Many people believe that long-distance relationships are never going to work out. Your family may discourage it, and some of your best friends may advise you not to take it too seriously, just in case you end up getting your heart broken.
Nobody says it is going to be easy — the extra distance alone will make many things unachievable. Things could get complicated, and you’re bound to get sad and lonely at times. But I promise it’s not all bad!
The extra distance between you also makes the simplest things the sweetest — being able to hold the other person’s hand, eating together at the same table, feeling each other’s touch, taking a walk together, smelling each other’s hair etc. These seemingly small things we often take for granted can suddenly mean so much more in a long-distance relationship.
In this age of technology, maintaining a long-distance relationship is easier than ever before. So don’t let people’s nasty comments deter you from joining the long-distance relationship club. In fact, negative comments provide you with even more of a reason to prove them wrong. Because yes, long-distance relationships can be successful! But, armed with these top long-distance relationship tips, you’ll be acing the whole long-distance relationship malarkey in no time. Read on to find out more …
01. FACETIME IS YOUR FRIEND
There’s only so much texting and messaging you can do before you start wanting to hear their voice and see their face. To only communicate via text message may not only become mundane but it can also be unhealthy. It’s easy for a message to be misinterpreted, which may upset your other half, and you don’t want that. And, hey, you love this person, right? Dedicating time to speak to them via video call, whether that’s by FaceTime or Skype, should be a barrel of laughs for both of you.
02. HAVE AN END DATE IN SIGHT
This is possibly my favourite tip on this list of long-distance relationship tips. And one that will be sure to keep you going. Set yourselves an end date for when your long-distance relationship is going to end. For example, you might currently be studying at university but decide to move closer to your partner once you’ve graduated. Or you might decide to give it a few years and then move in together. The truth is, no couple can be in a long-distance relationship for forever. Even if you don’t decide to take the typical trajectory of marriage, buying a house, and having kids, we all need to settle down in one way or another.
Knowing when your ‘end date’ is will be mutually beneficial for both parties. Realising that this won’t be forever will ease the pain of long-distance and actually make you appreciate your own space and company. ’Cause let’s face it, you’re not going to have this kind of independence forever. So decide when your end date is, and draw up a plan. It’s important that you’re both on the same page and have the same goals.
03. SURPRISE EACH OTHER WITH LOVE LETTERS, GIFTS OR TRIPS
I understand that many people may think that giving gifts is just materialistic. And, believe me, I get that. But, that being said, I still think it’s lovely to surprise someone now and again. Everyone loves to receive a little token of appreciation, don’t they? It doesn’t have to cost much either. Yes, you could send each other gifts but the little things go a long way too. Go old school by writing and sending hand-written love letters or postcards, surprise them with a bunch of their favourite flowers, or make a Spotify playlist for them and send them the link. It doesn’t have to be a massive gesture. Just something to keep the spark alive.
But, for me, the best surprise would be surprising them by showing up on their doorstep. You may not be able to afford the train tickets or airfare right now, but save up and surprise them. After all, the best gift you can really give someone is your time.
04. PLAN WHEN YOU CAN VISIT EACH OTHER IN ADVANCE
Visits are the highlight of every long-distance relationship. There’s no denying that. Without trying to make your relationship seem like some formal business exchange, it’s nice to map out exactly when and where you can see each other. Research the cheapest and easiest way to visit each other. For example, if you’re dating someone who’s just a couple of hours away the cheapest and easiest way to get to them may be by rail or road. But if you’re dating someone further afield then a plane trip could be the way to go.
One of the best long-distance relationships tips is to get into a routine of scheduling visits at regular intervals. Even if it is several months away, knowing when you’ll next see each other and having a date to count down to is something that will help massively.
05. LIVE YOUR OWN LIVES
As much as I’m sure you’ll hate to hear it, living your own lives is so important. You may be alone but you’re not lonely unless you choose to be. Whilst your partner may feel like your whole world and more, letting your world revolve around one person is dangerous. This is why many long-distance relationships fail, especially if one person in the relationship needs the other way more than the other.
Take this time apart to do more by yourself, with your friends and with your family. Get a new hobby. Go to the gym. Lounge on the sofa in your pj’s and watch Netflix. Or plan a weekend away with the girls. Whatever you enjoy doing, just relish your independence while you still can.
06. DO THINGS TOGETHER EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE APART
Whilst it is important to have your own hobbies and your own lives, one of the best long-distance relationship tips is to do things together, even when you’re apart. You could maybe read the same book or watch the same film or TV series on Netflix at the same time, even though you’re in different places. This will help you share experiences and give you new things to talk about. You can even play a video game together even when you’re apart. Technology is amazing these days, so make the most of it!
07. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
Honesty is, of course, important in any relationship. But it is especially important in long-distance relationships because you’re not going to know what the other person is up to 100% of the time. Lying isn’t going to get you anywhere so be honest about how you are feeling. If you’re feeling jealous, tell them. If you’re feeling insecure, tell them. It’s not rocket science. The truth will come out in the end, as they say. So be upfront about it. Besides, feeling a little jealous now and again is not unusual in any relationship. And especially not in a long-distance relationship. Jealousy is healthy to a certain extent as it means you really care about that person.
08. KNOW EACH OTHER’S SCHEDULES LIKE THE BACK OF YOUR HAND
No matter whether your partner is working full time, studying full time, or something completely different, knowing each other’s schedules like the back of your hand is extremely important. By doing so, you can avoid calling or texting them at times where you may find yourself waiting around and wasting your time when you’re not going to get a reply anytime soon. This will also help as you can schedule regular calls that work well around both of your schedules.
09. PROPERLY ENJOY YOUR TIME IN PERSON TOGETHER
When you only have a couple of days together each month or — god forbid it — a couple of days together each year, it feels like there is a lot of pressure to make every in-person second count. However, try not to get too stressed out about it. Instead, just enjoy each other’s company for what it is. You may not get to do stuff you wanted to do but hey, that’s life.
If you want to spend all weekend doing lots of fun-filled activities, that’s cool. But if you want to spend all weekend ordering takeaways and watching Netflix in bed, that’s equally cool. Determine what it is that best feels like quality time spent together and do more of that. Just remember that time you enjoy wasting together is not wasted time. In fact, it’ll probably help the two of you connect even more.
10. REMEMBER THAT MOST PEOPLE IN LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIPS WILL STRUGGLE AT SOME POINT
We’re all human. Sometimes long-distance relationships just don’t work out. And sometimes you’ll just have to acknowledge that despite their benefits, long-distance relationships can be a bit crap. But that’s okay. You don’t have to pretend that you’ve got it all figured out. Because — spoiler alert — most of us don’t. Just remember that this isn’t going to be forever. And as long as you’ve got an end date within the next ten years, you’ll be alright. I promise.