A long-distance relationship isn’t ideal for most couples. But for some of us, there’s no other option than to deal with the distance that a job, college, or an online relationship can create. I never thought I’d sacrifice living right down the street from my boyfriend for hundreds of miles of distance between us. But when said boyfriend got the opportunity to be a wildland firefighter in rural Oregon, I had to do what I never thought I’d do and watch him drive away from me for four months. And while for a few days it seemed like my life had ended, it has gotten easier every day. Here are the ten tips to fostering a happy and healthy long-distance relationship:
Support, Support, Support
There are many reasons why couples have to engage in a long-distance relationship. If your significant other has to move away because of college or a killer job opportunity, the best thing you can do is support them. Encouragement is a critical aspect of any relationship, and showing your support despite the distance will go along way. Rep his college colors, brag about him to your friends and family, support him no matter where his opportunity takes him. Instead of this: “I miss you and wish you were here with me,” try this: “I miss you, but I know you’re where you need to be right now.”
Manage Your Expectations
Hard conversations come with being a part of a long-distance relationship. Are you two exclusive? What’s the commitment level of the relationship? Is the distance eventually going to lead to something that will make it all worthwhile? Setting these ground rules, while uncomfortable, will help to manage your expectations in regard to the relationship. No surprises!
See The Distance As An Opportunity
Ever heard the saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”? While this may just seem like something people say when they don’t know how else to comfort you, it can actually be true. Many couples end up stronger after experiencing such a separation. Let this be your story. Use the distance as a way to grow stronger. When you can’t have the physical closeness, you’ll remember why physicality is important and why you love it, making your reunion so special you’ll wonder why you were initially worried.
Don’t Focus On The Physical Distance
…but instead, appreciate your emotional closeness. Because of the distance, you won’t be able to rely on sex and physicality. You’ll instead have to focus on your emotional connection. Day-to-day conversations will become increasingly important, and you may find new and exciting connections that aren’t based on sex but rather based on your shared experiences.
Avoid Dangerous Situations
Avoid any situation that makes your significant other nervous or upset with you. Trust is critical in any relationship but even more so in a long-distance relationship. Being apart is already hard but increasing your partner’s worry with suspicious or untrustworthy behavior is only going to make things worse. If you would not do it when they’re in town, you should not do it when they’re not.
Don’t Rely Solely On Texting – Communicate In Different and Creative Ways
In this day and age, texting is the most convenient and prevalent way of communicating. It’s so easy to shoot someone a text and then be on our merry way. But hearing someone’s voice, seeing someone’s face, and reading a personalized letter in your sweetheart’s handwriting are all special ways to convey love. If schedules permit, call your significant other, video chat with them, or write and mail them a letter. And then send them a text letting them know you’re thinking about them.
Create a Schedule and Stick To It
When together, it’s common to have a set date night. Maybe every Friday night you two go to your favorite restaurant. But in a long-distance relationship, that obviously is not an option so you have to improvise. Set a schedule. A few times a week make an effort to video chat. Try to harken back to your date nights spent pampering each other and having a good laugh: get a face mask (make sure he gets one as well) and spend an hour on video chat cleansing your pores together.
Plan A Trip
Having something to look forward to can make all the difference in a long-distance relationship. Plan a trip together. The anticipation of seeing each other will keep you going as you endure this time apart.
Sex is obviously an important part of any relationship, even long-distance ones. However, the options are slim when it comes to expressing your love in a physical way. Be open to talking dirty and sending sexy photos. If you love and trust this person, this can be an exciting means to expressing your love in a new way that can satisfy an otherwise unfulfillable desire.
Be Confident In Your Relationship
This might be the most important tip to fostering a healthy long-distance relationship. After the hard conversations, the tears, and the potential for “I can’t do this anymore,” being confident in your partner and your relationship is critical to a successful long-distance relationship.