If you’re in a LDR with someone a few towns, states or even countries away, you know how draining and downright impossible it can feel sometimes to have to live your day-to-day life away from the person you love. Whether it’s a temporary situation or the only one you’ve ever known, there are little things you can do to make your connection a little stronger and the pain of being away from each other hurt a little less.
- Skype or FaceTime your heart out. Thankfully, it’s 2016 which means technology is on your side. Being able to hop on Skype or FaceTime to see your S.O. anytime you want is the best gift your LDR will ever have. It’s not as good as being in the same place and being able to actually touch them, of course, but it does a pretty damn good job in making you feel a little less far away.
- Remember that snail mail is your friend. It’s old-school and pretty romantic to send one another cards and packages via the regular mail. Plus, who doesn’t love getting mail that isn’t bills? Sending a card “just because” or putting together a package for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays is thoughtful, sweet and is bound to make your partner feel loved and special.
- Have dates. Obviously, you can’t go out to the movies or catch dinner on the weekends, but you can have a facsimile of a date on Skype. The screen-sharing function means you can watch movies together, or you can both order takeout in your respective cities and enjoy it while chatting to each other. Those little moments will keep the connection alive.
- Keep a countdown until you get to see each other again. Even if it’s going to be a while, having an end date in sight for when you’ll finally get to be in the same place will keep you sane and give you something to look forward to when it feels too impossible to keep going
- Play games. No, not mind games, actual games. Again, technology is pretty awesome in making it so that you can link up with anyone around the world to play everything from Scrabble to chess and everything in between. Even better if you play games on your phone while video chatting. It’s almost (but not quite) as good as being in the same room together.
- Don’t neglect your “real” life. While it might be tempting to spend all your time at home, glued to your laptop so that you can chat 24/7, that’s not healthy or realistic and won’t do your relationship any favors. You need to keep going out into the world, seeing your friends and taking care of business. Not only will neglecting your life outside of your LDR leave you with nothing to say to each other, it’ll also make it so you don’t have much of a life outside of them, and that’s never a good thing.
- Make a conscious choice. Long-distance relationships aren’t for everyone, and you need to be honest with yourself before deciding to proceed. Can you handle long stretches of time apart? Can you maintain a strong connection even though you’re in completely different places? Is there actually a possibility of bridging the gap eventually or are you destined to remain apart for the rest of the time you’re together? Assess the situation seriously because if you’re going to proceed, you have to be sure.
- Be open and honest about where you stand. Since you and your partner aren’t in the same space physically, the only thing you have is communication. If you’re terrible at that, the relationship is doomed to fail. Whether you’re frustrated about not being able to cuddle them or you’re starting to doubt if you can continue with things as they are, you have to speak up and let them know where you’re at. Keeping those lines of direct and honest communication open is vital if your relationship has a chance of surviving.