I realize that long distance relationship guidance is not a subject today, you were expecting to see from me. How can you keep muffins? Sure. Stay with me here.
My encounter in a long distance relationship isn’t something I regularly mention on my blog, but it’s issue I’m asked about frequently outside of it because of Ben and I—a happily married couple of four years—spent almost two years residing in different nations. For the most part, every person who contacts me wants to learn precisely the same thing, though each situation is exceptional:
How’d you do it?
After I had located myself copy/pasting a response about our long distance encounter that I’d sent to an alternate reader some weeks earlier, I determined it was time to write a blog post sharing what we learned, using the hope that it might be useful to others too.
How our long distance relationship came to be: After we had started dating, Ben began service a year and was placed in the Dominican Republic. Meanwhile, I lived in Minneapolis, working as an analyst to get a Fortune 500 company. Our lives could not have been more different, but we were able to keep our relationship going despite living in what frequently felt like separate worlds.
Was it worth it? Yes, undoubtedly.
If you ought to remain in your long distance relationship. Every situation differs, and finally, just you along with your partner you can decide if the relationship deserves heartache, the issue, and fiscal sacrifice which have made a long distance relationship work.
What I could tell you: Key suggestions that were crucial to helping Ben and me make our long distance relationship (forgive me) go the distance.
9 Hints to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work
#1. Be Your Own Book Club (or take part in a similar, specific task in each of your various places).
Ben and my day-to- days looked nothing alike. International businesses and I were negotiating production costs while he was teaching entrepreneurial courses in rural communities. We were given a relateable connection by reading the same book as we debated subjects and empathized with characters. Listening to the same podcasts, viewing the same TV series, and reading the identical news articles may also be excellent actions discuss and to share.
#2. Don’t Feel Pressured to Speak on the Phone Each And Every Day, for Hours.
Every day doesn’t need to include an epic, heart-wrenching phone call where you each feel a Nicholas Sparks-level connection to another, and at times an excess of communicating can be a bad thing. Feel confidant if you just have a couple of minutes to chat on issues that are light, or should you don’t chat at all. An easy text is a superior option for those who are in the same state (a “thinking of you” or “miss you” can mean the world). Speaking for a longer span several times a week, versus every day leaves room for substantive dialogues that go beyond what did you eat for lunch?”
#3. Bring Back Snail Mail.
Sure, texts and phone calls are fine, but a good, old-fashioned card or letter is a much better method to demonstrate caring. It takes the time to send, which time Won’t go unappreciated or unnoticed by your partner. Plus, it’s pleasant to your partner to pick up and reread a physical card or letter when she or he is missing you.
#4. Always Have Your Next Visit Planned.
I learned this one from my aunt who at one point weathered a long distance relationship from Texas. Although cards along with a shared Game of Thrones see can be helpful, nothing replaces quality, in person time. Invest weekends (and finances) in seeing each other. That way when you part, instead of tearfully sighing “See you…soon,” you can confidently state, “ See you in three weeks. ”
#5. Don’t Give Directly Into Envy.
It’s a reality of long distance than he or even she does with you that the partner will be spending additional time with other people. Don’t resent him or her for it. It’s important for both you and your partner to build strong, healthy relationships with friends as well as co-workers in your immediate vicinities. Long distance is challenging, and you may both benefit from having a strong support network to help you. Try to get to learn your partner’s buddies at the same time. In this way, when he or she tells you stories that start, “Last nighttime when Jim and I went out,” you’ll know precisely who Jim is and have a clearer image of your partner’s daily life.
This notion becomes trickier when your partner is buddies with someone of your same sex. Finally, confidence is required by long distance, and in case you are not ready to give it, then a long distance relationship might not be appropriate for you.
#6. Remain Active.
Don’t let a Skype date with your partner function as the only real thing you might have to anticipate in the evenings. Long distance relationships are a lot easier to manage if you have an energetic life outside of them. Join a brand new club, take an art class, or enroll at a local community college in French 101. Enjoy your time with yourself and friends and with family too. Doesn’t mean that you should be lonely, just as you are alone.
Staying busy can also be important since it keeps your expectations for your partner practical. If you have devotions of your own, you may be tempted to feel resentful when your partner needs to cut a phone call brief to join friends for drinks.
#7. Video Call Whenever Possible.
Seeing someone’s face, even on screen, has a power that I can’t describe but that was essential for my long distance relationship survival and Ben’s. At two points, we nearly called things away, first him, then me. Both times, we had the discussion over Skype. For me, looking into his eyes while we talked and saw his face reminded me of why we were doing this crazy thing in the very first place, and we determined to stick with it.
#8. Ask the Big Questions.
i.e. “Where’s this going?” I don’t believe you need to be 100% positive (0r even 80%) that a relationship is destined for perpetuity to attempt long distance, but I do think it’s important to possess routine, clear, and honest dialogues about what each of your relationship goals is. Are you able to reasonably start to see another man as someone if life partnership is something which you want, you might spend your daily life with? Otherwise, it solicits a different major question are we doing this?”
A long distance relationship is not a lifestyle choice that is permanent. Eventually, you need an end date. This part is not easy. If this dialogue feels like too much to tackle, consider setting a deadline a couple of months down the line then stick to that deadline. As difficult as long distance relationships are, they may be even harder when no end date is in sight.