I think we all know how hard long-distance relationships can be. Relationships can be a struggle, to begin with and adding distance to that just throws a whole new set of issues to deal with into the equation.
Any challenges you face as a couple are just that much harder when you’re trying to make a long-distance relationship work. Not to mention, you’re already missing out on all of the full-time benefits of being a couple when you’re living near each other.
If you’re struggling with how to make a long-distance relationship work, you’re going to want to pay close attention. I’m going to share with you six simple and easy tips to make your long-distance love amazing and stress-free.
When you use these tips, you can ensure that your relationship stays amazing and strong until, hopefully, you are able to be in the same place at the same time. So make sure you stick with me until the end.
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First, a note about LDRs…
Let’s be honest, long-distance relationships are not ideal at all. Personally, I think if you can avoid it, you should avoid it! But sometimes, it can’t be avoided.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to go on a long rant to tell you it’s hopeless. I’m going to give you some really good tips in just a minute but hear me out on being realistic.
First of all, in order to know how to survive a long-distance, you have to be practical. Understand that long distance can cause a relationship to stagnate and stall out. Long-distance tends to drag out a relationship way longer than it would have if you were together. When you’re separated by hundreds (if not thousands) of miles, it’s hard to progress and move forward with things.
A lot of times, when you finally do get to be in the same place together, you realize you’re completely incompatible and you probably wouldn’t have put so much time or effort into it if you had known.
You miss out on a lot by not being together, not to mention the physical aspect of a relationship which is a huge part of it for guys as they tend to connect on a more physical level.
Another thing I notice is that women tend to make most if not all the work in these long-distance relationships. Making long-distance work has to come from both people in the relationship and sadly, this often isn’t the case.
You see women give and give and give, putting so much of themselves into this relationship and the guy is barely giving anything back. Then, they make excuses for him. “Oh, it’s because of the distance. It’s hard to set up a time to communicate. He’s super busy…”
It’s hard to see a relationship like that going nowhere when it would’ve been a lot clearer in person and not dragged out over time and distance. If the guy isn’t putting in the effort then, he’s not magically going to change once the gap is closed.
Another major issue with making a long-distance relationship work is that it tends to create a false sense of reality and that bubble pops when you finally get together.
Think about it. You’re apart for so long, missing out on all of the usual couple things you would normally do in person. So you think about when you’re going to see each other again, building up this idea in your head of the perfect reunion.
And then when you do get together, you’re on picture-perfect best behavior trying to keep everything exactly right and meaningful. “We only have this weekend together so we need to make every moment count.” You jam-pack your time full of stuff and avoid any disruptions, disagreements, or issues.
Then you part ways and you start thinking of your next reunion. This cycle continues and it doesn’t function as a real relationship with the usual ebbs and flows, ups and downs.
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“6 Secrets to Make Your Long Distance Relationship Last
In a regular relationship, you would have the chance to see each other in your true selves because you’re not hiding behind a mask of perfection. No one is on their best behavior 24/7, especially when you’re living in the same city (or together) and you can see clearly what things are.
Now that we’ve gotten the pitfalls of long-distance relationships out of the way, I’ll share with you my positive tips on how to deal with a long-distance relationship. I’m not trying to be all doom and gloom. I just want you to be aware of the unique problems you can expect to face so that you know how to cope with long-distance relationships.
Long-distance can be what ultimately kills a relationship but it can also be the thing that makes it stronger if you follow solid long-distance relationship advice. I want to share with you some tips on how to make that happen.
1. Make Sure He’s Worth It
This is the most important aspect of surviving a long-distance relationship. Make sure he’s worthy of your time, affection, love, and the effort you’re putting into this.
This means that he is also putting in the effort to make this work. He’s making you a priority in his life and he’s committed to making this relationship work with you.
Remember, overcoming the long distance in this relationship can’t just be you putting in all the work and dragging him along.
Look at him and ask yourself, “Is he really worth it?” Is he worth all the hassles and expenses that come along with a long-distance relationship? All the travel and flying, coordinating plans, taking time off work, and using your vacations, overcoming obstacles, etc.
Do you feel such a deep and rare connection with him that you feel as though you truly cannot find that in someone else in your own city or state? Or even country? Is he worth all of it or is it because you don’t feel like you’ll be able to find anyone else?
It’s a tough question to tackle but ultimately important in answering for yourself for the sake of your own sanity and the future (or end) of your relationship.
MORE: 10 Signs He’s a Keeper
I’ll be honest, a lot of situations that women bring to me wanting to know how to make long-distance relationships work, is that they’re in terrible relationships, to begin with.
They’re afraid to walk away and end things because they don’t believe they’ll find someone else. So they tolerate a guy putting in the bare minimum while they struggle to keep the whole thing afloat.
This is why it’s so important that you take a look at your own relationship and ask yourself these questions. And don’t make excuses for him. You are your own person and everyone has their own stuff going on. He doesn’t get an automatic pass because he’s “busy” or things get a little bit difficult.
2. Have An End Date
You will never feel a sense of peace and security if this relationship just goes on indefinitely with no end in sight. There needs to be a time and place that you both discuss and agree upon to bring things together. One or both of you will move and close that long-distance gap.
Long-distance relationships are not the endgame. They are the path to the other side, a means to an end. You have to be moving towards something.
Don’t be afraid to bring this up for fear of rocking the boat, especially if you’ve been together for a long time. If you’re afraid to talk about important topics, it’s not a good sign for any relationship and it won’t magically get better in person. You need to be honest with yourself and him about your needs, wants, and expectations for the relationship.
It’s important to make plans for both the present and future. How often are you seeing each other? Who travels to who? What is your backup plan if something falls through?
