Relationships are tough enough as they are and some of us are crazy to have one with people who live hours away from us as well. Whether it be from the beginning of the relationship or life got in the way and long distance is new to you and your partner, you will be able to keep this relationship alive with the right tips and mindsets!
- Always have something to look forward to
The biggest thing with a long-distance relationship whether you and your partner are one or ten hours away from each other is that you will always miss each other and understand that you are unable to see eachother every day. One way to battle this is by having something to look forward to, preferably the next time you and your partner will see each other. One example is planning out the activities you will do the next time you are together whether that be something as elaborate as a special dinner or even the next movie you want to watch together. This doesn’t have to be done in person – it can be done over a phone call, Facetime or even text.
- Judging isn’t fun, so don’t do it
Remember that you were two different people before you began the relationship together and you will continue to be two different people during your relationship. You and your partner have to remember to talk to each other rather than using the distance as an excuse to ignore each other. Do not be that person in a relationship who says: “They took 5 minutes to reply to me, so I am going to wait for 10 before replying”. Talk about the uncomfortable aspects to improve your relationship rather than avoiding them and hoping it will get better. If your partner is the driest texter to ever exist, talk to them so that they can explain themselves or fix it. At the same time, if your partner comes to you with a concern, make sure to listen rather than getting defensive and try to improve for the sake of your relationship.
- Healthy Communication but in Moderation
Couples who are in long distance relationships tend to compensate for the distance by doing more. Rather than talking 12 hours a day and getting to a point where you are bored or tired of each other, check in at least once a day just to update, but don’t expect a full conversation, because long-distance couples usually have completely different schedules. Have a routine that you plan out when you know each other’s schedules for example if you both finish classes at a good time on Wednesday nights, plan a Facetime or phone call date for that night. With this routine make sure to stick to it but also remember life gets in the way sometimes, and with a long-distance relationship you have to be flexible.
- Have a plan for the future
Whether your future is short-term or long-term, have a plan for how long the long-distance relationship is going to last; this way both you and your partner have hope and can see that light at the end of the tunnel! Talk about the future (whether is it in the next few weeks, months, or years) and how your relationship will change when and if you are not doing long-distance anymore. Positive thinking throughout your relationship will be your best friend as well, and one of the affirmations to keep reminding yourself and your partner of is that “It’ll be over soon rather than how much longer” because no one stays in a long-distance relationship forever.
- It is a balancing act
The art of balancing school, work, friends, family and now your relationship is one of the hardest things you will learn how to do. Us as university students have to remember that school and work have to be our upmost priority, and just like you would never prioritize your friends over school or work, never prioritize your relationship either. Know each other’s schedules and plan visits and dates around them to create that balance. Another major note is to make sure to never give up any opportunities for your relationship, especially any that would jeopardize your future. Take the job, take the internship and go to that extra class and make sure that as much time, attention and effort goes into your relationship the same or even more goes into school and work.
- Set ground rules and expectations
Every relationship, both long-distance and non, are different based on many different factors with both people in the relationship and it is important to have open communication and a mutual understanding about the expectations of the relationship based on what both people want from each other. Once you and your partner have had the discussion, remember to expect only what you have talked about and have open communication when either person in the relationship wants things to change.
- Honesty + Trust = Success
This is one of the equations to live by for a healthy relationship and with this you must remember that a relationship is a two-way street. Both you and your partner have to follow this sort of equation and maintain the honesty and trust that will keep your relationship striving. One tip is to think of trust as a decreasing factor rather than an increasing. What this means is that when you and your partner begin the relationship begin with the trust at 100% for both people – if there is an unfortunate situation, trust decreases from there. But, still give your partner the chance to earn back your trust!
- Nobody is perfect
Going along with honesty and trust, both you and your partner need to have an understanding that mistakes happen in all relationships whether they be minor or major. Forgiveness is also a major key to keeping a relationship alive and healthy, but you also need to remember to understand with your partner to a certain extent. This is how you will reach that balance between loving your partner and loving yourself.
- It is normal
With the introduction of online dating websites and apps, long-distance relationships aren’t uncommon situations. Especially here at Laurier Brantford where we are pretty isolated from many other universities in Ontario, you will likely end up having a long-distance relationship as long as you are here. Long-distant relationships are also becoming more common in our generation because we have the understanding that our lives are short, and we want to achieve as much as we can and have as many experiences as we can throughout this time as well. This is why we find a way to keep a relationship as well as keep all the opportunities we are given.
- Remember you signed up for this relationship for a reason
Every single relationship gets tough and adding the distance just makes it tougher, but the most important thing is to keep it together and remind yourself even if you have to every day why you are in this relationship. It was your choice; you and your partner willingly took this step together and if you did not want to be with them, you wouldn’t be. Thinking positively and talking to your partner about the feelings you are having openly will definitely help in the long run and bring you together in the process as well!