It is said that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” As much truth as there is in that saying, there is the obvious reality that the absence of your significant other can just makes your heart grow more weary and lonely. It’s not easy at all to love someone who lives far away, whether it is just a few hours away or a whole ocean apart. In fact nothing about long distance relationships (LDRs) are easy, but hopefully this article with shed some light and insight, with tools to survive loving long distance.
Love has no borders, especially now with the internet. Thank god for that or I would have never met the love of my life 5,000 miles away. Maybe you’re like me and actually fell in love over the internet to someone in another state or even country before ever meeting them, or maybe you’ve already met your love and life is pulling you both in separate directions. Whatever the situation is, whatever the reason, you will inevitably find both of you will be feeling the wear of the distance. Fortunately there are some tools available that will ease this burden.
Here are 5 insights I have about thriving in a long distance relationship:
1. Keep yourself busy
Being an individual in a relationship is important in a “normal” relationship, but it is essential in a long distance relationship. Remembering to keep yourself busy doing things you love, will help ease the frustration of waiting to be with your other half again. As hard is it is, it is vital to find comfort in your own life apart from your significant other. Sometimes being in a long distance relationship feels lonely, and almost like you are single at times, but pursuing your own goals helps distract yourself from the loneliness. Finding the balance of living your life apart, while still keeping your loved one in mind is key. Plus, the more you work on your own goals and aspirations the happier you’ll become, which in turn can only make the relationship happier and healthier as well. Remember also to enjoy time with other people in your life that are close in proximity to you, family and friends, to help ease the loneliness. Sometimes it feels like you’d rather be alone if you can’t be with your one person, but I urge you, put yourself first and force yourself out of the loneliness box you put yourself in.
2. Make time to Facetime or Skype everyday
In the midst of both of your busy schedules and individual lives, it is essential to make time for each other everyday. Couples in LDRs don't have the luxury of spending little moments together as a couple that live together might have. It is true that we have to create those special moments. Find a time that works for both of your time zones, and spend an hour talking to each other about your day and sharing time together. It is the only way to keep the relationship strong and by giving up a little bit of your time, it will show your loved one that you're still a priority in their life.
3. Communicate in different and creative ways
I know that my loved one and I send constant messages throughout our waking hours, which is great to know they’re there. But nothing beats a simple, physical love-letter. Even better than that, try sending a little care package to them, a favorite snack or something to remind of you of each other will give you both a little something to look forward to as it sends in the mail. Another thing, is to plan a movie night with your love, with one of these long distance movie sharing apps: Rabbit, Watch2Gether, Let’s Gaze. Even something as small as sending a Snapchats of what is happening throughout your day is enough to show your significant other that they are important and that they are being thought of. It’s the small things that matter when you are so far away.
4. Learn and practice absolute trust
This is one of the hardest thing about LDRs, it is a hard pill to swallow that you have almost no way of keeping tabs on your significant other at all times. It's just the nature of being far away from each other. The mind likes to make up worst case scenarios when your loved one doesn't reply to your messages immediately. It is super easy to sink into unhealthy and negative ways of coping with the fact that you’re not around to observe everything. Traps I, myself, have fallen into, such as texting or calling constantly, accusing them of things that you only imagined (I am the queen of this one), and pushing them away are things you need to be aware of. Trust me, these coping mechanisms will only make your significant other feel defensive because they feel attacked and untrustworthy, which will only cause more distance between you two. The ONLY way to combat the natural jealousy that comes with LDR is absolute trust. Realizing that you have little say about what your lover does or where they go (that does not mean you can’t voice your opinion to them about how going somewhere makes you feel), and find comfort in knowing that this person who loves you enough to be in this tough long distance relationship with you, will make the right choice. Relinquish the control, distract yourself from the frustration, and have faith in the choices of the one you love. Learning to trust requires a lot of patience, communication and understanding and most of all, time. Just try to be aware of falling into traps, and it is possible. Now on other hand, keep in mind that you should do whatever you can within your power to make your significant other feel comfortable and make compromises to make them feel secure in the relationship as needed. It’s all about finding balance.
5. Make a plan
When you are far away, sometimes it feels like there is no end to the loneliness. I know funding a trip across the country or sometimes the world, can really be a source of financial frustration for you both. I understand this so well, I have gone to such lengths that I have quit jobs to be able to go on a trip to see my love. But take it from me, there is nothing more amazing than knowing the plane ticket is bought and a date is set. It will give you both so much hope in knowing that there is a moment where you will be in each other's arms again. A day to count down to, a day that makes the waiting bearable.
I know being in a long distance relationship is one of the hardest things I’ve personally ever had to experience, but with patience and lots of love, anything is possible. I have had my share of ups and downs in my two year long relationship, but there is nothing more amazing than finding true love and sticking out the hard times together. Where there is a will, there is a way. If your love can stand that inevitable burden that distance puts on your relationship, your relationship can withstand anything. And I can attest to the truth that the longer the wait, the more magical the reunion.
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Julia Odom is a self-taught freelance content writer, lyricist and poet, and soon to be novelist. She has been writing non-professionally all over the world as a traveler. Julia is an experienced lyricist and singer, writing the lyrics for all songs on the album “Plastic God” for the electronic pop band Carface. Originally from Colorado, but with traveling through France for a year, Julia has a passion for life, food, and travel. Julia truly thrives at the edge of her comfort zone. She is currently living in Los Angeles, California with her French boyfriend and her two cats.