10 Ways to Deal with a Long Distance Relationship

I have had experience with 3 different LDRs. I often wonder if this is just the way I like a relationship since I seem to be in the them so frequently even though I always say I won’t do it again… and here I am in a 3,000 mile LDR. My first was with a military guy who lived 8 hours away. My second was with a West Coast guy who just lived an hour from me, and now I am in my third and last one with my best friend-turned-boyfriend who happens to live in our hometown on the East Coast. I met him 5 years ago and knew the first night I met him that there was something special about him. It is weird how women do really know these kinds of things in their gut. I was in my early 20′s and about to move across the country, so after a few really great dates, he, at the smarter and more mature age of 30, told me that we would just have to be friends and nothing more. I was totally crushed, but it all worked out and we stayed close friends for years.
3 summers ago, we happened to be home at the same time for 3 weeks and we spent a lot of time together. We decided to try to make it work since there was clearly something special between us. We took it slow and didn’t call each other boyfriend or girlfriend for probably 8 months. We didn’t put any pressure on each other and we took all of the elements of our friendship–respect, support, humor, patience–into our romantic relationship. 1 1/2 later, we are still together and we are planning on moving in together before the year is over. It stinks being in an LDR, but I know he is the right person for me, so we put up with it and work through it. It is only making us stronger and it only makes us appreciate each other more.

 

Here are some tips that help with LDR’s: 

  1. Text each other often. It’s simple, quick, and lets your partner know you are thinking about them.
  2. Share your inside jokes with each other throughout the day. Make each other laugh often.
  3. Make sure you call the person if you know they are having a bad day. It’s bad enough you can’t be there for the person, but at least try to be with a phone call and maybe follow it up with an e-mail, text etc. 
  4. Do extra special things on the holidays. For example, for Valentine’s day, my BF sent me 3 cards, one for each day leading up to V-day, and one was a funny card, one was a card more geared towards a friend, and one was romantic, they encompassed all the major parts of our relationship. This may not work for your relationship, but think of something different and meaningful that will. It’s not about how much  money you spend. When you are in an LDR, it’s all about the feelings, emotions, and meaning in the relationship. Those have to stay strong or your relationship won’t. 
  5. Engage in phone sex once in awhile. I don’t love doing this, but I suck it up because it makes my BF so happy.
  6. Use technology to your advantage! Skype occasionally. My BF hates doing all this stuff on the computer, but he sucks it up for me.
  7. Talk about happy thoughts. Fantasize about your future life together, where you will live, places you will travel together etc. My BF and I always daydream about traveling all over the world when we are having a tough time in our LDR. It always makes me feel better to think happy thoughts about our future.
  8. Make a plan. You can’t be in an LDR forever or at least most can’t. At some point, you have to start talking about a plan that you can both work towards in order for you to be together. I didn’t have a plan for a long time and it felt like it would never end. Now, we know we will move in by January, so it doesn’t seem so hard or hopeless anymore.
  9. Choose your breaking point. Decide how many weeks/months you can handle not seeing each other and then make sure to avoid going over that time. My boyfriend and I start to fight and get aggravated with our situation and with each other at about the 8 week mark. I make sure to see him every 8 weeks unless we absolutely can’t do it. We have accepted that is our breaking point and we need to respect that and make seeing each other work.
  10. Don’t change your life around unless you are 100% sure. You don’t want to uproot your life, your future plans, your career etc. unless you are sure about the relationship and you are sure you want to be with this person for a long time. Make sure you don’t feel like you are the one having to make all the changes and sacrifices because it will most likely lead to resentment later and resentment is poison for a relationship.

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