I have currently been in a long-distance relationship with my current boyfriend for the last 3 years. We have some how been able to make it last this long even with a long line of critics that think “Wow, that will never last,” “They come from two different worlds,” “Her family doesn’t speak the same language,” “Even if he says he is Catholic, the French don’t practice their religion, right?”… and the list goes on and on. Coming from someone that is very sensitive to what other people think, it was very difficult not to listen to their negativity. Which brings me to my first tip.
1. Don’t listen to the haters.
It does nothing to focus on the negativity of an already difficult situation. An independent thinker will always find a way to tune those pessimistic voices out. And in the end, whose relationship is it anyways?
Now that doesn’t mean blocking out all your family and friends, especially when they felt they were being helpful. Sometimes we need outside support in a relationship. Even though your BF or GF is supposed to be your BFF they aren’t perfect and I’m sure they will do something stupid that you will need to vent about.
2. 100% Honesty
I told my boyfriend from the very beginning that if this was going to work we would need to be completely honest with one another right down to the days when we feel it’s not working so that we can come up with reasons why it is not working.
This also means being honest when the whole relationship goes sour. If you are more interested in someone else and not committed to making the distance work, one can sneak around the other’s back quite easily if they wanted to. Be honest. Maybe it is the right relationship for you just not the right timing. If you are 100% honest with one another there are better chances that you can always remain friends. Maybe not. But in my experience my boyfriend feels like he can trust me more because he knows I will confide in him even whether it be bad or good news.
In a world of social media long-distance relationships have been made much easier. Skype, Facebook, What’s App, and then when in doubt e-mail.
Regularly planned Skype dates are going to be your best friends. If it seems like the relationship has become boring and there is nothing to talk about. Go 3 days without communicating and you will find that not only do you have so much more to talk about and you have probably missed your significant other much more than normal. If not, maybe the relationship has had it’s run.
Long-distance relationships are more needy than regular ones. Because you can’t see, kiss, hug, hold hands… the simple “I love yous” and “I miss yous” are so much more important to say (if you mean it) to reassure your boy/girlfriend that you are both on the same page.
One of the biggest fears in a long-distance relationship whether you are fully committed or not, is that your sweetheart is going to find someone else prettier, younger, more mature… but most importantly … closer.
So it is crucial to not only communicate but to encourage one another.
4. Have Goals
When will you see each other again? Where is this going? Long-distance relationships in my opinion need to be serious committed relationships to work. If both parties aren’t working hard at the relationship to reach a common goal then the relationship is going no where fast and will be much easier to give up on.
5. When you are together make the most of it!
If you know that you can only visit them for a short time before being long distance again make the most of it. Plan day trips, outings and be sure to get lots of alone time as well. Sure it is nice spending time watching movies with your family and your boyfriend over Christmas break. It’s hard enough not getting one-on-one time on a regular basis let alone having to share your time with others. Find the right balance for you!
And in the end know that ‘long distance’ is like any other relationship. If the shoe doesn’t fit than why wear it? Don’t worry about all those people saying, “I told you so” honestly they don’t understand. They don’t know that it can work. It has been exactly 55 days since I have seen my “chéri” and there is exactly 6,510 km between us and one very expensive plane ticket (perspective of a University student on student loans). But we have a plan and this is going to work. So if we can do it, maybe you can to! Bonne chance 😉