Many would tell you to not even bother, if you told them you were going to start a long distance relationship. There’s no doubt that they are tough but I’m a firm believer that things can be within my control and the fact that I’m a hopeless romantic who believes that love can get you through all things.
1. Set Ground Rules
First of all, don’t start on the “if we were together” at all. Accept the situation for what it is. Any sort of temptation won’t do you any good. Next, move on to your expectations. Let each other know what you think should be the baseline e.g. calling each other once a week, regardless of how busy you get. Setting ground rules give you a sense of what you can expect and look forward to in your relationship. More importantly, it doesn’t allow you to slack off. For example, you might automatically assume that you can skip on the weekly call because you’re insanely busy. When this happens, your partner is left to deal with his/her own emotions because while they understand that you’re busy, their feelings aren’t acknowledged and they have no outlet to let it out. By having to explain that you need to skip on this week’s call, it ensures that the both of you are communicating still. This way, you can quickly address any uneasiness or unhappiness either of you have.
I’m here to reiterate this again. Communication isn’t just talking to each other regularly. It’s the quality of the conversation. If you’re unhappy or have something bothering you, don’t bottle it up, let each other know. It’s easy to not address it since you’re not even seeing each other and they can’t pick it up as easily as they would if they were physically spending time with you. If you drop hints and expect your partner to get them, that’s not going to work too. You’ll only end up feeling neglected when it’s really just a lack of communication. Know each other schedules so you understand if the other party can’t answer your call or reply you soon too.
Trust in your partner. Even if they aren’t replying you when you know that they have nothing on their schedule, they’ll probably have an explanation for it. Sometimes, communicating can be tiring too. It’s fine if you leave your phone for a while because you’re drained, and I understand that you can’t find it within yourself to inform someone about it beforehand. This way, when your partner trusts you, you know that he or she will understand that you needed to take some time by yourself, provided that you return to your phone and explain how you felt earlier. In turn, you also feel cared for because they’d be concerned about you.
Of course, this is only relevant if your partner is someone who puts in the effort to make this work as well. You can’t be the only one blindly trusting while he or she abuses your trust because they’re able to hide behind the distance.
4. Talk To Each Other Daily
Long distance relationships definitely need some form of communication, be it texting or dropping a call. I think it’s important to let each other know that you’re making an active effort to include them in your life despite the distance so even if it’s just to whine about your coworker that pissed you off, do it.
5. But Don’t Over-Communicate
That said, it’s also important to not over-communicate. It’s nice to send each other pictures of what you’re eating, but it’s maybe not that cool to go overboard on the details and start texting them about who you’re eating with, what you guys are talking about etc. You need to be able to live your own life too and not revolve your life around your partner completely. All that information is just going to take a toll on him or her because you’re constantly communicating that it’s interfering with both your lives. It’s also healthy to play hard to get, to a minimal level of course, so that they’re still constantly interested.
6. Making Use of Technology
There’s so many couple phone apps out there that help long distance couples stay connected with each other. Some remember anniversaries, a to-do list that both of you have access to edit and so on. There are also apps like Gaze that allows you to watch movies in sync, so that you can still keep up with date nights. But you can also stick to good ol’ Skype and Facetime but don’t limit yourself to only chatting! It’s also great for study dates, or even if they’re just interested in watching you cook.
7. Be Considerate of Each Other
If you’re uncomfortable with him hanging out with that particular childhood ex, you should be staying far away from yours. It’s very easy to work out what you aren’t comfortable with, and stick to them. Don’t be a hypocrite and think that it’s completely fine for you to do something while if the tables turned, you’d throw a huge fuss. Both of you are supposed to have some knowledge of each other, so if you know that your partner wouldn’t be comfortable about something, don’t do it. Or you can try to find ways to go about it such that he or she would know that you’ve gone to some extent to make sure that while you aren’t being deprived, you care about how they feel as well.
8. Let Them Know They’re On Your Mind
This is easy. Drop a text of picture if something reminds you of them. If you see something in the streets that you know they’d like, get it and mail it over to them. Better yet, leave it at your place and give them something more to look forward to when they come over to visit.
9. Visit Each Other
If your long distance relationship is going to go on for a while, you have to be realistic and know both of your limits. It’s not easy to sustain in the first place, so you’re definitely going to have to make trips to each other. This will allow the both of you to have something to look forward to if things get hard.
10. An End Goal
You need dates so that whenever you’re exhausted and feel like this will never end, there’s an end goal that both of you are working towards so you can’t be the one who gives up.
At the end of the day, it’s important to not compare your relationship to others, especially those who have the luxury of hanging out often. Every relationship is different and it’s actually a good thing that you’re not tempted to see each other all the time because then you really get the chance to be out there, meeting new people and investing your time in yourself and the things that you enjoy.