship and be on the same page about how long this situation will last, and what the plan is for eventually living in the same place.
Forge a secure attachment by supporting each other's interests.
Whether you’re together or far apart, you and your partner will continue to grow and change as life moves forward. That is both normal and a good thing—even if it forces your relationship to change some in the process long distance couples who have a secure attachment together are able to let each other grow and mature. They find ways to stay connected and push each other forward. In a secure attached relationship, personal growth and change is healthy. It’s a product of security and safety in the relationship.
One of the best things you can do to promote a secure attachment is supporting your partner as they grow in their individual strengths and interests. While it might be frustrating if her new night yoga class cuts into your nightly catch-up time, it’s important to encourage her to do what she loves—just as she should for you.
Pursue common interests, even if you are not doing them together all of the time. Look for things to do that you can share with each other when you are together and are interested in talking about when you are apart.
Talk about your future together. Plan for vacations, holidays and weekends. Talk about goals for yourselves and, if you are married or engaged, for your future as a couple.
Learn how to address important issues both remotely and in person.
Whether you’re living under the same roof or oceans apart, all couples need to learn healthy ways to talk about and resolve conflicts. Bigger problems can arise if you ignore little struggles or are unwilling to address sensitive topics.
If you’re struggling to bring up difficult topics,. Be open and honest about your struggles with being apart while also respecting that you do not want your partner to feel guilty about the separation. Make sure that is only a very small part of your conversations with each other.
You should not be afraid to voice your concerns and struggles with being apart. Acknowledge what you think and feel. It may be that you two can hear it as another way of saying “I love you” or an invitation to problem-solve about how to make changes however, you do not want this to be the main part of any conversation with the person that you love. Learning how to talk about difficult topics takes time and effort, but it’s essential to the health of your long-distance relationship to not let small problems balloon into bigger ones.
Share loving and positive feelings every day.
In every healthy relationship, there are 5 positives for everyone negative. Find ways to be a happy person even if you are not together. Do not wait to be together to enjoy your life. Relationships don’t make people happy. People make themselves happy. Happier people are more fun to be around. Find ways to make yourself happy and enjoy your life so that you have positive energy to contribute when you connect or are together.
Frustrating as it might seem to be separated, try to think of a few ways your long distance relationship is actually beneficial. Do you have more time for hobbies or working out or spending time with friends and family? Make a list of the positive aspects of long distance and focus on these during the harder days when the distance is really getting to you.
Play an online game together. Watch a documentary on YouTube or Vimeo at the same time. Take a walk together outside while video-calling each other. Go online-shopping together — and buy each other gifts
Talk dirty with each other. Sexual tension is undoubtedly one of the most important things between couples. Sexual desire is like a glue that keeps both parties from drifting apart. Not only is sex a biological need, it is an emotional one as well. Keep the flames burning by sending each other teasing texts filled with sexual innuendos and provocative descriptions. Sexy puns work pretty well too.
Respect the reason why you’re apart.
There’s no doubt you’ll have days when your long distance relationship seems especially difficult. You might even be tempted to do something impulsive—like quit your job just so you can be together with the person you love. While that might sound romantic, remember there’s an important reason you’re living far away from the person you love right now. That reason may hinge on a professional, financial, or family situation that needs to play out properly until the timing is right for you both to be together geographically.
Avoid “dangerous” situations.
If you already know that going to the club or going drinking with your group of friends late at night will displease your partner, then you should either 1. Not do it or 2. Tell your partner beforehand so as to reassure him/her. Don’t be careless about this sort of matter because your partner is only going to be extra worried or extra suspicious, and of course, very upset, because you are putting him/her in a position where he/she feels powerless or lacking in control.
Also, It could be easy for you to fall into the trap which you, unconsciously or not, set up for yourself by “hanging out” with your office eye-candy after work, or going out with a girl or guy from your past who has been flirting with you. You need to recognize the dangers before entering into the situation. Don’t just listen to your heart. Listen to your mind too.
When the time is right, create a long term plan for merging your worlds.
Anyone who’s been in a long distance relationship can attest to the underlying heartache of being apart from the person you love. If you’re in a relationship with the person you want to spend your life with, at some point you’ll need to craft a plan to join your worlds together.
Whether this involves a wedding, an engagement, a job change or a relocation, be sure your plan considers the right next step at the right time for both people. Having the hope of being together long term can help you ride out the toughest days of being apart from one another. That little bit of hope can go a long way toward making the one you love seem not quite so far away.
like having the time to miss him, to remember why I wanted to be with him in the first place.
Some of the happiest couples I know are in long-distance relationship some or all of the time. Most experts even think it’s really healthy for a relationship to begin when two people live in different places.
When people meet and are infatuated with each other, it is generally thought that the initial surge of emotion lasts longer when the couple is separated. Eventually there is a risk of decreasing affection, and for those who are beyond the infatuation phase, there is a greater risk in separation, but also a greater potential benefit.
