Long distance. Two words that pierce the hearts of all the loved-up couples among us. The idea of being physically far apart from the person you love most is daunting, often scary, and these bleak feelings only worsen when one of you has a bad day and all you can dream of is a hug from your person. Long distance relationships undoubtedly have their hardships, but they can also allow you to reap many benefits that you simply wouldn’t if you were together all the time.
Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind if you are, are about to be, or are thinking about the possibility of being in a long distance relationship!
And not just setting aside quality time to call, facetime, or text your partner – communicating feelings is so important, especially when you’re apart! It is vital that you feel able and comfortable to go to your partner and honestly express everything you are feeling about your life and your worries, as well as your relationship. Your partner should make time to talk with you openly about these things, and therefore that same expectation is there for you too.
This allows the two of you to come to terms with having to cope in difficult situations alone, but also having the safety net of your partner being there to comfort you and reassure you; the lack of physical contact also ensures that the conversations between the two of you can develop into something much more meaningful and productive, with the both of you wanting to help as best as you can, whilst at the same time being able to establish your own thoughts alone.
Communication between long-distance couples is often much stronger than other couples, who may, for example, have grown emotionally distant through having faced constant communicational pressures, or have become too dependent on each other’s words rather than the support of other people around them. Through distance, you allow yourself to strengthen the trust you feel between your friends and family, so that becoming entirely dependent on just one person’s advice doesn’t become an unhealthy behaviour in your relationship.
This is a big one for me. It can be hard to retain the spark you feel between you and your partner that comes with closeness, quality time and physical touch when you simply can’t see each other in person. It is extremely important to try and maintain a sense of excitement and romance with your partner while you’re apart, to avoid the routine of good morning and goodnight texts becoming too mundane. Great ways to do this include;
- Sending flowers and cards – a simple and inexpensive gesture, waking up to a ‘just because’ bunch of roses or a card to simply say ‘I love you’ can be the sweetest and most appreciated thing – and it’s a great thing to do when you know your partner has had a rough few days. It lets them know you’re still thinking of them beyond the realms of iMessage, and you truly want to help cheer them up from a distance.
- Random calls or texts – receiving a message just to say ‘I love you’, or a photo of something they saw that they think you’d love, or an unplanned Facetime call whilst you’re having dinner – these are the sorts of things that help create an element of excitement in a long-distance relationship. Even the idea of your partner wanting to tell you something, show you something, or just hear your voice at random points of the day without pre-planning is romantic, and can make your heart melt – try it.
- Surprise visits – a difficult one for those who are really far apart in distance, however still a really lovely thing to do. If it’s possible to visit your partner, it’s definitely worth booking a spontaneous train ticket to go and see them. Even if it’s only for a day or two, and even if you have nothing planned to do with them – just surprising them with your presence and a smile can be the most exciting thing and can really show how much you love them.
3) Having something to look forward to
It’s so important for the long-distance period to feel like it will end at some point. The notion of it being never ending is a hard thought to have to process, and, even if it does last a long time, having a planned meet-up, holiday or visit makes it so much easier for both of you to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Even if it’s nothing big, just setting a date in the future where the two of you can spend some face-to-face time together is crucial to coping with the time apart. It allows for the both of you to be able to count down to the next time you see each other, and each day growing closer and closer to that date rather than each day being another day since you last saw them is such a great way to deal with the distance.
All in all, long-distance is undeniably difficult for everyone. Even if you cope well usually, there will always be times when the distance becomes just too much. In these instances, it is so important to talk to your partner; let them know you miss them, and try to set aside some time for each other, whether that’s arranging a visit, a surprise call, or sending them some flowers to show them how much you miss them. And just know that, one day, the struggle of your long-distance relationship will all be worth it when you’re with your partner once again.
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