Long distance relationship sucks and nearly impossible for some people; but that doesn’t mean you can’t nail it.
Here’s a fact: given the choice, 46% of women and 45% of men are open to a long distance relationship with the right person (according to OKCupid data from a Refinery article by Erika W. Smith).
Here’s an opinion: they are open to it, but given the choice, 100% of people will not choose long distance relationship voluntarily. Part of that 100% will be me. And maybe you.
But fret not! Because I have listed 5 simple-but-useful long distance relationship (LDR) tips for you to use, based on my partner and I’s experiences:
1. Set an end goal!
Maybe you hear this often, and I will put it on the first point because, yes, this is what makes LDR more bearable. As lonely as it is to be far from my partner, knowing that there will be a certain date when this long distance relationship will end encourages me to keep on fighting; just like how winning a marathon feels more worth it because of the prize on the finish line.
2. Turn inwards now that you’ve gotten the time!
Now that your partner is not around as much as before, it’s time to shift your focus back to the things around you. Whether it is your friends’ circle, family, or even the relationship with yourself; look around or inwards and nurture these relationships, because these are what made you be who you are now. Have fun with your friends, face the family problems, or start a new hobby or habit–you name it.
3. Keep it fun as much as you can!
Move your dates into the digital world! Thanks to the world of Internet and technology, now, not only you can video call, you can even stream Netflix together; or keep a journal together with long distance relationship apps (some apps my partner and I use are here), and game together (here are the list of games we have played so far!). There is also a device for long distance couples which I have reviewed here.
4. Make your own rules…
There are a lot of people who have ideas on how things should be done in a long distance relationship, but well, just like any other relationships, everything should be up to you and your partner.
For instance, some might say that you should put a gap in between the video call days, because if you are too clingy, you might get sick of each other. Some might tell you that you are wasting money to visit your partner every month when your daily video calls should be enough. But just like any other relationships, it’s easy for people to say things, because they are not in your shoes.
That’s why, just give them a kind nod, and do your thing. Video call everyday if you two agree on it. Visit each other as much as you want as long as your bank accounts allow (be reasonable, though).
… even regarding communication!
Argue on phone calls only, for instance, since texts send mixed signals. My fiance and I update each other when our colleagues or friends invite us for a night out. We also tell each other when we had a bad day, but not up to vent (mostly me); or even when we feel like one of us is venting too much. After all, when we are all reduced into a flat screen, only our voice can show that we care most of the time. So discuss these as well. Some of helpful methods can be seen on no. 5 below.
5. Always make time for your relationship’s growth and development!
I mentioned turning inwards to develop yourself and the relationship around you; but this time, I am going to talk about how you and your partner can develop your relationship even from the distance.
For this specific topic, I really love this Gottman-based diagram by Lauren Fogel Mersy, PsyD, LP (a.k.a drlaurenfogelmersy on Instagram), called a ritual of connection:
Here are a bit of explanation for some parts of the diagram based on @drlaurenfogelmersy’s Instagram post caption:
- State of the Union meeting is a weekly check-in for partners to discuss what is going well and areas of concern. It gives partners opportunity to express their feelings and needs and to feel heard. It is also a time devoted for conflict management. For long distance relationship version, video call is needed for this meeting.
- Good morning call/text and End of day call/text lets you and your partner to talk about your day as it begins and ends. It can be stress reducing at times, but for my fiancé and I, this is our favorite ways to tune in. We usually combine our end of day call and our Video Date Night where we just get cozy and watch something together.
- Appreciation and Admiration and Affection are for when you and your partner want to give warm, snuggly wuggly, crazy and sometimes steamy butterflies to each other if you know what I mean. Time to turn your cuddles into words!
As you can see from how I list the explanation, my partner and I don’t follow this to the dot (especially on the duration, since this diagram is just an outline). But we do most of the things mentioned in the diagram, because it helps to make us feel secure and connected despite the distance. Sign up to my mailing list (by filling the form above) to get your own Daily Long Distance Relationship Checklist based on this diagram!
In the end, long distance relationship is something that can only be done with double the effort. I choose to see it as any other relationship’s trials and tribulations; instead of seeing it as a deal breaker. By facing this trial, I often get to see my partner’s or other people’s true colors as well. I hope this post will help you nurture a successful and productive long distance relationship!
from Mel to you.
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