Let me begin by saying that this is probably one of the most personal posts I've written since I began blogging, but I felt like I could truly help others by sharing my words. I wrote this because, going back in time, I wish I had something like this to reference.
I met my boyfriend, Preston, during a study abroad program in Rome, Italy. We totally hit it off in Europe and decided to keep things going upon returning to the states. Since then I have been dating him going on 3 years now. One of the most common questions I get asked is how in the world I've dated long distance for so long. Since so many people have reached out to me about this topic, I thought I would share some tips on how I've survived dating long distance. First, you must understand that dating long distance is HARD WORK. It takes a lot of effort on both ends- You have to be mutually committed to making this type of relationship work. But do know that once it's over, you'll be a thousand times better for it. The saying distance makes the heart grow fonder is absolutely true!! Because of distance our level of communication is exceptional, our time spent together has become so precious and our love and respect for one another has grown so incredibly strong. Scroll past the photos for my tips on surviving a LDR!
My top 7 tips for surviving a long distance relationship:
1. Communication: Communication is key to a successful long distance relationship and in the end you'll be so much better at communicating because of it. Learn each other's love languages so you can figure out how to love them best from afar. Set communication expectations that are realistic for your situation. I know life can get super busy but it is important to set aside time to communicate each day. For us, we try to say good morning and good night as well as text periodically throughout the day. When you can, find time to call or face time instead of texting. Being happy and satisfied with the level of communication for both parties is really important. If you feel a certain way, let them know so that you can work through it together! It's so important to communicate your feelings since there's no way for either of you to tell how one is feeling from body language. Remember that humans aren't mind readers.
2. Trust: Trust is another key component that you must have to make your LDR work. You will drive yourself crazy if you're constantly worrying about what the other person is doing or who they're with when you're not around. Let them enjoy their personal lives without over thinking things, because if you're overbearing, you may actually end up driving them away. In addition, be completely honest with the other person at all times. You have to remember that when that trust is broken, it's almost impossible to get it back.
3. Plan Visits: Planning future events such as visits or vacations really gives you something to look forward to. If possible, have your next trip planned before your current one is complete. This really keeps things fun and exciting + helps your time apart pass faster!
4. Avoid Setting Expectations: It took me almost 2 years of long distance to learn this. As humans, we have a habit of planning and building things up so picture perfect in our heads. During the time away from your significant other, you may start to build up these high expectations of your next visit or encounter. Almost always this won't end up being anything like you imagined it to be. It's common that the first day seeing each other in a while may be a little awkward, or you both may feel a little off, and that is completely okay! Building these high expectations to only be completely let down can be extremely frustrating and draining. I've learned that the only way to keep this disappointment from happening is to avoid setting expectations all together. Take your time together for what it is and simply enjoy each other's company!
5. Keep Yourself Busy: This is crucial. You can't stop living your life because of your long distance relationship. I try to keep myself as busy as possible and it often makes the time pass a lot faster. If you're just laying around thinking about the other person, you will most likely get sad. You'll be much happier if you stay active and continue to do what makes you happy- Find a hobby, spend time with friends, focus on your career- etc.
6. Get the Support You Need: Surround yourself with people who are supportive of your current situation. It's so helpful to be able to have people to talk to about what your going through when the going gets tough or people to simply laugh with when you need it most! It's hard to go through anything in life alone! Find that support group.
7. Be Patient: The most important thing for me has always been remembering that long distance is temporary - so no matter what, it will have to end! Perpetual long distance is impossible. Reminding yourself this will help you get through the frustrating times and those moments you feel as if you want to give up. In the grand scheme of things, the temporary time you're spending apart is nothing compared to the long life you will spend together once the distance ends.