As our lives continue to move forward, it’s common for (some of) the relationships in them to be left behind. While we can’t necessarily change these natural transitions, we might meet special people who wish to grow with us — regardless of the fact that they’ll physically be apart from us.
In reality, the things that are worth it never come easy, and long distance relationships are no exception. Even though these relationships come with challenges, the commitment needed to maintain one is why the strongest bonds often come from these successful long distance stories. After all, there are some people we’re meant to go the extra mile(s) for — so if you’re lucky enough to discover that person, here are seven tips for a better long distance relationship.
1. Utilize different ways to communicate
Texting is fun, but taking advantage of other forms of contacting is how to keep the fire alive. Write a letter, send flowers with a card, leave voicemails, and put in the effort to stray from the norm every once in a while. By participating in these little surprises, you’ll put a smile on your partner’s face and a hopeful perspective on your relationship together.
2. Capture moments in real time
No need to hold off on sharing the photo of the sun coming up on your morning run or the view of your partner’s favorite coffee shop covered in snow — send it to him or her as soon as it’s on your phone.
Your significant other is an important person in your life and including them in your daily routine is how you’ll keep it that way. The inability to see the other person is a main concern for many long distance couples, but your attempt to share snippets of your life via photos will support the idea that you don’t have to physically be together to still be close.
3. Read and watch the same things
If watching Gossip Girl with your partner is what your dreams are made of, this is the perfect excuse for them to (finally) come true. Regardless if it’s reading articles based on zodiac signs or watching documentaries on creatures of the ocean floor (yes, those exist), the simple knowledge of sharing the same things will help ease the difficulty of not being in the same place.
4. Know what the expectations are
Along with understanding your partner boundaries, another key to any relationship is knowing each other’s expectations. Do you want your partner to call you during your morning commute? Should you make a conscious effort to talk throughout the day? Does your partner assume you’ll tell him or her who you’re meeting for dinner? Through answering these questions, you’ll gain insight on how to satisfy your partner’s needs and diminish any potential arguments that would’ve come from them.
5. Don’t take things too personally
Similar to realizing what’s expected of you, it’s also a good idea to recognize that the way your partner reacts might not have anything to do with you. What we’re saying? People have off days, and your significant other replying in short texts or after a long period of time shouldn’t have you automatically assuming something is wrong.
While controlling your reaction is easier said than done, trust the idea that your partner would tell you if there were any issues. Overall, there’s a reason you’re in the relationship together, and the meaningful part of this journey is to figure out why.
6. Plan dates in advance
You can’t predict every aspect of your life — but you can prepare for most of them. To avoid the hurtful cycle of being “too busy” to visit this weekend or “too tired” to explain what happened at work over the phone, make sure to plan dates beforehand — and prioritize your schedule in order to truly be present when the date comes.
In the end, people make time for what’s important to them, and your commitment to these dates with your partner is what will keep the relationship healthy and the both of you happy.
7. Discuss a clear future goal
Long distance relationships aren’t a permanent relationship status as much as they are a temporary solution. It’s fair to assume every relationship is different — which is why it’s crucial to talk about what the future of yours will look like. For instance, what city would the two of you want to live in? How long from now would that be?
We know there’s pressure with mentioning the future, but not having a similar goal for it is how your relationship will suffer in the present.