You might or might not know this already, but Matthew & I started out our relationship with 1,056 miles between us. We were in a long distance relationship for a good 8 months. We were used to sleeping next to our laptops & constantly sending pictures of what we were doing to make it seem like we were always with each other. Phone calls, text messages, emails, & even surprising each other with gifts were just some of the things that made our relationship get through all the obstacles that the distance brought.
Every relationship has its ups & downs, but sometimes you might feel like you just can’t tough it out when it comes to the miles between you & your significant other. You might feel as if that spark isn’t there anymore or maybe you are having major trust issues. If you find yourself constantly struggling to find the bright side of staying with your long distance lover, read on to find out some things that helped me & my relationship survive the miles.
This is definitely one of the most important things to have in ANY relationship. However, when it comes to a LDR I feel like this is especially important because really it’s all you have between you & your partner. You aren’t able to interact with each other in person, so you have to rely on your phone or computer a lot. You will definitely feel like technology is taking over your life, but in this case you need to use it to your advantage! Schedule Skype sessions where you can watch movies at the same time or plan to eat the same meal & eat while on FaceTime (think of it as a date!). & always make time to call your partner! Texting or chatting on Facebook every day is not nearly enough. Did you know that just having one phone call a day with someone you’re fond of decreases the chance of having depression? Give your thumbs a break, & call your babe!!
- Trust Each Other
Okay, I will admit that I did struggle with this at times. It is very difficult to not worry about your SO all the time especially when you are separated by so many miles, but you HAVE to trust each other. Along with trusting each other, please don’t lie to each other! If you are going out with friends, let your SO know where you’re going & try to check in every now & then. I’m not saying to be on your phone the entire time, but it is a relief (especially for us girls) for you to respond to let your SO know you’re okay. There will be times where you might worry that your partner might find someone else since you’re not there, but you just need to have faith & trust that they won’t. You two have made the commitment to be together, so have trust in that commitment. & also, don’t do things or say things that will make your partner question their decision to be with you. Something that I always tell Matthew is, “Don’t do or say things you wouldn’t want me to do or say.“
- Set a Date
The best part about LDRs is the day you get to be with each other again! Knowing the date helped my relationship so much. After every reunion, we would always plan the next time we’d see each other. Fortunately we were able to fly out every month & a half. We would set the date, & then we would have a countdown. Every day we would look forward to midnight because it meant that we were that much closer to being together. Even if you don’t have an exact date, try to estimate! It’s so nice to have something to look forward to, & what’s better than reuniting with your lover you haven’t seen in months?! Start planning now!
- Go Out
Yes, put down the tub of ice cream & turn off Netflix, it’s time to go out. Get some fresh air, go to the gym, see your friend you’ve been ignoring, or go shopping! Be productive. The more you sulk in your lonely puddle of tears about how much you miss your SO, the slower the days will go by. I know all you want is to be with your partner, but you need to be strong mentally & emotionally, so you need to do things you can enjoy doing on your own. I’m telling you if you are busy throughout the day & can save your nights to catch up with your SO, you will definitely notice time fly by. Soon enough you will have your partner by your side to eat ice cream & binge on your fav tv show.
- Say Your Good Mornings & Good Nights
You might feel like this is so unnecessary, but I’m telling you now that it is a must do. Start your day off right with a sweet text or good morning phone call. Talk about your plans for the day or what you’re work schedule is going to be like. Small chit chat that’s long enough to make you go through the day easier. After a long day at work, or just being a busy bee, it also important to say your good nights. & I’m not talking about rushing off into dreamland & texting your SO “goodnite”, but actually making time to have pillow talk. Set aside maybe a half hour before bed to talk about each other’s days or future plans. Let all your thoughts go & confide in one another. Sometimes we might feel so alone because our partner isn’t with us, but we forget how much we benefit from just venting. So be sure to make time to wind down with your long distance honey. Another thing that helped Matthew & I was “skype sleeping” where we would leave our webcams on so that we could fall asleep & wake up together. Super adorbs, I know.
- Surprise Them
When it comes to a LDR, I feel like you should go above & beyond to make your SO feel really special. It’s really hard to see other couples on dates or wanting to go out & do something but you don’t have your partner with you. So to make up for that, surprise your special one! Send out a care package full of their favorite candy or a movie that you two should watch together via Skype. Whatever it is, send it out with love to let them know that you care & miss them. Even just sending out a cute little postcard could make their day even brighter!
- Talk About Future Plans
It’s so important to talk about the future because I feel like if you have made the commitment of staying together long distance, then this person has got to mean a whole bunch to you. Whether you’re talking about the next time you’ll see each other or a certain hike you would like to go on with them, let them know that you’re including them regardless of what the future actually holds. I’m not saying to plan out your whole wedding (although I did do that with Matthew, sorry babe), but letting your partner know they aren’t being forgotten about in future months can help with any worries or doubts they have. It shows that you’re committed to them, & that you want to include them as much as possible even though you might not be seeing them soon.
- Watch Shows Together
This was definitely one of mine & Matthew’s favorite things to do. Whenever we were both off work, we would Skype each other & either watch a show or movie together. Another way to do this is just be on the phone or even text each other while watching. To me, this made it seem like he was actually with me. It’s fun to talk or laugh together at certain scenes. It made Matthew & I feel like we were a “normal” couple even though we were cuddling our laptops the whole time. If you both have the day off or even some time before bed, put a movie on & relax with your SO. Make Netflix or Redbox your third wheel 😉
- Go Old School
How often do you receive handwritten letters? Besides on holidays or your birthday of course. To me, handwritten letters are an “old school” thing. Nowadays, people would rather text or IM someone. But when it comes to your SO, I feel like you need to hit rewind & think of the times where there was no unlimited text plans or when dial-up internet was still a thing. How would you communicate with your babe? I think handwritten letters are something we can bring back. You can buy cute stationery, send some photos, & spray your perfume/cologne on the letter. You can personalize it & make your SO feel really special. It’s nice to receive something in the mail that isn’t a bill or junk mail, so surprise your loved one with a little love note every now & then.
- Make a List of Pros & Cons
For me, I know there were times where I needed some extra reassurance. All of the things I listed above sometimes felt like they weren’t enough. Matthew & I would argue & ignore each other. We would question if staying together was even worth not seeing each other every day. So what did we do? We talked it out, & we put everything on a list. Pros & cons. Pros were: we always had someone to talk to, we loved each other, we made each other laugh, we liked the same things, etc. Cons were we couldn’t be with each other & arguments & fights seemed harder to deal with because of the distance. We definitely had more pros than cons, & when we saw it all laid out in front of us, we realized the distance was worth it. We knew that the good outweighed the bad, & really that’s all that mattered. We were able to keep each other happy regardless of the miles between us, & thinking of that alone made us see that we could tough it out & make it work. So if you’re feeling doubtful get out a sheet of paper & start writing!
& there you have it! I know how mentally, physically, & emotionally tough LDRs can be. But I truly feel like LDRs are the strongest kinds of relationships. Obviously being a military significant other is way different, & I cannot give advice about that because I personally have never experienced that. But I know how most long distance relationships work. They aren’t as hard as they seem if you are willing to put in a little more effort. I hope that these things can help your LDR or you can relate to the things I went through. If you ever need someone to talk to, feel free to contact me. Leave some comments & let me know fun things you & your long distance SO did to keep each other happy. I am always interested in how other people toughed out their long distance relationships, so please do share your stories! Stay positive & patient with your loved one & remember you will be with each other again!
Aloha nui loa,