Have you ever heard the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder”? It’s a quote most of us have all heard, whether it is from our elders, in English class, or even something you have scrolled past on Pinterest. At one point in time in our young love life, we have had to experience a relationship with distance. Maybe that is distance just for a weekend, or you have committed to a long-distance relationship. Some may have graduated from high school and your partner decided to go to a different college, pursue different careers in different places, or you simply made a connection from afar. We are talking about making long-term committed relationships work, but how?
- LDRs improve individuality
As a young woman in college, I find myself in a “Who am I? Where do I fit in? Who do I want to be?” internal conflict. We are surrounded by “to-do lists” daily, but being in a distant relationship can help us to focus on our goals. It provides us with the sense of still having our own person and feeling secure. At the end of the day, you are only accountable for what you are doing for yourself, RIGHT NOW. You and your partner can still have a healthy relationship, as well as have the ability to be on your own schedule and stay centered with what the end goal is and how to reach it.
- They take loyalty
Just because you are miles apart, doesn’t mean that you should treat it any differently than living in a small town. You can’t control your other half in the relationship, but you can control your half. If it’s meant to be then it’ll be easy. It comes down to the fact that loyalty is black and white, not grey. You are either all in, or not at all.
- You have to communicate
Just like having a job, you need to be able to communicate effectively. Being miles apart comes with having to talk about your feelings a lot. Long-term connections thrive off of letting the other person know exactly how you feel. Though not being face-to-face does come with an advantage, such as being able to think about what you will say before you actually say it. This can be helpful to a relationship rather than spitting out the first thing that comes to our mind.
Some days will be difficult, where you simply feel distant emotionally. That is okay, but what is not okay is not letting your significant other know that you are feeling this way. It simply comes down to this — if you don’t talk about it, then it won’t get better. Communication is key.
- You have to have patience
Patience is a true virtue they say, but why? When you’re in a relationship, especially long-distance, you have to learn that good things take time. Whether you are eager to see them three months down the road or in a disagreement over something, timing is key. When patient, we are able to see more clearly what is right in front of us and can make a real difference. Everything is in the hands of time with the right amount of patience. Having the ability to slow down, think, and wait can have a strong impact on a healthy relationship.
- Use technology wisely
Thankfully in this day in age, we have all sorts of amazing technology to help us keep in touch with others from a distance. From texting to FaceTime calls, a relationship can thrive though miles apart.
One of my favorite ways to have a long-distance date is my significant other and I will get popcorn, video chat, and watch our favorite show or a good movie together. It’s a good way to feel close in the meantime.
Though we have the accessibility to talk at the touch of a button, don’t overdo it. Both people in the relationship are living their own lives, so you don’t want to feel like you can never put your phone down. It is always a good idea to let the other person know you’re busy before you do put your phone down (so they don’t think you’re ignoring them).
- If it’s not for you, it’s not for you
Long-distance relationships are hard, though I do believe it is all worth it if it’s the right person. For some people, the ache of distance isn’t worth it. If you are not fully invested in seeing it work out, a distant relationship might not be for you. Though being apart more than you are together is temporary, I feel that if you really love them, you can make it work.
- Try daily reminders
Not being able to have daily conversations face-to-face can be wearing in a relationship. Sending a simple good morning message in letting the other person know how important they are to you, a “hope you have a great day” text or just a simple affirmation of being proud of what they are doing can make a big difference. These simple conversations can go really far in making your other half feel secure and let them know that you are thinking about them.
- Have compassion from afar
You never know how the other person is feeling internally. That is why learning to be more compassionate, understanding, and open-eared is a big plus for having a solid foundation. Take hints about what your partner is saying or going through, letting them know that they are heard and you are here to listen is very helpful. You might not be able to tell from what their body language says by being far apart, but just a check-in of asking how they are actually doing mentally is a way to show compassion.
- Trust each other
At one point or another, we have all had our trust broken. It is up to us to overcome that within ourselves and our relationships. If you cannot trust your significant other, you shouldn’t be with them. Trust can be something you earn or something that you have in someone until they give you a reason not to.
Trusting your partner is one of the prime ways to have a healthy relationship. To expect the other person in the relationship to trust you, it is best to think of putting yourself in their shoes. To maintain trust in a relationship is committing to always being honest with each other. Honesty is the best policy no matter what.
- Travel when you can!
Long-distance relationships require traveling to see each other, whether it is often or every now and then. It is best to come up with a game plan on how often you wish to see each other. If you and your partner plan accordingly, traveling can be rather inexpensive with booking out for a flight, hotel, or even figuring out the best time to travel by car.