With so much technology available these days, a long distance relationship isn’t what it used to be. Dating long distance can actually be a major boon for a relationship, and some couples enjoy having separate time to themselves so that they enjoy time together even more.
It takes some work, and lots of planning, to have a successful and healthy long distance relationship. Couples with the happiest long distance relationships will tell you that it’s not necessarily easy, and it is hard to be alone when you’re missing your other half, but there are lots of things you can do to make it easier.
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. We have seven tips for how to have a healthy long distance relationship. Check then out!
1. Be Clear About Communication And Availability
Long distance relationships tend to work well for people who lead busy lives because there wouldn’t be time to a relationship in any other form. It’s not uncommon for medical students, law students and members of the military to have long distance relationships because their schedules make it hard to come home to a girlfriend or boyfriend at the end of the day. They rely on planning time together in advance, which makes talking, texting and emails so important.
The first rule of long distance relationships is understanding your partner’s availability. If her job keeps her busy all day, don’t be upset that she never responds to texts until after work. You might hear of friends who become frustrated with their partners who don’t respond right away. (To be fair, this isn’t something that’s limited to long distance relationships – it happens in normal relationships, too) It’s not that your partner doesn’t want to respond, it’s that he literally can’t.
One of the challenges to long distance relationships is that misunderstandings happen. A missed phone call or a day without responding to a text can send a message. Sometimes it’s something innocent like a dead phone battery or lost phone, but it can be perceived as not caring.
Understanding your partner’s schedule and when you can expect to be able to talk or text will help to smooth out misunderstandings or frustrations in your relationship.
2. Be There
Since you’re not able to be with your loved one on a daily basis, and in some cases you might go months between seeing each other in person, it’s incredibly important to be present when you are talking on the phone or in chat.
When your partner is going through a rough patch, make sure that you plan to be available for him should he need to talk through a problem, whether it’s an issue at work or a sick friend or relative. Make sure you have time to talk in troubled times, even when that means interrupting your lunch break or staying in for the night instead of going out somewhere. If the situation was reversed and you were living with your partner, it’s what you’d be doing without a second thought, so make sure you’re there for your partner for extra phone calls or video chats.
Couples support each other and when one partner needs help, the other partner needs to be there even when it’s not possible to be there physically.
3. Morning Check-In
If your partner is living in a different time zone, if you have different work schedules or even if you’re just an early riser, sending a text message to your partner in the morning to say hello will ensure that your partner wakes up with a smile on his face.
It doesn’t have to be a long message. It can be a simple “Good morning” or a greeting followed by a rundown of your day and plans to talk later. The point is that waking up to messages from your partner is a great way to start the day.
4. Surprise Messages
We all have busy lives, and depending on the rules at your job you might not be able to keep your phone handy throughout the day. But when you have a chance, be it a 15 minute break at work or a break during a conference, sending a little message can brighten your partner’s day and remind her that you’re thinking of her.
It might sound strange to think that a quick text during the day could make such a huge difference, but when you’re separated from your loved one, it’s kind of like a little hug on the sly.
5. Little Gifts
These days it’s very easy to send packages to friends and family. Instead of flowers, send your partner a box of office supplies when she’s starting a new job. You can get creative and send your boyfriend’s favorite coffee to him when he’s been pulling long hours at work, or you can send her something nice to sleep in after long shifts.
And with food delivery services, you can even have a special meal sent to your partner for a surprise lunch or dinner. If you’re really creative, you can send flowers, food and a gift to your partner while she’s at work, making her the envy of the office.
Everyone loves getting packages in the mail, and given how easy it is to have items delivered it’s yet another way to brighten your partner’s day.
6. Phone Sex And Naughty Photos
One critique of long distance relationships is that you can’t be with your partner physically, and that means no sex. However, there are plenty of occasions for phone sex, and sometimes a few dirty words can turns a phone call into a fun time. A flirty text message can serve to raise the excitement and anticipation for a late-night phone call.
Another way of spicing things up is to send a few photos to your partner. Obviously you want to be careful sending nude pictures to anyone, but if you have been in your relationship long enough it’s a great way to bring a smile to her face.
7. Looking Forward To Time Together
In a long distance relationship, the time you spend together is important and you want to make sure that you plan to spend time together as much as possible. For some couples it’s a quick drive between cities. For others, it’s driving several hundred miles or flying between states or even countries.
The biggest benefit to a long distance relationship is that you don’t see your partner every day, or even every week or month, so the time you have together is even more important.
If flying back and forth is too cost-prohibitive, consider splitting the difference. Couples who live on opposite coasts can meet in the middle. Fly to Las Vegas for a quick weekend together. There are ways to minimize costs if money is an issue, and it makes it easier to plan trips when one half doesn’t have to do all of the work.
The same could be said of driving trips. Split the difference and meet in the middle for a dinner date or a few days away. That way you’re both out of your respective environments and it feels like a vacation.
The Bottom Line
Long distance relationships can be as fulfilling and enjoyable as a relationship with someone who lives in your city. The bottom line is that you have to make an effort to communicate with your partner as much as possible while also understanding when your partner is available to talk.
A Facetime before bed and a quick text in the morning are all things you can do to make your long distance relationship work between in-person meetings with your significant other. Above all, you want to make sure that you’re taking time to talk with your partner as much as you can. Those quick texts are better than a long day without hearing from you. All relationships require work, but with a little extra effort you’ll find that a long distance relationship can be one of the most rewarding dating experiences of all.