Long Distance 101: Do’s and Don’ts of LDRs


Relationships aren’t easy to begin with. Add distance to the equation, and it can feel like you’re fighting for survival to make it work. Whether you’ve been in a long-distance relationship (LDR) for two months or two years, being in one can really suck. LDRs are not for everyone, but despite popular belief, some do tend to work.

Lucky for you, I interviewed quite a few guys and gals in LDRs and compiled a list of do’s and don’ts. Check out which ones made the list!

DO be clear of your expectations from the start 
It’s not going to be easy living hundreds of miles apart, so it’s important to talk about how you’re going to make it work. Make sure you’re both on the same page and get anything you need to say off your chest now. You shouldn’t have to feel insecure about the relationship you’re in. Trust is key in every relationship; without it, your LDR will not survive.

DO be creative 
Distance is the ultimate excuse to be cheesy. Surprise your guy by mailing him a care package with some of his favorite goodies or send him a letter in the mail to show him you miss him. Shoot him a cute text or give him a call. It’s important to remember to do these little things when you are apart. A LDR is a whole different ball game. Believe it or not, guys like to know you’re thinking about them, too.

DO make time count 
We’re great when it comes to multitasking, but try to set some time to talk to him without interruptions or distractions. I’m not saying you need to have a three-hour conversation and just sit on the phone. All I’m saying is, even if you’re on the phone for 10 minutes, you should definitely make it count. You’ve missed out on things you wouldn’t have if you were together, so just take some time to really listen and catch up.

DO optimize your finances 
Say what? That’s right. You guys have to be smart about how you handle your money. You tend to splurge your cash when you're in a relationship, but it may not be so smart in the long run. Instead, try to be smarter and look for ways to save. For example: if you sign up for e-mail alerts for sites like CheapFlights.com, you will get notifications when airfares drop. Not only will you get some of the best prices, but you’ll also be able to visit one another more often. Other alternatives may be to take a bus or a train his way instead of driving by yourself. You'll save on gas and toll fees, and you can use your travel time to get homework done before you arrive so you can focus on enjoying your time together. All that money you save can be used for another flight or maybe a mini-vacation.

DON'T lose sight of who you are. 
Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you should lose your independence.  If you find yourself so consumed in your relationship that you’ve stopped going to yoga or hanging out with your girlfriends, this is most likely a sign you should re-evaluate your relationship. Don’t lose sight of your morals, beliefs, or goals. Take the distance as an opportunity for some self-growth.

DON'T be “THAT girl” 
Please, for the sake of yourself and more importantly your relationship, do not be the nagging girlfriend who calls or texts a million times a day and flips out when you don’t get a response in 60 seconds. No one likes a clingy or jealous girlfriend. With today’s technology, people are a lot more accessible but it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily available at all times.  If you can’t get a hold of your guy, relax. He has a life of his own, too. Remember: trust is the foundation of your relationship, don’t assume the worst.

That rule goes for the both of you. What’s the point of lying anyway? It’s only going to breach your trust and ultimately ruin the relationship. No matter how small or silly the lie may be, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If you get used to telling small lies, it’s only going to get easier to tell bigger ones. At the end of the day, it’s better to be open and honest with your partner. Hint: This is how you build trust!

DON'T lose sleep over being apart 
The reality is you’re in a LDR, and you have two choices: you can either complain about being apart or accept it and realize the distance is only temporary. There are so many ways to stay connected and in tune with each other’s lives. Instead of focusing on the negative (distance), try focusing on the positive. Skype and FaceTime have definitely helped long-distance couples stay together, so remember to communicate well and be expressive when you do talk.

Distance is supposed to make the heart grow fonder. Take advantage of all the things in your favor, and do your best to make it work.