How I've Made Long Distance Work

My boyfriend is my best friend. We’ve been together since my senior year of high school, and now we’re about to graduate from college. We went from spending and doing everything together every day, to living and supporting our own individual, separate lives leaving us only seeing each other every once in a while. For the past couple of years, we’ve been trying our best to make this long distance relationship seem not so long.

Long distance is hard. Relationships are hard in general. 

If you’re like me, and you’ve been trying to somehow make this work. Here’s a list of things I’ve learned over the years that helped us. 

1. Evolve your entire mindset about the relationship.

  • What has helped me the most manage my feelings and not become so lost in the thought of missing him, is change my entire mindset about our relationship. 
  • Whether it’s separate colleges, a job in another city, or just life in general, we are constantly growing and developing our own selves as people. 
  • My boyfriend is my best friend. Watching him grow and seeing his success makes me genuinely proud and happy. But right now, at this point in my life, what is most important to me is watching and creating my own success first. The only reason we have been able to make long distance work all these years is understanding that we need to first grow ourselves as individuals. That way, later on, we can the best version of ourselves to and for each other.

2. Open and honest communication.

  • Like any other relationship, having a strong communication pattern is essential. In a long distance relationship, however, open and honest communication will become your lifeline to making your relationship work.
  • Don’t let things boil. Don’t hold your feelings in or bottle up your emotions. The two of you can’t readily have a conversation face to face in the same room. Think about your texts and the words you’re choosing to say over the phone.
  • When something is wrong, address the problem right away, as openly and honestly as possible. 
  • Send cheesy texts if you’re feeling it. Don’t be afraid to tell them when you’re thinking about them, or that you love them. Let them know what’s on your mind or what you’ve been thinking about throughout the day. Allowing someone a peep into your brain is a big part of open communication. 
  • It's important to allow time for a response. The two of you are living separate lives. Remember to respect your varying schedules. 

3. Trust with confidence

  • Trust is the most important attribute in any relationship, but especially a long distance one. If your relationship lacks trust whether it's coming from one, or both ends, try to find the root of it. Where's the source of this mistrust? Can you find it and resolve it? 
  • It is easy to be consumed by the thought of someone and what they could possibly be doing. 
  • If you’re worried that your significant other is fooling around with loyalty, then it might be time to rethink whether this relationship will be beneficial for you in the long run. 
  • Trust the character of the type of person you’re choosing to spend your time with. 

Now, these three factors are not some tell-all formula to how to make a good long-distance relationship work. Everyone is different. Every relationship is different. And no one knows what goes on inside.

Understand that a relationship is an agreement between two people who decide they want to grow together as individuals. It shouldn't be something uneven, with one-sided commitment. Make sure that the two of you are on the same page about who you are to each other before you decide to commit to making a long distance relationship work. It’s hard sometimes, but in the end, it's worth it.