10 Hacks to Keep Your LDR Strong as Ever

As far as being a college student goes, most people feel like relationships are hard to balance, not to mention that added difficulty when your partner’s not across campus. Sometimes, when you’ve really found your person, it’s worth the sacrifice to make a long distance relationship work, and even though it’s hard, it’s always worth it to be in their arms again. But how do you keep that relationship from becoming routine, or getting dry and awkward? Despite the distance, there are plenty of ways to keep your LDR alive and thriving, no matter how far apart you are. Here are some hacks to keep your relationship blooming – it’ll be like you were never apart.

Plan trips to see each other

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

One of the best feelings ever is seeing your S/O again in person after a few weeks, or even months, of not seeing them. The best way to do this, as well as keep you both motivated, is to set a specific date when you go visit or they’re coming to see you. Not only does it feel great to count down the days and get closer and closer to finally being with them again, but once the time finally comes, you know it’ll make the last few weeks of tests, projects and drama completely worth it. Planning this out with your S/O keeps your relationship moving forward and gives you both something to look forward to in the future, and gives you both a light at the end of the tunnel to look towards when life gets hectic or overwhelming.

FaceTime/Skype is your best friend

Photo courtesy of Twenty20

While Snapchat is great and texting will keep you in touch, there’s nothing like seeing their face and hearing their voice again, and video chatting is a great way to do that. It’s important to keep in touch this way at minimum once a week, because making time for you S/O will brighten their day as well as yours. This is also the best way to talk out any conflict you may be having with one another, because text-arguing is a dangerous road that can too often be misconstrued. Whether you’re telling each other all of your news or just sitting in silence watching synced episodes of The Office for a few hours, it’s sometimes as close as you can get to that person, and often makes up for a few days where you may not have been able to be in touch as frequently.

Plan dates AND zero days

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

When you do get together, it’s important to switch things up rather than just doing the same thing all the time. While it’s great to go out on dates and fancy dinners, seeing your S/O shouldn’t be another cause of stress in your life; they should be someone you can always rely on for support, not make your life more difficult. For this reason, it might be beneficial to have ‘zero days’ instead every now and then, where you do next to nothing but relax, nap, and snuggle. Being away from someone you love is hard, and oftentimes it can be nice to be able to see them and not worry about any complicated plans. Throw a few ‘zero days’ in there – they’re cheap, fun and such a nice way to talk and relax and spend time with your S/O.

Forgive them for not answering sometimes

In a world of technology, read receipts and a ‘left on open’ can drive you virtually mad, especially when you’re far away from someone and you can’t always be in contact them. Maybe it doesn’t bother you, but for many, it initially takes some getting used to. No, it doesn’t mean that they love you any less, and it doesn’t mean they’re purposely neglecting you. But people are still people, and it’s important to prepare yourself for the times when they do forget, or are too busy to respond for a while. It certainly takes some getting used to, but if it’s really bothering you, it should be something that you feel comfortable having a conversation about. Either way, sometimes you’ll be too busy to answer too – shouldn’t sweat it.

Send letters and packages

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Getting mail with your name on it is one of the best feelings, but getting mail from your significant other is ten times better. Care packages sometimes take a lot of planning, but getting them as a surprise or for a holiday really makes you feel close to the one you love. If you’re unable to someone for a long time, or over a holiday, send them a care package! Even if you just put some snacks or little things inside, it’s the thought that really counts. Even if you just send a quick letter with a handwritten note inside, it goes along way to have something physically sent from you to them, and they’re sure to love it.

Make time to talk to one another

Regardless of your schedules, you should prioritize one another at least a few times a week – while your relationship should not be a point of stress to either of you, it should be something that you put effort into. You don’t have to text or FaceTime every day, and you don’t always necessarily need to schedule when you’re able to talk. Just be aware of each other’s schedules, and when you do have time, reach out and let them know. This makes things a little more spontaneous as well, because especially in LDRs, it’s easy to fall victim to a routine. which will not only make talking to them eventually become a task but it also means that you’re not sitting around waiting for them to get a chance to text you back. Give each other space, but be sure to make each other a priority.

Don’t overdo it

When you’re apart from someone you love, it’s easy to, at times, overdo the communication. It’s great when you can send them Tweets, Snapchats, Instagram posts, texts, etc. throughout the day to let them know you’re thinking about them, but it can also quickly become too much if you overdo it. You and your S/O should grow to understand how much contact to expect from one another, and not expect too much. It’s great to share things with them when you’re thinking of them (who doesn’t love those “saw this and thought of you” moments?) but you also need to draw the line, because you don’t need to be attached at the hip.

Live your life and let them live theirs

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Just because you’re dating someone doesn’t mean that should encompass all that your life is, and that goes for both LDRs and regular relationships. You still need to do you and let them do them while you’re away from each other, because otherwise, you won’t have anything to talk about and you can’t expect to grow as a person. Relationships can quickly go stale if neither of you are growing because regardless of distance, you should grow together but also on your own. It could make things even more complicated when you’re with them in person for a longer period of time – you can’t expect to be with them all the time, for them to drop everything for you, and to not do anything on your own. Don’t ditch your friends, do the things you love, make your own memories without them too – being together yet separate means you have the opportunity to focus on yourself more, and even though it hurts to miss them, it’s also allows you to work on yourself.

Communicate as much as possible, but find a balance

You don’t want to not talk, but you also don’t need to be in contact all the time. Either way, if problems arise, you have to be able to talk to them and not ignore what you’re feeling if something isn’t right. That being said, you also have to learn to let go a more than in a usual relationship, because there will be times when distance does make things harder. Sometimes little things really are little, so it’s important not to stress over every single detail, because you’ll drive yourself and your S/O crazy, and again, the less complicated, the better.

TRUST them

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Trust is the most important part of any relationship, but especially so in a LDR. Without mutual trust, LDRs are virtually doomed, because there’s no way you can be focused and at peace if you’re worried about them going to parties without you or being in a group project with someone you see as a threat. You can’t be crazy about things, and you need to trust that no matter who approaches them, they love you and would say no to any advances. After all, it goes both ways: how can you expect them to feel comfortable in a relationship if you’re not?

 

Whether you’re two hours away or 3 time-zones apart, distance is never easy, but it doesn’t have to add a great deal of difficulty either. As long as you understand each other, work to maintain it, know what to expect, and trust (!) your significant other, your LDR should never be added stress on your life. Time apart can make your love grow if you go about it the right way, and putting in effort to cultivate your relationship can make it one of the best experiences of your life. Love is love no matter how far you are from another, so if you both put in effort to make it work, it’ll blossom.

Cover image by Melanie Haid