1. Give Each Other Space
Yes, yes, I know that you miss him terribly and it’s been, like, forever since you last kissed him, but overcrowding each other is the fastest way to cause a rift between you. The constant “I love you’s” and “I miss you’s” get old quickly and lose their meaning if said too many times. Instead, let those words speak for themselves on those rare chances you do get to see each other.
Here’s my mantra for you: If you wouldn’t spend every second of your life with your boyfriend/girlfriend if they were in the same city as you, then why would you do that through texts/calls just because you’re long distance?
2. Find yourself a hobby
No, texting your boyfriend is not a hobby.
LDR’s are sort of like breakups. You need distractions to get you through the aches of missing them and the desire to bombard them with texts/phone calls. Go out and try something new. Take a painting class. Try out that new restaurant with your friend. Start a blog. Do something that doesn’t revolve around your significant other because if they are all you have, then you are gambling on your happiness. If all your bets are on your boyfriend/girlfriend and you lose, well, then now you will have nothing that brings you joy.
And then you’ll have to find a hobby to distract you from the pain.
Would you look at that? We’ve come full circle.
Here’s mantra number 2: Find a hobby now rather than later because starting a hobby later when you’re sad is a lot harder than when you’re happy.
3. Write “Open When…” Letters
Just as you need space away from your significant other, you also need reassurances, because let’s face it, LDR’s oftentimes do not work. And it’s scary to think yours is going to fall into the “Failed” category. So write each other “Open When…” letters. (If you don’t know what it is or need ideas for them, Google has tons of them. Here’s a link to 120+ ideas to get you started.)
Writing them is therapeutic. You can put your soul into them and remind yourself exactly why you love your boyfriend/girlfriend and why you are tolerating the misery that comes with the distance.
Receiving them is reassuring. When you finally reach one of the events, it’s nice to know what your SO was thinking as he/she wrote it. And it’s nice to hear they love you especially when it’s out of daily context.
Doing small things outside of texting daily “I love you’s” and “I miss you’s” goes farther and is more comforting during those rough patches.
4. Know Exactly When You’re Going to See Each Other Next
Having a day to countdown to is so much more heartening than counting the seemingly endless days, wondering when you’ll see each other again. While it may not be plausible to plan every visit, do your best to schedule your next visit (or at least a timeframe) at the end of your last.
Save yourself the heartache of counting endless days and start counting down the days.
5. Have an Endgame
This ties into tip 4. Ask yourself, what are you wanting to accomplish at the end of the long distance relationship? Where do you want to be individually and as a couple?
For example, my boyfriend, Adam, is in the military. Right now he’s in tech school for about 2 more months and I’m in my hometown working and focusing on my career. His goal is to better himself through the military and establish a career for himself. My goal is to get my career started and work on my hobbies (this blog being one of them). As a couple, our goal is to wait until my lease is up in 6 months and then we’ll move in together wherever he is stationed for his first assignment. From there we’ll get engaged and play out marriage by ear.
Have an action plan for what you are working towards as an individual and as a couple.
LDR’s are hard, but with the right tools, you can make it work. Remember to give each other space and give reassurances that the physical distance has not romantically distanced your love. Remind yourself that in the end, it’ll be worth it.
Because it is.
Here’s to Mine and Your LDR,
1. Give Each Other Space