The statistics on long-distance relationships are encouraging. According to a 2013 study from the Journal of Communication, approximately three million Americans live apart from their spouse at some point during their marriage, and 75% of college students have been in a long distance relationship at one time or another. Research has even shown that long distance couples tend to have the same or more satisfaction in their relationships than couples who are geographically close, and higher levels of dedication to their relationships and less feelings of being trapped.
One of the greatest benefits is that you do a lot more talking and learning about each other, since you spend more time having conversations than you might if you were sitting side-by-side watching Netflix, or out running errands or doing activities together, There’s also the benefit of cultivating your own friendships and interests, so that you’re more interesting people and have more to bring to the relationship. You have more alone time than people who live in the same city do, so you’re very excited to see each other and really value the time you do spend together.
Of course, long-distance relationship problems exist, but if two people are committed to making it work the outlook isn’t bleak.
Enjoy your alone time and your time with your friends and family.
You are alone but you are not lonely, unless you choose to feel like it. You don’t have to let your world revolve around your partner — you still have you, your friends and your family. Take this time apart to do more with your friends and family. Get a new hobby. Binge-watch shows. There are plenty of things for you to do that doesn’t involve your partner.
Technology Is Your Best Friend
long-distance relationships are easier now than ever because we have so many ways to stay connected thanks to technology.
Not your typical list of long distance activities...
People in long distance relationships can have a hard time staying connected, because couples are limited in what they can do together. Many are limited to phone calls, emails, instant messaging, and texting which can become a bit humdrum over time, if you ask me. It is important to keep things interesting. Here is a list of things you can do with your boy/girlfriend, husband/wife as well as things you can do for them from a distance. The ideas get more interesting as you go through the list!
Share LDR bracelets.
Love knows no distance LDR bracelets If you don't like wearing bracelets, there is a keychain option as well! To check them out go here: Long Distance Relationship Bracelets
Watch movies or TV shows simultaneously together!
There are various ways of doing this. Most couples like to have contact while watching a movie together and do so over the phone and/or instant messenger and/or on their webcams 🙂 You can each go out and physically rent the same movie and watch it together or you can access a streaming movie online.
You can have subscriptions to Netflix. YouTube and Amazon both offer movies you can rent online. Use the links to be taken directly to their online movie rental/video on demand pages.
Hulu.com, YouTube, Netflix ect.
Send your Partner flowers!
There are lots of websites that will deliver flowers for you, but if you don't want to spend money sending a real bouquet, you can send a virtual bouquet using this website. Virtualflowers.com
Learn new things about each other with 1000+ Questions!
Think you have run out of everything you could say to each other? Try this.... When it's one of those days where you guys just can't think of anything to talk about, try asking questions. Here's a list of 100 questions to ask your love: The questions are split up into categories such as Attractions, Past & Future, Money, Pets, Sex, and tons more. You'll learn so much about each other, stuff you never knew and/or never thought to ask. On a side note, by going through this together, it will make it easy to bring up difficult questions you may have wanted to ask your boyfriend/girlfriend or Husband and wife but were afraid to ask.
Send an e-card!
E-cards are virtual cards, usually with animation and sound. They can be funny, romantic, and cheesy, so what's not to love?
For funny cards I recommend: Someecards.com (Flirting section). These e-cards are hilarious! If you're easily offended by vulgar language, this site isn't for you. JibJab has e-cards for all occasions and lets you personalize e-cards with your faces! Be sure to check out their "Love" category. For the classic e-card experience check out Blue Mountain's Love E-cards.
JibJab Love & Flirt E-Cards, HoochyMail is a website where you enter information and it automatically generates a story with your names in a MadLib type fashion. You choose the story level: sexy, x-rated, or off the wall.
If your was having a bad day they would cheer you up. Of course, now we are in a world where you can share photos instantly via text, messengers like Facebook Messenger, and photo sharing apps like Snapchat and Instagram. I keep this idea here as a reminder for couples to share photos with each other - fun selfies and moments from your day that you want to share with just him/her that you don't post to everyone on your public newsfeeds.
WordFoto.com has an "app that turns your photos and words into amazing typographic works of art."
Rollip.com will help you transform your pictures into classic photographs!
BeFunky Collage Maker put your photos together to make a story.
You can also shake things up and send photos and photo gifts via snail mail:
Shutterfly in addition to prints, Shutterfly lets you create photobooks, cards, and countless other products with your photos.
Share a journal.
This brilliant idea for you to share a journal You would keep it for a couple weeks or so, and write in it everyday with Your thoughts, and then mail it to your partner, and they could keep the journal and write in it, and it would just keep going back and forth. Other journal ideas? You could also each have your own journals that you can exchange. Or have an online journal. Here are a couple sites: Xanga.com and LiveJournal.com. These both have privacy controls so you can control who sees your journal.