The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost 3 years now, and while we’ve had our ups and downs, I can confidently say that our relationship is extremely strong, and full of happiness and love. We were separated during quarantine, which was our first taste of “long-distance”. We’ve been long-distance for the past few months, and I thought it would be a lot more difficult than it has been. Obviously I miss him, as I think I may be the clingiest person in the world, but I feel secure and fulfilled, even without him here. Here’s some of my tips for keeping a long-distance relationship strong.
- Text daily updates
While calling is obviously a more intimate, real time to connect, texting is a great way to stay in contact and keep your connection strong throughout the week. Let your partner know when you’re thinking of them with a simple text or photo, and they’ll feel more like a part of your daily life.
- Talk (somewhat) regularly
A major issue I’ve seen is people who feel the need to be glued to their phones in order to feel a connection with their long-distance partner. While it’s healthy to call your partner and catch up, calling daily is often a little too much. When you feel like you have to talk to your partner daily, you may be giving up opportunities to go out, make friends, take time for yourself, and overall just lose some of your independence. It’s important for both partners to have their own lives, and not feel compelled to call, or guilty for not being able to. This habit can create a bit of codependency, and will make being apart from your partner feel a lot more difficult. Calling daily may also create more shallow conversations, as you’ll run out of things to talk about. It’s good to speak on the phone or over Facetime every once in a while though; my boyfriend and I aim for once a week. This allows us to check in, talk about the week, and feel connected in a way we can’t through text.
- Set boundaries
Getting in a LDR can be really tricky, but one of the best and easiest ways to avoid major issues is to establish clear boundaries. Some couples may want to share their locations with one another, while another couple might decide that instead they just want to be updated on plans when either person goes out. Setting boundaries ahead of time, and updating them if circumstances change can really help couples avoid issues of jealousy, insecurity, or overprotectiveness.
- Communicate any issues
Communication is the key to every relationship, but it’s especially important to a long-distance relationship, where it’s a lot easier to hide and ignore issues. If you’re feeling disconnected, or nervous about a close friend they’ve been posting with a lot, or unsatisfied with an aspect of the relationship, ask to call and talk things through, clearly and openly. Holding in feelings can lead to resentment and hurt feelings on both sides.
- Plan online dates
While you might be unable to do in-person dates, being long-distance doesn’t rule them out entirely. Set up small virtual dates. You can watch a show together using Teleparty, or play a video game, or FaceTime while you eat dinner. There are tons of ways to interact virtually with your partner, and create shared experiences even while far apart.
- Send care packages
Care packages are a really cute way to have a physical memento from your partner. Care packages don’t have to be expensive or big, but they can be really great, especially if you or your partner’s love language is receiving gifts. Some good care package goodies could include love letters, candy, stuffed animals, hoodies, or printed photographs of the two of you. Having a physical token of love can help you to feel close to one another.
- Plan a time to see each other
Having a date set to see each other in person next can make the wait time more bearable. Knowing when you’ll see your partner gives you something to look forward to, and allows you to focus more on yourselves and your independent lives until then, when you can give each other your full, undivided attention. Planning when you’ll see each other can also give you something to talk about and plan for together.
If you’re reading this, and disagree with any of my tips, then that’s totally fine! These are just my own experiences and opinions, and if your experiences are different, then good for you. This list is simply a list of my personal tips and ideas for people who may be new to a LDR, or who may be struggling with theirs.