Going the Distance: Maintaining a Long Distance Relationship

When you think dating and relationships, you think of going on dates, cuddling while watching movies, and having someone that supports you no matter what. Movies and pop culture do a good job portraying this; however, we don’t see much representation for those in long-distance relationships. Whether the distance is only a few hours to thousands of miles away, long-distance is difficult no matter how long you and your partner have been dating. Unfortunately, most people say it’s not worth it or “long-distance never works,” in my personal opinion, if it’s the right partner and a good partner, you will find a way to make it work.

Trusting Your Partner and Yourself

I get it, you’re miles away from your S.O. and you begin to wonder if they are cheating on you, getting back with their ex, etc... But let’s stop the worry train from leaving the station. You need to trust your partner wholeheartedly; if you don’t or they don’t, then you both need to reevaluate if you guys want to do long distance. It sounds a bit harsh, but the reality is if all you (or your partner) are doing is sitting in your room, worrying they are cheating on you, it is not going to pan out. Trust is a two-way street; you need to trust your S.O. that they are going to be loyal and you need to trust yourself and your own self-worth. It sounds odd to say, “you need to trust yourself in a relationship,” but it’s true. You can’t doubt your self-worth with thoughts of “maybe I’m not good enough,” “maybe their ex is better than me,” you need to let go in a sense and trust yourself. You need to allow some space in the relationship. It will be extremely difficult if you or your S.O. can’t trust each with letting each other hang out with their friends, even if they are the opposite gender. If you have trust in your partner, but not yourself, it may bring some strain to the relationship.

Keeping the Connection

Whether you get to see them every weekend or every few months, it’s always special and heartwarming to see your S.O. again. The in-between times though can be slow and trying, however. There is no one right way to stay connected with your partner, it’s truly what works best for each couple. For some, it’s Facetiming or Skyping every night and for others, it might be playing video games online together. Some might even just text or Snapchat every day if they have busy schedules. It can be hard but keeping the line of communication open is essential. Sometimes it can feel slightly disconnected not being face-to-face with your partner but finding what works best for you and your partner will help ease the feeling of being so far away.

Voicing Your Concerns and Feelings

Even if you aren’t in a long-distance relationship, bottling your feelings is never the way to go. If something your partner is doing seems concerning to you, bring it up to them. Of course, don’t go overanalyzing every single thing they do, but if they are repeatedly doing something or not doing something, let them know. Communication is key in any relationship, or friendship for that matter. On the flip side, your S.O. should feel comfortable telling you about their feelings and concerns. A good relationship shouldn’t have the feeling of being controlled or restricted, but rather knowing the other person’s concerns and boundaries. If you feel like you can’t do something primarily because of your partner, then that’s a red flag. For example, let’s say your partner worries about your safety and well-being when you go to parties. A good partner would maybe suggest you don’t go overboard on the drinks and have a trusted friend and designated driver for the night. But if your partner just flat out asks you to not go to any parties then it might be time to reevaluate the relationship. Telling your partner your true concerns and/or feelings should never result in either one of you feeling suffocated or restricted.

The Final Destination

Like any relationship, it has its ups and downs, but the ups should triumph the downs. Having a goal, either long-term or short-term, is important for any relationship but especially for long-distance relationships. Whether its finishing college, job training, or a job for work, both parties need to be working on something even if it’s just a personal goal.

Relationships are never one-sided; it requires two people working together. Long-distance is totally doable and worth it if you are with the right person and both of you want to make it work. It can be a bit daunting when so many people in your life and on social media keep saying that long-distance never works. However, I believe love finds a way and that life has a plan for us all.