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Long distance relationships are growing to be more and more common with the technology we have available today! Can you imagine being in a long distance relationship 100 years ago? Or even 20? The snail mail struggle was real! But today with being able to video chat, there has definitely been a rise of how many people are in a LDR.
Little story time, so you know that I understand what I’m talking about – my husband and I were in a long distance relationship for 5 years! We were super young on top of it all, just 14 and 15 years old when we first started dating in a LDR. He lived in Colorado and I lived in Texas. It was like this all throughout high school, and a little afterwards as well since my husband joined the Navy. It was hard and took so much work, but it paid off for us in the end!
This is our first date at 15, and then us getting married! 🙂
Everyone always wonders how we made it through distance, ESPECIALLY at that age. So, here are my top 8 tips on how to have a successful and long-lasting long distance relationship!
1 – Have a VERY strong and solid foundation from the beginning.
LDR’s are no joke! I know for a fact that if my husband and I weren’t 100% committed to each other from day 1, it would’ve never worked. This is not the time to be dating for fun. If that’s what you want to do there is nothing wrong with that, but you should find someone near you. Distance requires a seriously strong foundation and commitment. I think of LDR’s like any other relationship, just amplified 10x. So all of the things a normal relationship takes to survive – trust, honesty, communication, etc. – is applied 10x in a long distance relationship. There is zero chance that this will work if you cannot trust your partner. If you have ANY doubts about this, you need to address that NOW and work through that before pursuing this. If your partner has never given you a reason to question them or not trust them, that is great! It is still important to have this conversation to make sure you both are on the same page on what you will and will not tolerate with pursuing this relationship, and this foundation is what will be set for your entire relationship, even after the distance ends.
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2 – Live your own individual lives.
You need to be able to be independent in a long distance relationship. There is no way around it unfortunately. You are still living your own life, and your partner is living theirs. So enjoy your alone time and make sure you have a great circle of friends and family to be your support system! And don’t go crazy texting your partner if they are off doing something with their friends. You trust them, remember? So let them live their life, you’ll have your chance to talk again!
3 – Communicate as often as possible.
Speaking of talking, make sure to communicate often! This is all you have in a long distance relationship. You literally rely on communicating to survive through this. You’ll learn how to communicate effectively quickly! If you run out of things to talk about, play a game like truth or dare, or would you rather. You learn more about each other this way too, and can spark more conversation material. Make it a priority to communicate daily, whether it be over video chat or call, as well as texting, and even sending cute letters!
4 – Have date nights!
Yes you can still have date nights when your miles upon miles apart! One of the things my husband (then boyfriend) and I used to do all the time was have movie nights over video chat! So we would look up a movie on Netflix or something, and both watch it together. This has gotten even easier to do with technology now which I am super jealous about! It’s important to make time for each other and, you know, date! This will keep the spark alive while you’re apart.
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5 – Visit each other!
You need to visit each other. My husband (again, then boyfriend) and I would see each other over long breaks in school, so summer, Christmas, etc. We in general saw each other every 2-4 months. I see couples though that will go years without seeing each other, and I just don’t think that is healthy. Some couples can’t help it, like military couples, and that is totally different. But in general, you need to make it a priority to see each other. It gives you something to look forward to! This is how I feel like I survived my LDR. I always had a countdown going to the next visit. It would suck at first seeing how many days I had left until the next visit, but when it would get closer and closer I got so excited!
6 – Have an end-game plan.
Distance cannot last forever. That is completely unrealistic. I understand in the beginning maybe not knowing exactly when the distance would end, but at some point this is a conversation that needs to be had. What are your future goals and plans? How does this align with each other? When does the distance end in this plan? There has to be an end-game.
7 – Be honest with your emotions, and feel comfortable expressing them.
It’s ok to feel sad, or even jealous sometimes – even if you trust your partner. Of course you wish you were there or they were here to experience life with. Don’t beat yourself up about feeling this way, and express it to your partner! I remember sometimes feeling bad about sounding negative to my partner, but ultimately you don’t want to keep it bottled up. You’re going to have some hard days, and it’s important to go through those days together.
8 – Stay positive!
Although you will feel negative at times which is perfectly understandable, it’s important to try your best to stay positive. Feeling down all the time in any relationship is not healthy, and it will put a strain on your relationship. You need to fill your mind with happy thoughts! Just like how if you’re feeling down about yourself and need to tell yourself positive affirmations, you also need to apply the same thing in regards to your relationship. Remind yourself of what you have to be grateful for! You have an amazing partner who is willing to go through this for you, and you two will be stronger both together and individually because of it.
Are you in a long distance relationship? Share your story and tips below!