How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work

There are many reasons for being in a long distance relationship. Perhaps you have already been together for years but a new job opportunity created some distance, or maybe you met online but can’t meet in person until some time has passed. Whatever the reason, long distance relationships require a special degree of care and attention to make them work. Following this list of simple, long distance relationship advice can help keep things fresh and exciting despite the distance.

1. Communication Goes a Long Way

Communication is important for every relationship, but it is absolutely vital for long distance. Different people have different needs when it comes to the frequency of necessary communication, so it’s important to establish how often is too often and what amount is not enough. Sometimes a simple text to say good morning or good night will be enough, and not every video chat session needs to last for hours. On the flipside, while absence can make the heart grow fonder, be careful not to let too much time pass, otherwise one person might end up feeling neglected.

Elite Tip: With a lack of physical togetherness, it might seem tempting to go overboard on the text messages and video chat sessions. Get creative! Sending letters may seem outdated, but it creates a level of intimacy that can’t be reached electronically. Draw something for your partner on a postcard, or spray some perfume/cologne to include another sense that is neglected in long distance relationships.

2. Trust Strengthens the Bond

It’s easy to get jealous when it seems like your partner is going out all the time and having fun while you stay home stewing about it. But they have their own life to live, as should you. Be open and honest with each other, and address the things that bother each of you. If you know your partner will feel uncomfortable knowing you’re out late every weekend, reassure them beforehand. It’s healthy to do things separately, and during a long distance relationship, it is especially important to let your partner know you are okay with that, otherwise you may risk building up resentment or dishonesty.

Elite Tip: Send a simple text message or selfie when you’re out to let your partner know you’re thinking of them. Or, if you can’t do that during your outing, send a message after to let them know they were missed!

3. Be Together in the Long Distance Relationship

Just because you’re apart doesn’t mean you can’t do things together. You can play games online or sync a movie to watch at the same time. Pick a book to read at the same pace. It will make you feel closer to each other every time you sit down to read it. If you’re musical, try making music together during your video sessions. Take something you’re both interested in and find a way to participate together.

Elite Tip: Leave some kind of wearable memento for your partner to think of you, like a sweater that smells and feels like you or a hat that was bought while watching a live sporting event together.

4. Find a Routine that Works

Spontaneity is a great thing to have in a relationship, but during a long distance relationship, establishing a routine can be just as important, especially with big time-differences.  Sometimes both of you might have full schedules, so instead of randomly sending a text asking if they can video chat and hoping for the best, make communication part of the schedule. Treat your video chat sessions the same way you would treat scheduling a romantic date. Find the time(s) that work best for both of you and stick to it every week, no matter what.

Elite Tip: Try mixing up the routine by planning different activities to do together. Do some yoga together to start the morning for one and end the workday for another. Use the previous tip to keep things fresh while sticking to a schedule.

5. Make (Realistic) Future Plans Together

Ultimately, every relationship has some sort of goal, whether that is marriage and kids or traveling the world together.  Long distance relationships need some kind of concrete future plans, and it is important for both people in the relationship to know exactly what is expected. After all, a long distance relationship is more of a promise of a future relationship. It is easy to talk about all of the things you both want to do together, but keep things simple and restricted to no more than three months into the future.

Elite Tip: Take mini-vacations to see each other if you know you’ll be living apart for longer than three months. Visit each other’s cities or meet halfway and explore a new environment. Or, if that’s not possible, sometimes just having something concrete like a plane ticket can alleviate much of the stress by having something to look forward to.

Looking for inspiration? Here are nine fun date ideas.

6. Enjoy Alone Time

We seek being in a relationship for companionship and support, but don’t forget that you are still your own person. Take advantage of your alone time to start a new hobby that your partner might not have as much interest in, or go ahead and binge-watch that TV show you’ve been meaning to watch guilt-free. Embrace your independence, and remember you are in a relationship because you want to be with the other person, not because you need to be with them.

Elite Tip: Share your new knowledge and experiences with your partner. Not only will it give you more to talk about, but you might discover you have more in common than you think!

Being in a long distance relationship is not ideal, and the longer it goes on, the more it might feel like it’s no longer worth it. Use the above tips to keep things as fresh as possible. Remember why the two of you decided to stay together despite the distance, and know that it will all be worth it once the two of you can finally live in the same city again.

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