How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

Long distance relationship

A long distance relationship can get hard. There’s no working around that one. Putting that distance between you and your partner will give you the bare bones of your relationship, show you if you can really survive together long term, and if it’s worth it. It gets stressful, lonely, and helpless at times, but, if you can make it through you’ll be ten times stronger in the end. If you want your relationship to survive, there’s a few things you should prepare for.

You’ll learn to live independently

This reason is why I could argue every couple should go through something like a long distance relationship at least once. Many people bounce from relationship to relationship for years, without really giving their emotional life a break. While that isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with that, there’s something to be said about being capable of living a fulfilling life that doesn’t include a partner – having your own hobbies, your own friends, and your own memories. I always believe that if you can’t be happy by yourself, you’ll never successfully maintain an intimate relationship with someone else.

Missed memories

Yup, this one’s rough. Going on Facebook and seeing the big event that all of your friends attended with your significant other who should have a certain someone as their date. Instead, they took their best friend, and their fun selfies are smattered across your newsfeed. It can get really hard to watch your significant other live life without you.

Your time together is that much sweeter

When I lived in Europe while Chris was still in the US, the time difference hurt me more than I expected. We lived 6 time zones away, so when something stressful happened first thing in the morning that I needed to talk to him about, I couldn’t. He was asleep, and would be for another 6 hours. The extreme of our distance also meant that we couldn’t just pop over for a visit over the weekend, so we didn’t get any breaks. Now that I’ve moved back home, I can never take our time together for granted. Cuddling was something I only dreamed about (literally) for close to a year, so something as simple as touch is a Godsend!

Fighting

You can’t kiss and makeup over distance! Not only are the negatives of the relationship and your significant other amplified when there’s no positives to remind you why you’re in the relationship in the first place, but the fighting drags out. Your SO can’t exactly show you how much they love you from 4,000 miles away, at least not unless they’re creative. Meanwhile, you spend your free time bitching about the situation to your friends, who all agree with you. Plus, you’ve gotten so used to living the single lifestyle…why are you together again?

Yup, long distance relationships are hard. Really, really hard. But, if you can work through it and make it out to the end with the decision that you will do whatever needs to be done to make it work out, your relationship will strengthen tenfold.

Jamie

I'm Jamie, and I have an unquenchable thirst for the world. I'm currently situated in Tampa, Florida with my boyfriend and his two little ones. I want to travel everywhere, experience everything, and learn as many languages as possible!

Comments

  1. My fiance just had a year apart – he was sailing around the world while I was travelling and volunteering. It was actually a bit easier for us because we were only able to communicate about 3 days a month which means that you get on with things and really focus on what you are doing. Having said that I’m so glad it is over now!!! 😀

  2. So rough! We are going on 18 months in different countries but thankfully see each other fairly frequently. Agree that these are some important things to get used to!

  3. Some great points here! We are going on 18 months in different countries and it’s so tough! Thankfully we see each other fairly frequently, sending lots of good vibes to everyone in a similar situation.

  4. Agreed. You have to put in a great deal of time and effort to keep a Long Distance Relationship going. My other half and I are currently apart (he comes back tomorrow!), but we speak every day – sometimes face-to-face with FaceTime and other times just through messages. I send him pictures of my food that day, my outfit, tell him about the book I’m reading, or the show I just watched – really mundane stuff, but the things that he would know if we were in the same place. It helps us feel less distant. But, I can’t wait for his plane to land tomorrow!!!

  5. Great analysis of a long distance relationship and love all the positive aspects you described! Bassam and I have never lived more than an hour apart so I don’t totally understand, but really agreed with all your points.

  6. Hi Jamie,

    I give SO much credit to folks who pull this off. Given the average human lifespan, spending months or longer away from my wife would be too much. And I’m kinda a detached guy LOL. I see the independence thing, short term, because we’re both indie types yet being together for nearly a decade already, gotta do the long term travel bit together. Give mad props though to people who can foster a loving, powerful bond when apart. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Ryan

  7. It´s hard and always will be. With my husband, we went through seven months of long distance after having met abroad and traveling for less than 3 months. It was really hard, but we wanted to make it work more than anything else so I interrupted my studies and went over to his country for a year, then we came to my country for a year and now we are on the road again. I never want to spend so much time apart anymore though!

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