10 Things No One Tells You About Long Distance Relationships
Luke and I were living 9 hours and 20 minutes apart when we fell in love. We know a thing or two about long-distance relationships. The beginning stages of a long-distance relationship are full of new things. I want to share a few key insights to make it work from a city, a state, or a country away.
They are quite common.
A quick Google Search will tell you that about 1 in 7 relationships in the United States is long-distance. So out of every 7 couples you know, one is or began as a long-distance relationship. One study estimated that 75% of college students had been in a long-distance relationship at one time! Chances are you have been in one yourself. So how do we make them work??
2. Misunderstandings will happen; learn how to understand each other.
Late-night phone calls, misinterpreted messages, and differences in communication styles could all cause misunderstandings. Not being together makes it easier for things to be misunderstood, so it is even more important to assume good motives.
3. Schedule, schedule, schedule.
Schedule your time together! Whether it’s a FaceTime date or a weekend away, prioritize time for each other. Luke and I discussed our schedules and set aside time to be together. This makes the other person feel important and wanted.
4. Don’t be excessive.
While it is important to communicate regularly, it is also important to respect each other’s time. When the other person is busy, do not take it personally. There is no need to be on the phone together 24/7.
5. Be creative in your communication.
“Good morning” and “good night” texts or calls are always a must, but don’t just have mundane conversations. Set aside special time to talk about how work is going, have a FaceTime date, or call when you’re with family so everyone can say hi!
6. If doing something might make your partner uncomfortable, don’t do it. Sacrifices are necessary.
I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s so important. Make decisions that your partner will respect and feel comfortable with. If there is someone they would prefer you not spend time with, don’t do it. Making reasonable concessions proves your loyalty and respect.
7. Do things together while apart.
Learn something, watch something, or eat something together. You could watch the same movie at the same time, try a new recipe at the same time, or order in Thai food at the same time! These activities will help you feel closer despite the distance.
8. Enjoy alone time as well as time with friends and family.
As noted before, you don’t need to spend every moment of spare time talking to each other. It is important to continue to have alone time and to spend time with friends and family. Have a girls’ night planned, and let your partner know you won’t be on your phone that night. Then you can have deep, meaningful conversations with other important people in your life. Drawing away from others and putting all your focus on your partner is easy to do when there is distance involved, but you will need those people in your life! Keep ‘em close.
9. Don’t pull away, stay open and honest.
If things start to feel strained or uncomfortable, talk about the issue so that you can change something. Don’t keep these feelings to yourself. As time goes on, it might get harder to continue being open and honest, but it only gets more important as time goes on.
10. Use snail mail too.
Mail each other gifts, and then open them together! Nothing says, “I love you” like a handwritten letter. The time and effort required to sit down and write a real, heartfelt message goes a long way, and it is something your partner will be able to cherish forever.