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A Beginner’s Guide To Surviving A Long Distance Relationship

A Beginner's Guide To Surviving A Long Distance Relationship | Keating & Co.

I’ve been in three long distance relationships in my short, 23 years of life.  Zack and I even fell in love long distance.  I was living in Vermont with my dad and Zack was stationed in North Carolina.  We fell in love from 900 miles away and even started out our marriage long distance as well.  Now we’re back to doing the long distance thing and he’s about 7,500 miles away from me on the other side of the world.  It definitely sucks sometimes to not have the ability to see Zack whenever I want or have the chance to spend time with him and his friends or be together for every holiday.  I always feel like I was missing out.  But it’s doable.  There are so many ways to make the distance a bit easier to manage and the time go by faster.

Have a life outside of your relationship.

This is super important to any relationship whether you’re long distance or not.  Spend time with friends, take on a job or a second job (I worked three at one point!), find a new hobby, work on your education, travel.  There are so many things you can do to keep your mind off the fact that you’re in a long distance relationship.  Plus this teaches you to be a little more independent so that you’re not completely relying on your significant other to make you happy or to entertain you throughout the day.  You learn so much more about yourself!

Date each other.

I know this sounds weird since you’re x miles apart, but there are so many ways you can spend time together while you’re apart.  Pick out a movie or a television show that you can both watch and watch it together over Skype or the phone.  Just last weekend, we watched the New England Patriots play and texted back and forth to discuss all the crazy plays.  I know there’s no cuddling involved or anything, but it still helps you feel close to one another.

Make the best of the time you two have together.

Whenever you have time together, make the most of it.  Be present.  Don’t spend the entire time upset that you’ll eventually have to go back home or worrying about when you’ll see each other again.  This doesn’t help anyone nor does it change the circumstances.  Find fun things to do together and really focus on that time that you have.

Write snail mail.

I know, I know.  Snail mail can be a bit lame.  But it’s also so romantic when you’re long distance.  If it wasn’t so expensive to send packages overseas, I’d probably send them a bit more often.  It’s fun to send and receive mail!

Set up a countdown until the next time you see each other.

I’m the queen of countdowns.  I have about 8-10 countdowns going on my phone right this very second.  It’s insane.  But countdowns help make the time go by so much faster.  I also have a countUP to show long Zack’s been gone.  It’s a great reminder to see how far we’ve come so far.  I’m doing my best to train my mind to focus more on how far we’ve come rather than how far we still have left to go.

Make plans for the future.

A long distance relationship is 10x harder when there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.  Having plans to at some point be together in the same city will help a lot.  Unfortunately, we don’t currently know where we’ll be moving to next, but we do know roughly when he’ll be returning home.  Having that end date in mind makes it a bit easier for me to stay focused and sane.  Plus it allows me to count down until he comes back.

Say “I love you”.  

First, let me mention that this is only for those who truly mean it.  Don’t say it if you don’t.  But I assume, if you’re battling the difficulties of a long distance relationship, then chances are it’s because you love each other and want to be together.  Either way, it helps to remind each other how you feel about one another.  I’m not saying you have to say it nonstop every day, but since you’re so far apart, a reminder can sometimes be really helpful.

Set aside certain times in your day for each other.

This could be time for a phone call or a Skype date.  Anything you want.  But make sure to dedicate time to your significant other on a daily basis, if possible.  Since Zack’s schedule varies and we have the 14 hour time difference, weekends have become our best friend.  He always takes time out of his Sunday (my Saturday) to FaceTime with me which is always so amazing and appreciated.  So much better than a text message.  I look forward to these calls every weekend.

Find a way to communicate.

Whether you’re an hour away from one another or on opposite ends of the world, it’s important to find a way to communicate with one another.  Communication is key to making any relationship work out long term, but it’s especially crucial to a long distance relationship.  Sometimes text messages and phone calls are all you have.

What tips do you have for a successful long distance relationship?