Summer Love. With influences like Grease, summer romance seems like the perfect romantic situation. But what happens when you fall in love and your dad doesn’t inexplicably get transferred to your boyfriend’s town, or you don’t attend the same university? You can be put in a really tough spot when something that you thought was going to be light and fun turns into something real. Whether you can handle a long-distance relationship or not has to be a personal decision, but here are five mistakes you will want to avoid if you decide an LDR is right for you.
- Lack of Communication
For both girls and guys, expressing feelings can be incredibly difficult. In a long-distance relationship, communication is key. It’s so much harder to tell how something you say or do is affecting your significant other, when your relationship largely consists of phone calls and facetimes. If your partner does something that bothers you, you have to come out and say it. You could be thinking everything is fine, meanwhile somewhere 1000km away, your SO is freaking out about the last thing you said. If you don’t communicate how you feel, everything will get pent up and you will end up resenting each other. It is much harder to reconcile when you can’t talk face to face, or kiss and make up.
- Not Making Time for One Another
This can be really challenging. Especially as university students, you may have completely conflicting schedules, making spending time together, even on the phone, extremely challenging. Make sure you’re both committed to finding a time, at least once a week, where you can have a long conversation, updating your loved one, and expressing anything you’ve been keeping pent up. There’s nothing worse than feeling that you didn’t get to support your partner when something big happened, just because you didn’t know. Another really good way to go about this is a quick good night call, just to update the person on your day, and let them know how much you love them.
- Not Appreciating Your Time Together
As scheduling can be really hard and travel can be really expensive, you may not be able to see your partner for months at a time, or when you do, it might be mostly spent studying for your Marketing midterm or writing your Latin History paper. If you spend the whole time complaining that you’re not doing what you want, you will waste all the time you could be happy together. Appreciate the time you are together, even if it is not ideally how you would like to spend that time, because who knows when you’re going to see each other next.
- Not Making Sacrifices
There are going to be times when you really need your partner and vice versa. This may not be at the most convenient time for you and it may affect how you’re feeling. But in an LDR there are going to be times you have to stay up late to finish a project or show up a bit late to a party, because your significant other really needs to talk to you about something. This isn’t to say your partner should prevent you from doing what you want to do, but relationships, especially long distance ones, are a game of give and take; if you’re not willing to occasionally make sacrifices for your partner, an LDR is not going to last long.
- Not Trusting Your Partner
This may be the most important mistake to avoid. Trust is important in any relationship, but in a long-distance relationship it’s even more critical. If you’re at school constantly wondering where your partner is, what they are doing and who they are doing it with, it can make you go crazy. There has to be mutual trust in the LDR if it is going to work.
Are long distance relationships the ideal situation? Definitely not. But if you’re in love, and you think it can last, they’re definitely better than the alternative. If you’re stuck in a situation where an LDR is your only option, make sure your relationship is based on trust, communication, and the willingness to make time and sacrifices for one another. LDRs may be hard, but the successes always make really great love stories.
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