How To Make A Long-Distance Relationship Work Until You Can Be Together

Anyone who has been in a long-distance relationship knows that it is hard on both people involved to make it work. You miss each other and there’s less intimacy because you aren’t physically together that often. You can’t always talk to each other when you want to. If it is a new relationship, the distance can make it difficult to get to know each other. For those reasons and more, many people simply choose not to be involved in long-distance relationships. They either just don’t start them or if one of them has to move, they end the relationship. That being said, if you’re determined to make your long-distance relationship work, it can be worth the effort. Here are some tips to help.

  1. Have an end date in mind. It can be hard to maintain a long-distance relationship if you don’t know when it is going to end. Whether you are in a new or established relationship, you can use an endpoint to make it easier on both of you. If your relationship is new, set a time period for how long you will keep your relationship long-distance before you take the next step. The next step could be meeting, spending a weekend together, or making plans to move. If you’re in an established relationship, knowing how long you will be apart can give you both hope. That, and it’s the only way things will work.
  2. Communicate regularly, not excessively. As in any relationship, communication is important. Those day-to-day conversations matter. They create a bond between the two of you. It’s also important to communicate about feelings, concerns, and emotions. Set up times to spend together even though you can’t be physically together. Video chats are great for having conversations. Be careful not to expect each other to be there all the time though. In a relationship where you live in the same city, you wouldn’t expect a partner to be available to you 24/7 because they have jobs, friends, and other interests. Give your long-distance partner the same respect by not demanding all of their time. If you’re clingy and don’t respect their life, your long-distance relationship will never work.
  3. Use video chat for other activities besides talking. Video chat has made it easier for people who are separated to feel like they are together but you don’t just have to spend time talking. You can go for a walk, watch a movie, play a game, or go online shopping. If you know you are going to be together again soon and hope to buy a house together someday, why not go on virtual house tours? Get creative with your video chats. Oh, and yes, you can have virtual sex over video chat too, if that’s your thing.
  4. Focus on yourself. Consider the time you spend apart to be an opportunity to work on yourself. In the end, the work you do on yourself will strengthen your relationship. Learn to enjoy being alone. Spend time on hobbies. Enjoy time with friends and family members. A person who is comfortable being alone and knows themself well makes a strong life partner.
  5. Make sure both of you understand the expectations. Don’t call them rules. No one likes rules. Instead, just clarify what you expect from each other. Do you expect each other to check in before you go to bed at night? Do you expect each other to not date others? If you discuss your expectations, there is less of a chance that one of you will do something that upsets the other.
  6. Be honest with each other. If you’re feeling insecure or not sure about the status of your relationship, don’t hold it in. Tell your partner. And if your partner is the one that needs reassurance, be sure to listen to what they are saying. If you’re upfront and honest with each other about how you’re feeling, it will only strengthen your relationship, despite the distance.
  7. Give each other permission to stalk each other’s social media profiles. Of course you want to know what your partner is doing, so just be clear about it – you’re going to stalk each other. Make it fun by tagging each other, sharing memes, or making videos of what is going on in your lives.
  8. Give each a personal memento to hold on to. If he gives you the watch his father gave him for graduation, you know he’s coming back. If you give him your childhood teddy bear, he’ll have something to remind him of your scent and he’ll know you aren’t going to let him leave. Personal mementos can tell the other person you aren’t going anywhere.
  9. Send each other good old-fashioned snail mail. For many people, snail mail is a novel form of communication. Have you ever received a love letter? Being in a long-distance relationship is the perfect opportunity to bring back the love letters. For some people, it’s easier to open up about feelings and emotions on paper than it is in words. You may discover a completely different side of each other. Also, consider sending each other little gifts. They don’t have to be pricey. It could be a book by his favorite author or a trinket you found in an antique store. You can even add pictures of places you want to go that you found in a magazine or a brochure for an event that you want to attend when your love comes back from being away. Making a long-distance relationship work isn’t easy but if your relationship is worth it, the effort to maintain it will be too.
Danielle has been a freelance writer for 20+ years. She lives in Canada with her dog Rogue and drinks a lot if coffee.