I maintained some heartbreaking long distance relationships and they can be so hard!
There is nothing quite like missing someone terribly and desperately trying to keep your connection fresh, when all you’re able to share are phone calls.
The hardest thing about it for me was always trying to keep things positive and fun while still not losing hope that it would all fall apart and be a total waste of time.
In that spirit, here are 8 ways to keep your long distance relationship happy.
1. Communicate Daily At Least
Even if your communication isn’t long and drawn out, make sure to connect in some way every day. Little text messages, emails, and quick Skype calls are all good ways to keep things fresh. When you do manage to have longer conversations, try not to make them monotonous, drawn-out rants where you bang on and on about the mundane.
2. Schedule As Many Visits As Possible
Time together in person is absolutely critical. Long distance relationships can evolve intensely because there is so much communication, but they can become lopsided when communication is all there is to do.
While I understand that you might not be able to do it right now, try and schedule your visits in advance so that you both have something to look forward to. Sneak in surprise visits when you can as well.
3. Do Things Together
Watch movies, cook dinner and Skype while you’re doing it. Make it a priority to include your partner in the little things during your day. It might seem boring to have your partner on the line the whole time while you’re both staring at the TV or cooking, but shared experiences besides long phone calls are important.
Being able to look back at the last 3 months and know that you didn’t spend the whole time on the phone is a good thing too.
4. Share Hobbies Even When You Do Them Separately
The couple that plays together, stays together. Even if you have to do things apart right now, make sure that you nurture your shared hobbies. It’s exciting to hear about your partner doing things that you’re also interested in, even if you can’t do them together right now. This is a good time to set shared fitness goals and take courses on things you’re interested in.
5. Enjoy Free Time And Space
One nice thing about long distance relationships is that they don’t require the same kind of time commitment as a regular relationship. Sure, there is time that you spend communicating with your partner, but there is still a lot of time for your own activities.
This is the time to enjoy not having to share anything, throwing your socks wherever you feel like, and putting whatever you want in your refrigerator without judgement. If you’re planning on moving in together eventually, enjoy this carefree phase while it lasts.
6. Use The Mail
Even when you’re communicating regularly, trying to do things together (while separate) and scheduling visits, there is nothing like receiving something in the mail, even if it’s a quick love note. Anything you can do to surprise your loved one is a bonus.
7. Work Out Arguments Promptly
If you have an argument with your partner, resolve together to put it past you before a certain time period is up, say 24 hours.
This gives both of you a cooling off period but isn’t enough to make either partner start panicking about whether the relationship is over. It’s nerve-wracking and scary to have your long distance partner disappear on you when they are upset. Make a pact to resolve all disagreements as promptly as you can.
8. Discuss the Future (When Appropriate)
Is the ultimate goal to be together? If it is, then make sure that you both discuss the end date of the “long distance” part of your relationship. It’s much easier to stay positive about the whole thing when both of you are on the same page about the future.
Of course, there is a time for such conversations. If you just started dating, then let the relationship grow before you start having heavy “future” discussions, just as you would if the relationship was playing itself out in person.
If there isn’t a future, ask yourself why you’re putting yourself through the complication involved in keeping something going long distance in the first place.