Long distance relationships get a bad reputation. I often hear people saying it’s ‘too much effort’, ‘impossible to keep up’ or ‘just too lonely day-to-day’. Today I’m going to bust that myth with reasons as to why you should never give up on a relationship simply because of distance, and top tips as to how to make it work for both of you.
Last year my boyfriend went to a small town in Canada for nine months as part of his university degree’s year abroad. We live in the UK so, as you can imagine, this was a pretty big shift.
From five hour timezone differences (to be fair, it could have been a lot worse) to dodgy internet connections, when you’re relying on technology as your sole means of communication – particularly when you’re on different continents – there’s bound to be practical complications from time to time.
The emotional side can certainly be a lot more trying, which is unsurprising and pretty frustrating. I’m lucky in that my boyfriend was going to return less than a year later and we’d live together again, whereas I’m fully aware that many couples’ long distance relationship is either much more long term or, in fact, permanent.
I learnt a lot during our year apart-yet-together, so I’ve put together my top tips for a long distance relationship and I really hope you find them helpful.
I would say the most important thing is trust. If you trust each other, your relationship is going to be absolutely fine.
I’d also suggest to keep in regular contact, if you can. Try not to make it excessive, though. It’s so important that you continue to grow as individuals as well as together, no matter how tempting it is to be texting each other non-stop. Obviously time differences can make things difficult but putting in a couple of minutes to make sure you have a message from each other when you wake up is my alternative to actually waking up next to each other!
Whilst texting is great, I think calling is super special- hearing their voice really makes such a difference.
Organising (in advance) FaceTime sessions where you watch a movie or both order pizza over FaceTime with ‘Netflix Friends’ I think it’s called, can be a cute night in too! Even FaceTiming and cooking the same meal (maybe it’ll be their lunch and your dinner because of time differences) and then comparing to see who made it better can be fun! Then of course sitting down to eat it together!
I also found that going out on adventures that you would usually do together can be really fun- taking photos of new places you find that you want to take them or your favourite places to go together and then sending the photos to them can feel like you’re somewhat sharing the adventure.
Writing letters/cards. There’s something so much more personal about handwriting a message than typing it, even though they’re from the same person. It also makes you feel like you’re in a 1940s-style romantic movie, and who wouldn’t want that?
Plan an adventure for each time you’re together in advance so that you’ve always got that to look forward to – whether it’s just a day trip somewhere new, lunch at your favourite restaurant or a couple of nights away somewhere you’re keen to discover together!
Keep one of their shirts. If they don’t give you one, steal it. When you wear it it’s like a cuddle (lame and gross but true)!
Keep a little photo of you together that makes you smile somewhere that you see it regularly – your lockscreen background, on your bedside table, on a shelf.
I hope if you’re in a long distance relationship that my tips and story help you, and if you’ve got a friend who’s just entered a long distance relationship or is feeling a bit low about a looming one, please do share this post with them to reassure them that they can do it! Feel free to share your long distance relationship tips in the comments below to help out other people who are reading this!