I’ve definitely had my fair share of long distance relationships. In fact, every relationship that I have been in since I got to college has been long distance. (I can see the raised eyebrow and shocked look on your face now!) After the first two failed long distance relationships, my closest friends asked me why I kept getting into them.
My answer was always that long distance could be successful if both parties put in the work. I still believe this. The distance makes both individuals have to go above and beyond in order to be successful. I’m currently in another long distance relationship now and can attest to these five tips on maintaining a successful relationship.
Keep it honest: Just be real with yourself and with your significant other. If you know that you require a lot of time and need to be around him/her everyday, then long distance may not be for you. Since you two are apart, there most definitely should be no secrets. You have no choice but to be an open journal for your partner in order to maintain trust. Even though it may be mundane to you, your significant other may still want to know where you went to eat for lunch or if you ever got your shower to drain properly. Not being there makes the most simple of things mean so much.
The sex stays in the picture: Some people aren’t into the whole phone sex idea and that’s OK. With today’s technology, you can surprise your boo for a little daytime/nighttime naughtiness through Skype or FaceTime. It’s better than nothing and can fulfill your needs until the next time you all get to visit one another.
Surprise! For those individuals who love surprises, something as simple as sending flowers to their house or job will surely make their day. That “wyd next weekend? I want to come down” text surely makes me ecstatic! It gives you something to look forward to and also says, “I know we’re long distance, but I wanted to do something to let you know you were on my mind.”
Keep up the romance: We live in the era of text messages, DM’s, and tweets. Communication has become quite impersonal. A good way to reconnect and really show that you’ve put forth some effort is to write (not type in a Word document) a love letter. I did this for my significant other a month or so ago and it honestly made me happy to be able to carefully think out what I wanted to say to him. It was a very intimate experience for me.
Deal with temptation: Unless you confine yourself to your apartment, temptation is bound to lurk its ugly head around some corner. Therefore, realize this fact, accept it, and mentally prepare yourself for when it emerges. In a long distance relationship, it’s easy to allow the distance to negatively affect your mentality regarding your relationship. You may start second guessing your decision to be in the relationship and that usually happens when there’s someone else in the picture. If you know that you “feel a certain type of way” around a male friend, for instance, try to avoid being alone at all costs. That’s a recipe for disaster and you’re only setting yourself up for the okie doke if you continuously place yourself around such a person. The key is to keep an open line of communication with your partner and PLEASE TELL THEM IF THERE IS A CHANGE IN YOUR FEELINGS TOWARD THAT PERSON.
Distance does make the heart grow fonder, but long distance is certainly not for everyone. The distance can make or break a couple. It is not for the needy or weak. That extra effort that it requires is just like a full time job; the only thing is that your reward is in the form of someone whom you love and who loves you back. These kinds of relationships are never easy, but the added struggles make the love shared that much sweeter in the end.