5 Rules to Stick By to Make Your Long-Distance Relationship Work
Guidance for your LDR
1) Staying busy
Whether you have been in a long-distance relationship from the beginning, or whether you are about to enter a distance relationship, you need to focus your mind on things other than him or her. It will send you and them crazy if you don’t let each other breathe.
Which sounds weird since you already have more space between you two than ever, right? But it’s honest advice that you don’t want to take light heartedly. Texting or calling constantly will soon become a chore, rather than a form of communication. Sure, text each other throughout the day and a couple of phone calls won’t do any harm, but you need to treat your long-distance relationship the same you would a normal relationship.
Pick up a hobby, go to the gym, read a book, take up a language (preferably the one you partner speaks if that applies to you!), go out with friends, grab coffee, do things that you would do without your partner, even if you lived together!
It is healthy to carry on your life as well as maintain a strong relationship. If he or she is telling you they are going to walk the dogs, then let them do that without them having to look down at their phone to answer your messages. Don’t worry, they haven’t forgotten about you for that one hour just because they can’t physically see you. Don’t become attached to your phone, you must remember that the people who are in your presence now are just as important as that text you want to send to your partner.
2) Having an end goal
The thing that made my long-distance relationship bearable was knowing when I would see him again. Planning those trips, whether it’s a two-hour drive, or flight across the Atlantic Ocean, it is important to set dates to see each other again, so that you have something to keep you going day by day.
If you are separated because of attending different universities, then take it in turns to visit each other every month, or every so often. It will depend on everyone’s commitments as to how much you can actually see each other. Through my experience of watching friends who were in LDRs during college, we were so busy with football that sometimes they could only see each other after the season was over. But still, arranging that date that you will see each other again is important for your own mentality.
For instance, after my partner returned to Brazil in the summer, and I knew I had one more year in the USA, we booked a flight for him to come to England to spend Christmas with me during my break at home. After that trip, we booked a flight for me to go to Brazil during Spring Break and so on. If it gets to a point where you are out of school, and just both living in different cities or countries, there will be a point where to still need an end goal.
Will one of you move to the other's hometown, or will you both leave your current situations behind to start somewhere fresh together? And how are you going to do that, can you both live in the same country already? What visas would need to be involved if not? Will you be able to support each other?
Long distance relationships require quicker decision making than a normal relationship where you live five minutes from your partner, but if you know that this person is worth big changes in your life, then you won’t even have a second thought about making them.
3) Don’t leave each other hanging
If you want to go out with your boys or your girls, absolutely, go ahead, have fun and keep living. However, letting your partner know won’t kill you either! During your daily call, or even a quick text message, saying, “hey babe, just to let you know, going out with the boys tonight down town”… and if he or she says “no,” then you probably got some deeper issues going on there!
But, what I am trying to say is that you should keep enjoying yourself and living your life. Being in a long-distance relationship doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold. It doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself inside every day until you are reunited. It might be hard to know you are not there with them enjoying the moment, but you must let each other have experiences, and make memories, even if they’re not with you.
If they are going out four times a week, then you might want to ask some other questions, but especially if the relationship is at distance due to separate universities, you definitely have to strengthen your trust in each other, and refrain from letting your inner psycho come out when he or she sends you that “I’m going out tonight” text.
There is not denying the fact that it is hard. Before you even started your long distance relationship you probably already knew you would have to get over some obstacles and beat some insecurities. But when you do get past those, your relationship will come out so much stronger on the other side, leaving you with an unbreakable future together.
Don’t stop being that support system for one another. If he or she was the person who encouraged you before that big game or final exam you have been working on, keep doing that! Send a message beforehand, send audios, or if possible try and call them and wish them luck. You don’t have to physically be there to encourage someone. It only takes one good luck message from the person you love to make you feel 100x better about whatever it is you are about to do.
If your partner is about to go for an interview, call them to say you are thinking about them, and that they will smash it because you know how great they are, and ask them to call you when it’s over. For me, my partner always said let me know when you are finished, and knowing that he was on the other end of that interview or that football game, it made me feel more confident going into it.
At times, doing a bit more than just a message or phone call can really show your support. For example, sending flowers or even hand-written letters. I remember before my final college game in America, my partner surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. He knew it was a hard day for me, and he couldn’t be there to give the hug I wanted so badly, so instead he made himself still feel present through his thoughtful gift.
5) Social Media
Do not allow social media to control your lives or your relationship. If he likes a picture, it's not a big deal. If she comments on a friend's story, let it go. Try not to get so caught up in the world of jealousy that has been created through the monster that is Instagram or Facebook.
If you are struggling to understand why he/she is liking the same person's pictures, or posting comments that you deem inappropriate, then have an honest conversation about how it makes you feel. The worst thing you can do is overthink when it comes to social media.
A couple months before my husband and I married, we decided the best way for us to tackle social media was to give each other access to our accounts. This way, neither of us thought the other one could be hiding anything, and it took away any possible insecurity that we may have had. This doesn't work for everyone, but if you believe it might work for your relationship, then give it a try!
Finally, the number one rule to stick to, making your long-distance relationship work, is equality. Both partners must communicate, participate, and commit equally to the relationship. If one partner is always making the trips, always texting and calling first, and always sitting around waiting for you, then they won’t be sitting around for long. Don’t let the man or woman of your dreams slip through your fingers, because you cannot commit to bit of distance. In the moment, the days apart feel like forever, but always revert back to the bigger picture. This is just a small portion of your life until you can wake up next to your best friend for the rest of your life.