Being in a long-distance relationship is hard. Thanks to modern technology, it’s a lot easier than it used to be, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck when you can’t see your person. I’ve done long-distance before, and it was tough. Would I do it again if I had to? Absolutely. Would I do everything I possibly could to avoid it? In a heartbeat.
If you’re doing long-distance or thinking about it, I hope this can help you make it through.
Spend the time apart wisely
If you’re positive enough, you can find a silver lining in any dark cloud, and long-distance relationships aren’t an exception. You may not be able to physically be around your partner, but there are still ways you can get closer emotionally.
One of the few things you can do with someone you can’t be around is talk to them. Text, call, write letters, send care packages. Not being around them means your interactions are limited, but you can really get to know them without the pressures of intimacy or spending money on expensive dates.
When you really talk to and get to know your partner, they become your best friend. If there is one thing I miss about being long-distance, it is that we used to talk a lot more. Between jobs and school, on the bus, or during walks to the gym, we were constantly on the phone talking to each other.
Talking was about the only thing we could still do together while living on opposite sides of the country after all. Thank goodness for unlimited phone plans. It wasn’t unusual for us to be on the phone for a minimum of 15 hours every week. We were talking every chance we got because it was the only way we could be around each other.
Being able to talk so much meant we really got to know each other and deepen our relationship without needing to worry about how fast or slow the other stuff was going.
Take advantage of technology
Staying connected in a long-distance relationship is a lot easier now than it used to be. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for our parents, and it must have been even harder for our grandparents. Now that we have the internet and more accessible telephones, it only takes a few taps before we’re connected to our beloved. We don’t have to tie up phone lines or wait by the mailbox for each response.
When my partner and I were doing long-distance, Skype was our best friend. There are other video call services, but Skype was our website of choice. It’s easy to use, free, and the quality is usually pretty decent.
Even if you don’t have anything new to talk about, it’s still nice to fire up the video call and just sit in silence while you do your own thing. I remember writing papers and feeling comforted by being able to see my partner in the corner of my laptop whenever I wanted.
Heck, it was even comforting to take naps while on a video call. One or both of us would nod off while doing whatever, and the other would just stay on the call until they had to log off for the night or head off to work. Being around one another in whatever way we could was what was important.
While you’re apart, there’s, of course, a limit to what you can do together. With the power of technology, though, there are still some things you can do. If you enjoy games, you can download a tabletop simulator or an online multiplayer game to play together. If you like movies, video calls while you watch Netflix together are the way to go.
My partner is very big on movies, so that was what we did a lot, fire up one streaming service or another while Skyping and enjoying a movie together. As long as you press the play button at roughly the same time, you can watch it together and still enjoy little movie dates.
Know your timeline
Being able to look forward to the future is key in any long-distance relationship. Knowing you’ll be together with your partner (even for a short time) makes the time apart so much easier to bear.
Make plans to visit
However far apart you are from your partner, it’s essential to try to visit them. (Travel restrictions may make that hard if not impossible but trying is still important). The amount of distance between you can make visits hard, if you’re across the country from each other or even from different countries altogether seeing each other for a weekend is way too tough.
Adjust your visits to what works best with your schedules and finances. If you’re a little closer and can drive out for a weekend once a month, take advantage of it! Any time together is better than none.
When my partner and I were doing long-distance, we were able to see each other roughly every 3-4 months. It was tough, and we usually both were crying after parting ways at the airport but as soon as we both got home, it was time to figure out the next visit, and we savored each moment we could finally be together.
How much longer will the distance last?
When you first start a long-distance relationship, you may not know how long it will have to stay long-distance. When I first started dating my partner, I made sure we both knew going into it that the distance would be indefinite (luckily, we only had to wait about a year before we were able to move in together).
If you know when the distance will end, though, it can be more bearable to make it through the long periods where you’re apart. If you don’t know when the distance will end, then talk to your partner openly about how and when you can be together again. What needs to happen for you to close the distance? Knowing makes it so much easier to keep going.
Being in a relationship isn’t always easy and being in a long-distance relationship is even harder. If you’re losing heart, head over to our blog on putting in the work. I promise that at the end of the day, if you’re with the right person, it will be worth it.
Would you get into a long-distance relationship?