Maybe you’re in a long distance relationship, maybe you are lucky enough to live in the same city as your significant other. After six years of living near my partner, followed by four years living 1500 miles apart, I have a few tips for going the distance in any relationship. I’m not an expert or a guru. I simply speak from experience. Weirdly enough, my tips spell out the acronym “P A T R I C K“. Maybe it’s a sign telling me Tony and I aren’t destined for each other. Either way, I’m rolling with it.
Take the time to plan your next visit together. Ideally, you will have your next trip together planned before the visit before it is over. This way, when one of you has to leave (it’s so hard, I know!), you both have something to look forward to. Also, if there is a big time difference between you and your significant other, it is a good idea to set time aside for dates, whether that is via video chat, phone, or text. Plan to make room for each other in your lives!
ACKNOWLEDGE and APPRECIATE
In long distance relationships, it can be difficult to remember what you are in it for, what you are both fighting for. You are fighting for each other. There will be some (hopefully not many) people in your lives who won’t understand why you don’t just date that cute neighbor of yours. Don’t ever let them make you doubt your relationship. And don’t forget to let your significant other know how much you appreciate them!
This is a big one, in any relationship. If you can’t trust your partner, then all is lost. Tony and I struggled with trust pretty much throughout the first 75% of our relationship. At some point, you have to believe that your partner loves you, and wants to be with you. They are in a long distance relationship with you because you are awesome, and they know it. They recognize your awesomeness and want to date you from tens, hundreds, maybe thousands of miles away because you rock. So own it.
Read this: 13 LDR Date Ideas
Romance is essential to any relationship, and in long distance relationships it is no different. The few days here and the weeks there (if you are lucky) can be a whirlwind of excitement and anticipation. The long periods of time that stretch in between trips can really drag a relationship down. So make sure to plan fun dates, send surprise letters and packages via snail mail, and perhaps shoot a spontaneous naughty text to your partner (only if you are comfortable) to spice things up.
When you are in a long distance relationship, it can be difficult to demonstrate to your partner that they are an important piece of your life. Involve them in your life. Say good morning. Say good night. Every single day. If you are having a rotten day, or a fabulous day, call your partner. Lean on them, celebrate with them. As in any relationship, your stumblings are theirs, and your successes are theirs to share as well.
Communication is key to any relationship. Talk to each other. Listen to each other. Be honest with each other. Communication is a tricky thing, and when communicating over long distances, it can be trickier. There is no easy way out. You can’t hug it out if you say something you didn’t mean. So say what you mean and mean what you say. And don’t forget to communicate your love at least as frequently as you communicate your anger.
KNOW the end goal
Eventually, someone is going to have to move so the relationship can take place in one city rather than two states (or two countries). One or both parties will need to be flexible, so talk about the future, talk early, and talk often.
Long distance relationships take work and commitment. If both parties work together, stay positive, and communicate (as in any relationship), then I’m sure you can make it through! If Tony and I can survive four years apart, it can’t be impossible, right?