When being physically present simply isn’t possible, here’s how to keep your relationship alive.
If you’re in a long-distance relationship, there are different challenges to face. You don’t see each other regularly, even up to months or years at a time. The digital age has made it easier for communication, but we can also take it for granted. As with any relationship, boundaries and goals help.
So, to keep the spark alive, here are 10 pearls of wisdom for every LDR couple!
1. Have a list of ground rules
Knowing you’ll be in different time zones and hanging out with your own sets, it’s important to set ground rules. Talk about what you expect from this relationship, how many weekly Skype dates you’ll commit to and whether your end-goals are the same.
2. Be each other’s go-to friend
Thanks to online messaging services, sharing things in real time is very possible today. Tell each other about your day, what you’re up to or what bothered you that day. With apps like Instagram and Snapchat, short videos and greetings can be a whole lot more fun and colourful!
3. Together time, the digital way
Dates look very different when you’re an LDR couple. Knowing each other’s schedules help you set aside quality time to do something fun! Play an online game (L4D, maybe?) or Netflix a movie together. Have meals ‘together’ via video call, or sing along to some festive tunes.
4. Use snail mail to send something meaningful
There’s no feeling like receiving a letter, card or parcel through the post. Once in a while, make the effort exchange postcards from your travels or send a little gift. It reminds your partner that you’re thinking of them even though they’re not with you.
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5. Plan visits whenever you can
Being away from each other means different expenses, and learning to be a good saver helps. No longer are you spending on expensive meals at fancy restaurants, but rather for a plane ticket to get to where they are. Making visits (both ways) helps strengthen a relationship; you get to see the world your partner is living in, and not through a screen.
6. Give an item that has special meaning for the both of you
Perhaps you confessed to each other on the beach, so giving a shell you picked from that very beach will mean a lot to the partner who’s going away. Or maybe she loves cuddly toys; add a personal touch to a soft toy (e.g. a heart pin with your name on it). If he’s a Star Wars fan, a stormtrooper works.
7. Always choose honesty
It’s easy to hide behind a computer or phone when you’re not physically together. However, one of the most important keys to making any relationship work is honesty. If you’re uncomfortable with how close your partner seems to be with someone, talk about it. If you find a recent Instagram post questionable, ask.
8. Don’t be afraid of letting go
The reality of LDR is that you are not there. There will be times you don’t communicate that often (exams, work, getaways with friends), and that’s okay! Let go and embrace the season, where you can enjoy time away from each other.
Sometimes, being in LDR mode can transform you into a possessive partner. Communication is key, but don’t burden your partner by demanding minute-to-minute updates on where they’re going or who they’re with.
Are you or have you been in an LDR before? How did you make it work? Let us know in the comments below.
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Featured Image Credit: Everton Vila / Unsplash