The secrets to a successful long distance relationship
So, how do you know the relationship is worth it?
Here are a few things you might like to consider, even before you go your separate ways.
- Do you both want this relationship? Is it something you are ready and willing to work for? If not before, this needs to be decided soon after you are apart acknowledging the fact that it will be a rollercoaster ride of emotions, as well as difficult and frustrating at times (i.e. not unlike any other relationship!). I think it also goes without saying, you both have to be in it to win it.
- Spend some time together before you part ways. A few months, weeks, whatever you can spare. My husband and I lived together for 3 months before our first long-term stint apart, and we often reflect on how invaluable this time together was. It helped us establish whether or not we were actually compatible as a couple, and make sure we wouldn’t drive each other crazy. It also gave us time to learn about each others quirks and intricacies, as well as make some happy memories together. It was these little things that helped close the distance between us when times got tough.
- Are you on the same page when it comes to family, having kids, career, settling down etc.? Despite the distance, it is comforting to share a common vision and life rhythm with your partner.
- How long do you see yourself playing the long-distance game? It can be a good idea to set an absolute end date, or at least have a backup plan. That way, both of you know what you’re in for and there aren’t any hidden expectations or surprises further down the track.
Communicate, communicate and communicate some more
Learn each other’s schedules
A little bit of trust goes a long way
Maintain regular contact
Make a shared experience
- Pick a movie to watch together, and hit play at the same time.
- Have dinner or lunch together, over Skype or share photos of what you’re eating.
- Go for a run together and keep tabs with an app like mapmyrun
- Stop Drop Selfie. This was suggested by a friend of mine and I love the idea! It’s basically a pinky promise that some kind of selfie must be provided immediately upon request.
My husband and I used to always share our thoughts and travel plans on Google Docs (and we still do!). You can also check out apps like ‘Couple’ which are a bit like your own personal Watsapp channel, but it allows you to share lists, videos and other cute little fuzzies with each other whenever the urge arises.
Find creative ways to say ‘I love you’
And some final words of wisdom…
‘while you’re apart, work hard at the part of your life that is the reason you are apart in the first place’.