This ensures that you’re both on the same page and working towards an end goal. Otherwise, you might find that you’re expecting something different than he’s willing to commit to or put the effort into.
3. Enjoy Your Life Outside Of The Relationship
It’s easy to get completely wrapped up in your relationship because you feel that since it’s long-distance it needs soooo much extra work in order to function.
For instance, instead of going out with your friends, you’re home on Skype. Or you have to cancel plans because he’s suddenly free and you have to take the opportunity because of different time zones.
While it’s important to put in the extra effort a long-distance relationship needs, it’s not so much that it should take over your life. Long-distance or not, it’s never a good idea to completely drop everything you have going for you just for a relationship.
Make it a point to continue going out with your friends, dedicating time to your hobbies and things that make you happy, carving out time for yourself, etc.
Another thing to keep in mind about this tip is that if you are ignoring your own life, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling jealousy, resentment, and other negative feelings. If you’re constantly putting your life on hold to sit on a phone call or video chat and he seems to be out living his best life, you’re going to feel like you’re sacrificing everything and getting little in return.
You might start letting your mind wander down the road about “What is he up to all the time when he’s not talking to me? He couldn’t make our last meeting. Is he spending time with someone else???”
When you put 100% of your focus on him and the relationship, it’s a slippery slope to this line of negative thinking. The simplest fix for that is to take back some of that focus and maintain your own life.
Fill your life up with things that light you up and give it meaning. This keeps you from having too much time to sit around and start to develop a needy mindset expecting him and the relationship to fill you up.
4. Think Of Creative Ways To Stay In Touch
It’s important to touch base at least once a day as reasonable. It’s not good to let things go to the point where a guy is shutting off his phone for a whole week and only communicating when he wants. That’s not the kind of guy or relationship you want.
Consistent communication is a key piece of advice for long-distance relationships. One way to keep things interesting and fun is to find other ways to communicate besides a standard phone call or texts.
Get some nice paper and write and mail each other letters like people did in the olden days. Send little surprise gifts to brighten your days or a care package if he’s away from home. Take photos of yourself and what you’re up to throughout the day and send them. Maybe you found a beautiful community garden by taking a different route on your walk and you share that with him.
Anything creative and meaningful is good. The point is to put a smile on his face and show that you’re thinking of him and you don’t have to be stuck with the standard forms of communication.
Now, the flip side of this is to not over-communicate. If you’re wondering what you should not do in a long-distance relationship, it’s smothering him with texts, calls, emails, etc.
You do not have to stay constantly attached just because you’re long-distance. It’s not something you would do if you were physically in the same space so it’s not going to translate well to long-distance either. Quality over quantity.
5. Look At The Relationship In A Positive Light
Perspective is everything. It’s the difference between being angry and resentful over the situation and taking that out on your partner or seeing this as a growing experience and a chance to get even closer.
If you have a negative mindset of, “This is so hard. Everything sucks. I wish we were in the same city. Everything is a struggle. I hate this,” you’re going to drag that energy into your interactions whether you mean to or not.
It’s not a good place to feel resentful and angry over the circumstances of the relationship. However, you can look at it in a different way in a more positive light and see obstacles as challenges instead of problems.
If you can work together to make a plan, keep things on a positive note, and communicate well, it can strengthen your relationship beyond measure. Truthfully, the people I know who have been in long-distance relationships and gone on to move closer together and even get married, have the strongest relationships because they both built that foundation.
They maintained a positive attitude and welcomed challenges that they would use to strengthen their bond for the ultimate good of their relationship.
So, instead of focusing on all of the things you can’t have due to circumstances, instead turn your focus to all the ways that you, as a couple, can overcome them and come out stronger on the other side of things.
6. Lighten His Load, Don’t Add To It
If you’re familiar with me and my content, you know that one of my main points is that men move towards what feels good. They have a very low bandwidth for emotionally intense and overwhelming situations. They generally avoid them when possible.
Everyone has their own set of daily struggles and what they’re going through. The best thing you can do is be a safe haven for him and help take him out of that stressful mindset. One of the greatest things we can strive for in a relationship is to be the person who is the safe-haven for our partner.
MORE: Make Your LDR Last
Instead of adding to his stress and dumping your problems on him, make an effort to be the safe space he comes to in order to escape all of that. And this goes both ways. In a good, healthy relationship, he should also be that person for you.
Let him know that you understand and support him and you will be irreplaceable in his life. All he wants is for his partner to see him, know him, and support him and you can do that by being the bright spot in his life instead of bringing him down with negativity.
Your relationship will be so much lighter and stress-free if you focus on enjoying your time together and not using each other as a sounding board for grievances and daily annoyances.
And there you have it: six tips on how to make long-distance relationships work. Remember, it’s about perspective, bringing your best to the table, and also making sure that you’re investing in the right person.
That last part is the most important because all the tips in the world will not save you if you’re investing in someone who can’t or won’t meet you in the middle (or anywhere!). If it’s a waste of time and a dead-end, you need to recognize and accept that so that you don’t waste any more of your life on a relationship or guy going nowhere. If the two of you can work together and truly be partners in this, then you have a really great chance at making this work and having an amazing relationship. And hopefully, that means you’ll be in the same place soon and get to enjoy the full benefits of an in-person relationship.
Let me know what you think, if there’s anything you feel that I missed. If you’re in a long-distance relationship, I’d love to hear from you what works and what doesn’t.
Now that we’ve covered LDR, let’s talk about relationships in general, specifically, what makes a man want to commit. Do you know what makes him see you as the one and inspires him to commit? If not, read this next:The #1 Things Men Desire in a Woman