10 To-Do's for a Long Distance Relationship
Here's the deal
Getting fired from a job. Learning how to cook. Fighting over a guy with your best friend. Being in a...... LONG DISTANCE relationship. Yes - a vital and thought-provoking, roller coaster experience one must 'suffer' through - at least once in their life. No one really signs up for it but when it comes, you basically have two options - leave or suck it up...together.
So, why even bother? Besides (hopefully) being in love with the person, a LDR (long distance relationship) teaches you many things about yourself and your relationship. How much does this person REALLY matter to you? How do you occupy your time without him/her? Can you put aside your intimiate desires for the time being (ahem, yup -- unless agreed on something more fluid in advance) but mostly, it takes away the romantic Friday night dinners, the cutesie hand holding, the physical love and support we all want & need, long mundane chats and inside jokes (basically all the stuff that sucks us into relationships in the first place) and instead gives us a lot of hard work, vulnerability, constant curiosity over what the other person is doing and the inability to physically touch and fix everything with a hug or kiss.
I'm not a relationship expert. But as with anything else you learn with time and through experience. LDR's are possible & sometimes they're the best things that can happen. Here's my list of how to properly equip yourself for the LDR experience.
P.S. I like my relationships (and my sushi) RAW. He He.
--> 10 Ways To Make It Work <---
1. Establish, from the get go, how long the 'LDR' will last
I don't think there's anything worse than going into an LDR without a timeline of when it will end. If your partner is going is going on a self-exploration trip and carelessly winging their return, there's something wrong. Whether it's a job, continued education, caring for a family member, or whatever the case may be, there should be a PLAN to reunite. Life gives us sh** sometimes, but if this is something that matters, you might as well take the effort to plan it out & have a reunion date that you're both working towards.. and excited for.
2. Have the transparent talk... & then continue to have it some more
There's almost always one person that's more ready or more optimistic to get into an LDR. What tends to happen is that the unsure person rides off the confidence and the stability of the person who knows what it is they want. The 'talk' consists of making sure that this is something that BOTH of you want and are willing to commit to. Throughout the LDR, keep having that talk and reinforcing the commitment you made to each other.
3. Commit time, energy and financial resources
In reality, we're so lucky. We live in the age of Facetime, Snapchat and sometimes, pretty cheap flight options. Here's where we weigh the priorities - a super cute outfit to wear with your friends out vs. a surprise weekend getaway where you finally get to see each other. Obviously, it takes $, planning, and maybe saying no to some things that once seemed to matter. When that weekend getaway is not an option, organize a time to Facetime, watch a movie together (virtually obv.) or start reading the same book that you can discuss together. The more commonalities you maintain, the more 'connected' or in each other's lives you will feel.
4. Don't get lazy. Keep the romance going
Cute sh** is always appropriate in LDR's. The cuter and cheesier...the better. Mail a heartfelt letter. Write their name in the sand. Send them a meaningful care package with their favorite snacks. You know what works best and if you don't, well... one way to find out.
5. Surround yourself with people who support your decision
You're always going to be faced with some sort of criticism. Most people probably won't take what you're doing seriously. Others will pretend to care and ask about the SO situation. It gets tiring and frustrating to repeat the same thing over and over again. Then there's that special few who are totally on your LDR support team. Keep these people close. They get it. You need them to get past the rocky slopes.
6. Keep each other in the loop
Nothing sucks more than finding out that you were not part of a critical decision your SO made. Together or apart, find out what your SO thinks about whatever you decide on. Don't forget the person you used to run to with any problem.
7. Don't be afraid to communicate the highs...and the lows
Some days suck a lot less than others. Other days, the condition of the weather can drive us past the edge. Don't be afraid to express the extra sensitivity you're feeling to your SO.
8. Don't let time apart control your life
We all have a list of things we've always wanted or needed to do and never got the chance to. This is the perfect time to focus on yourself. Be productive. Find a new hobby. Catch up on your favorite show. Commit time to your friends & family.
9. Establish new norms & manage expectations
Good morning texts? Heart melting good night's? Keep your promises with whatever you decide to do. Establish a schedule with the times you can invest on each other — and don't abuse this time with other distractions.
10. Confiance, Fiducia, Zaufanie , Confianza, доверять ,Güven, Trust
This might be 10th on the list but it's probably the most fundamental skill you need to make this work. Trust the process. Trust your partner. You're in this together.
Bodies meet all the time, but a meeting of the minds, a communion of the souls — this is the uncommon thing. The rare thing.
- R. Queen