Going on about my long-distance relationships, I can say that they can either be sweet-amazing and spectacular; or very very exhausting and downright dramatic. One day you can be playing chess at a local bar, drinking cocktails, secretly smiling at each other; and the next thing you know, you are saying goodnight through a little screen; returning to a bed only waiting for you.
You might ask yourself, “Why would I want to be in a long-distance relationship?” But the truth is: if you are really lucky, you might never have to experience being apart from your loved one.
But what if one of you gets the job of your dreams in another city? Another country? Or what if you meet someone fantastic, you have the perfect chemistry and you can’t wait to see them again, but then you find out that they live in the UK.
Perhaps you could pause your relationship or you could end things if you are both sure that it is not worth being together if you can’t be physically together. But if you think and feel in your heart that they are the one, then you need to know the things that I am going to tell you.
1. Communication is the magic key
In every relationship communicating with your partner is important. Saying how you feel, being completely honest about your expectations, and your fears are going to be the hardest and most important parts of your long-distance relationship.
Remember that you will be communicating through technology. You might find yourselves chatting all day or video calling. But when you are not looking at each other face-to-face, it might get tricky. Since you can’t read their emotions through text or social media messaging, misunderstandings can happen.
But in any case, you need to speak to each other before committing to a long-distance relationship, and set out what you both expect from each other:
Are you going to be exclusive? Are you going to see other people? How often do you intend to see each other? Who is going to travel? Who is going to pay for what?
If at any time you don’t feel comfortable or satisfied, immediately say so to your partner. The clearer and honest you are about what you are expecting and what you want out of the relationship, the better you are going to enjoy your time together and the time apart.
2. Be consistent!
Nothing is worse than being close to your phone all day expecting, that call or that text. You spend every minute checking to see if they wrote to you. You think, “Did they not get my text?” or “What are they doing?”. You start feeling anxious, looking over at your phone every 5 seconds, and your mind is going 60 miles per hour.
That’s why being consistent in communicating and updating your partner about your schedules is essential for your long-distance relationship. That way, the other person is not upset and worried, and you don’t set unrealistic expectations.
My recommendation is to find the best time that works for both of you, before going to bed is ideal because the conversation is not rushed, and you can recount both of your days. Of course, you need to keep in consideration the time-zone if you and your partner are across the country or in different countries or even continents!
There’s nothing worse than trying to tell your partner how exhausting your day was and that you would like to go to bed early, but you don’t because you don’t want to make them feel bad. So you find yourself, trying not to fall asleep in the middle of the conversation.
3. Always be honest
As I have been saying, communication is one of the most important parts of being in any relationship and essential to keeping a strong relationship while apart. And I am not talking about just updates of each other’s day. I am referring to being straightforward about what you want and how you feel. You need to trust each other, and if you have questions, then it is better to ask them instead of jumping to conclusions.
You need to be a hundred percent honest with you and your partner. Tell them when something is not working out for you and what does; what makes you both happy when you are together; and what you fear the most when you are not.
It might be an emotional and dramatic conversation, but talking to your partner about how you feel is not only going to help in your relationship but also help you figure out what place in life you are in. And don’t forget that your well-being should always come first.
4. You are going to spend a lot of time alone: Embrace it
By being alone, I mean that you might not be doing the same things couples do all the time. Simple things such as walking hand in hand, kissing in the park, watching movies in each other’s arms, even hugging each other; a caress on the cheek, going for lunch or having dinner.
You need to know that you are going to spend an awful lot of time alone, living your relationship in front of a computer, phone, or tablet. It’s going to be hard, and you might feel lonely a lot of the time, which is why you need to embrace it.
Surround yourself with your friends and family, go jogging or salsa dancing. Pursue your favorite hobbies or focus on your career. Don’t feel as if you’re committing a crime by having fun and smiling, simply because you miss your loved one and wish it was them that were living those moments with you.
Trust me, it’s only going to hurt you more. Use the time you have in your hands to do something more than wailing about why they are not here.
5. Remember that they have a life too
If you ever receive a text from your loved one telling you that they are off to a concert or that they have plans to go to Portugal for a football game- do not panic. They are living their lives too!
Because of the distance, you feel that the only way to make up for it is by talking in excess. You want to be chatting with them 24/7, but it isn’t fair for either of you. You are both going to live separate lives, with different friends who you are going to spend more time with– physically- than with your partner. It is inevitable for either of you to socialize with other people.
Try not to get too jealous, and I know it’s going to hurt to not be there having fun together, but you need to simply accept it and live your life too.
6. You are going to miss the physical part a lot
This is one of the biggest dealbreakers when deciding if a long distance relationship will work for you. The physical part is substantial in a relationship, and I am not only talking about the sexy stuff but just a warm nice loving hug.
There’s simply no way to compensate for the loss of physical presence. Nothing measures up to being physically next to your loved one. Before you were able to express yourself through gestures and caresses, but in long-distance relationships, you need another way to channel your emotions and it is going to be through words.
Of course, it is not going to be the same. And most of the time you will long to touch that person, but when you see each other next time, it is not going to be just physical. Your hearts are going to be more connected, and everything is going to be magical.
7. Have a plan
This is going to be one of the vitals topics in your long-distance relationship. It will come up frequently, especially if you are both not sure what is going to happen. And the thing is that no one knows how long-distance will affect them or how to be happy and fully be committed to a long-distance relationship. But no matter the unknown, it is important to have a plan as to when you are finally going to be together.
Are you planning to move to the same city? Are you both willing to relocate? Is the other person comfortable with the idea of being together? What are your options? If you feel that you are not ready to think about these things or your partner’s answer is “I don’t know”, then you need to reconsider being in a long-distance relationship.
The fact that you both feel insecure in this aspect might be a premonition that you are not ready for this commitment yet. And it is so exhausting to be with someone who doesn’t really know what they want, they claim that they love you, but not to the extent of even taking into consideration when are you going to be together.
8. Money, Money, Money
Initially, you wouldn’t think about money, but as your relationship gets serious you will need to talk about finances between each other. Long-distance relationships can be costly, especially if the only way to see each other is by traveling by plane.
I recommend starting your own long-distance relationship budget; it can be a spare jar or a bank account. The thing is that for this relationship to work, you need to spend a lot of money and be ready to do it, otherwise the distance will feel longer than it is.
And finally let me tell you just one more thing:
Love each other.
Let yourself love that person. Follow your intuition, if you feel that it is right than it is. I know that it is hard, but if you think they are worth it then, you need to fight for it.
Everything will work out.