I’m not going to sugar coat it. Long distance relationships really suck. Been there, done that. Twice. You’ll never meet someone in a Long distance relationship who is like ” Oh yeah my significant other lives in Australia, it’s great! ” On the contrary it’s more like a whirlwind of internal questions; ” Is shehe worth waiting for? ” ” Am I being completely stupid thinking this will work out? ” ” Is the person I’m in love with a Nigerian prince just out to scam my credit card money? “
My last two significant relationships were long distance. One was a five hour drive away, the other was a seven hour plane ride away. The first fell a part quickly but should of ended way sooner than it did. The second we worked so hard to make things work but life took our paths in different directions unfortunately.
I’ve seen both sides of long distance relationships. The good and the bad. The happiness of finally seeing someone you love after waiting so long and the pain of uncertainty.
Here are a couple things I’ve learned along the way about LDR’s.
Make Communication Optional
I’m kinda embarrassed to admit I’ve read tips and articles on how to get throughout long distance relationships online. All articles I read said it was crucial to make time to communicate. It might work for some people, but I’ve found that communication should happen organically and unconditionally. It is totally okay to not want to Skype your significant other one night. Having a few days to yourself is actually pretty healthy.
When you force the communication, you are going to end up frustrated when the other doesn’t call or end up having nothing to talk about . You’re going to start feeling obliged to force small talk and that can lead to half-assing the relationship, spending time with your partner because you feel you need to not because you want to.
Getting into a long distance relationship requires a little thing called “trust.” For some of us this term isn’t the easiest to wrap our heads around. But you should definitely try it.
Have Something To Look Forward To Together
” Is he secretly getting with all the girls in his city?”
” Is this all worth it?”
” Maybe we are horrible for each other but we don’t know it yet.”
All these questions will swirl around in your head the longer you are apart.
To make any long distance relationship work it is crucial to always have something that the both of you are looking forward to. Usually it is the next time you will see each other or any other major life moments shared – job interviews in the other persons city, a vacation together … You get the picture. You have got to have a point in the horizon where both your paths are going to converge. Otherwise you will inevitably drift apart.
Be Slow To Judge
Our brains can screw us up sometime. I remember once when I was dating my last boyfriend, after seeing he followed some girl on Instagram I went on a full out anger rant. Yeah, just because he followed a girl on social media … not proud. When we are apart for a long time or have limited exposure, we can start to make all sorts of assumptions that are usually not true or highly exaggerated.
Any irrational fantasy you make up in your head is going to inevitably break you up. That key word mentioned earlier, “trust,” comes up again. Ask your partner about something you want to know, even if you think you might look silly. It’s way better than snooping around on their social medias and deciding that they are probably dating four other people in other countries.
Make sure the distance is temporary
Nothing cannot survive without hope. And for there to be hope in a long distance relationship, you have to have some possibility that one day you are going to be physically together. And make sure both of your visions of your Happily Ever Afters resemble! You both have to feel like you are working towards a possible future together. If one of you lives in Canada and the other in London, it might not be the best idea to stay in the relationship if you just accepted a job in Australia.
Long distances CAN work. But both people have to want to see the end game and put their money where their mouth is. They can actually be pretty magical when they work and you end up in the same city living your Happily ever after, because the both of you put so some much time and effort to make it work out. You have to keep an open mind though. Because when you are in a long distance relationship, you don’t know 100% what it is like to date the other person. You have this hallways idea of what it’s like. You don’t really get to know their bad habits and ticks when you aren’t living with the person. When we are a apart it is easy to romanticize each other and look over the mundane yet important differences.
So, Could it work? Absolutely. Is it worth it? That is for you to figure out. Does it work? Usually no. Then again, most relationships that aren’t long distance don’t work. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least try. I don’t think it’s too controversial to say that when most of us think about our futures, we imagine a stable relationship as one piece of the puzzle. It’s human nature to want to have a partner to love and support us throughout our lives. Stable relationships are important and contribute to both our physical and mental well-being, however they are very difficult for a lot of people to maintain.