|A photo of us just a few days before we began our long distance relationship.|
I've been in a long distance relationship for a few months short of a year, and it's definitely been rough. My boyfriend and I discovered that going from spending time together daily to seeing each other only a few times a year is excruciating. It can be even tougher to begin your relationship from a distance - my old roommate started dating her boyfriend while he lived across the country after they were introduced by a mutual friend, and they just celebrated their four-year anniversary.
Long distance relationships come from all sorts of backgrounds. Though your circumstances may be different from mine, and even though sometimes you'll absolutely hate the situation you're in, LDRs are actually pretty special. The difficult circumstances that they bring might provide you both with a challenge, but it's up to the two of you to rise to the occasion. If you can get through a long distance relationship together, you can get through any other troubles that come your way.
I wrote an entire post last month dedicated to surviving a long distance relationship, which focuses a lot on how to get by without each other. However, one of the most important things to remember when it comes to your LDR is that it's not all that bad. There are good things that come from long distance relationships. Really, there are. Here are a few of them.
You're able to focus on your own lives and goals. While spending all of your time together probably sounds ideal when you're far apart, spending time on your own allows you to be introspective and proactive about achieving your goals without allowing your partner to affect your decisions. It also gives you the opportunity to spend time with your friends, which can be easily overlooked in a local relationship (which I was totally guilty of with my first boyfriend, unfortunately).
It encourages conversation. Because you can't focus on intimacy or other physical aspects, communicating with each other becomes the most important part of your relationship. This establishes a great foundation for the two of you to build the rest of your relationship on, especially if you're a relatively new couple - as my friend noted, it allows you to be more openly curious about the other person.
It's easier to save money. If you're not going out together, you're not dropping cash on fancy dinners and other date night adventures. Your big dates during an LDR will more than likely happen through video chat, which won't set you back as much as rock climbing (or whatever people in local relationships do). This can help you focus on your monthly expenses or planning your next trip to see your partner.
When you do get to see each other, it's especially meaningful. Phone calls and video chats are great, but it's never as satisfying as hanging out together in real life. Time together in person is very rare in an LDR, so it's a great time to take advantage of all the hand holding and face-to-face time while you can. When we do see each other, my boyfriend and I like to go see a movie together or stay in and play video games (although sometimes we venture out into the real world to do exciting things).
Some of my favorite little perks include:
- Trading sweatshirts and T-shirts that smell like your partner
- Seeing them and hearing their voice when you video chat
- Good morning/good night texts
- Sending and receiving surprises in the mail
- Emoji conversations
- Sharing things that remind you of each other
- Checking in with each other throughout the day
- Catching up in detail in the evenings
- Looking forward to the next time you see each other
- They won't be able to tell if you skip a shower >:)
Above all, know that being in a long distance relationship is temporary. Though it sometimes seems pretty awful, it won't always be this way. Focusing on these positive aspects of your LDR will help get you through those especially difficult times and into a better future together. (Though if you are going through a rough time, remember that it is possible to get yourself out of it.)
Now it's your turn: Are you (or have you ever been) in a long distance relationship? How do you make it work?
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