Love + Sex, Love

10 life-saving tips for anyone in a long-distance relationship

Here's the thing: you have to actually like the person.

Now, people usually think that all long-distance relationships can’t work or that they are not worth it. Yes, it’s tough to build a relationship without being able to go on actual dates and deal with fights or disagreements when you can’t physically touch each other. But if your partner is worth it, then oftentimes the long-distance relationship (LDR) is worth it. After all, long distance doesn’t always have to be hard!

I have been in a long distance relationship with my current boyfriend for our entire year and a half together. He goes to one university, and I go to another. During the semester, we are an hour apart, and during breaks, we live about six hours away from each other. Obviously, this isn’t so easy, but I believe that we will be together for a very long time because we have gotten creative to make it work. And here are ten ways we make it happen.

1. Actually give a shit about the person

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Here’s the thing: you have to actually like the person.

If you don’t feel committed or willing to put in the extra legwork, then don’t even bother. If you already know that you are not going to be able to uphold this type of commitment to another person, then you shouldn’t string that person along. My boyfriend and I are in a long-distance relationship literally all the time, and it’s not always easy, but we care enough about each other to go the extra mile.

Sometimes we get irrationally irritated due to the distance or lack of physicality, and it gets tough, but we push on because we decided to commit to the relationship and to each other. You may think that this is a normal requirement for a relationship, but it is especially important in long distance relationships.

Relationships are tough, but LDRs are ten times tougher. That means you have to actually care enough to commit to this kind of relationship.

2. Choose your fights wisely

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This goes for any relationship. If you get upset every time they take too long to respond to a text or the text they do send just doesn’t satisfy your train of thoughts: take a breath. Fights should only be happening when you are seriously offended or upset – but using fights to control the other individual’s life is not only unhealthy but manipulative.

Since you can’t physically be around each other, that makes the fights all the worse and can make them drag out longer than they should. There is always miscommunication and misconstrued ideas in fights, but when you are apart, it is harder to make up. That means you should choose not to be so mad about a late text and instead remember how much you care about your partner.

3. Put in the effort – make time for each other

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Facetime dates are a thing and a great way to spend time together. For some of our dates, my boyfriend and I choose a movie on Netflix and start it at the same time. That way we can watch a movie together, even when were not together. Plan Facetime dates and long phone calls – then keep those dates. You decided to enter into this commitment, so you need to try to remember to be there for them even when it’s hard or you’re busy.

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Long-distance relationships are hard work, but the important thing is that you’re there for the partner in various ways.

Obviously, this isn't so easy, but I believe that we will be together for a very long time. Click To Tweet

 4. When you hang out, actually hang out

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Time together is few and far in-between, which means you need to make it count. Don’t spend your whole hangout on your phone or staring at the TV screen. Take time to lay down with them on the couch and talk about what’s happened since the last time you saw each other. This is where you get the important intimacy that is necessary in order to maintain this kind of stressful relationship. These are the moments that help you hold on when you are feeling like you’re at the breaking point when the long distance relationship becomes too stressful.

5. Plan activities for your time together

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So, it’s been weeks since you’ve seen them – now what? When you plan activities such as going to see that play they’ve been meaning to see (he’s taking me to Kinky Boots tomorrow!) or walking around a park, it can help ease the constant transition from long-distance to being close again.

Besides, it’s always more fun when you have something to do with that person. It finally gives you that opportunity to remember the intimacy that you might have forgotten throughout the past few days, weeks, or months. Make the best of your time together!

6. Random phone calls are never a bad idea

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Random phone calls are adorable and a great way to let your partner know that you’re thinking about them. Even if it’s a quick call to let them know that you saw something they might like or just a two-minute long phone call to remind them how much they mean to you, it always means a lot.

Plus, it doesn’t let you forget the fun of hearing their voice – which is much better than reading a (boring) old text message in plain text. It keeps a deeper connection going.

7. Add your friends into the equation

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Nobody wants to be that couple who only sit and focus on each other all day, every day.

It’s important for every relationship to balance their personal alone time with the time they spend with their partner and their friends. Since we’re talking long distance, it is important to bring that person into your “regular” life because sometimes they can feel separated from that depending on how long you two spend apart.

Random phone calls are a great way to let your partner know that you're thinking about them. Click To Tweet

Maybe you two could go out and get drinks with your friends before your date night or go on a double-date with your couple friends! It’s always a good idea to make them a part of your “regular” days because they may feel left out of that part of your life.

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8. When your partner is having a tough time, be there for them

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You can be available for someone even if you can’t physically be there. Stay up late and Facetime them. Call them and answer their text messages. LDRs are still relationships that require a true partnership. It’s important to make time for them just like it is for relationships that are in the same zip code.

You care about them, therefore you must dedicate time to them.

LDRs make it more necessary for you to listen and respond accordingly to your partner. When you are not physically close to each other, you have to make sure they don’t feel like you are not giving them your full attention. When you can’t be a shoulder to cry on, you can at least be the silent person on the phone or Facetime.

9. Communication, communication, communication

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If you are upset or having problems with the relationship, you need to tell them. Keeping things from each other is a thousand times worse when you are already apart in terms of physical distance. Communication with each other is so important to every relationship.

However, in an LDR, you need to communicate even more because you can’t see each other’s physical actions or mannerism changes, which means your partner may not get the hint that you are angry about something and vice-versa.

Sometimes I talk to my boyfriend when I feel less connected to him because we have been apart for so many days or weeks, and we work to combat the problem. We plan a movie/Facetime date night, and we make it work.

10. Control your jealousy

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Let them have their own life, just like you have your own life.

Just because they go to the bar doesn’t mean that they are busy meeting someone new. Just because you spend an evening catching up with an old friend alone doesn’t mean you’re going to sleep with them. An LDR requires a solid amount of trust, all of which can be difficult to maintain without open communication. You should try not to be jealous, but they should also understand if you get a little bit of the green envy.

As long as you communicate your feelings about any and all situations, you will be okay.

If your partner is worth it, then you'll be able to make it work. Click To Tweet

LDRs are tough to maintain, and jealousy can ruin a fabulous relationship much easier in these relationships than in a typical one. Remember to trust your partner!

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Meagan Foy

Meagan Foy

Meagan Foy is a student at James Madison University studying English with minors in Italian and Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication. She is originally from Newtown, CT. She is now the Editor of the Life section at The Tempest.

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