Fundamentals to make a long distance relationship work
Every relationship is unique but there are always fundamentals that need to be laid down for it work. In a long distance relationship, the dynamics are a bit different – it’s not something you ‘test the waters’ with, or something that you’ll ‘see how it goes’. The commitment is from the getgo.
I’ve been in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend, Jay, for over two years now and I could not be happier (I mean, if he was here instead of Adelaide I would be happier but ya know what I mean). This by no means, makes me an expert on the topic, but I do think Jay and I have created a solid foundation for our relationship by getting the following things right from the beginning.
Of course, this is a huge one for all relationships but of the highest priority if you’re apart from each other. Without the luxury of physically being together, communication is all you have! You need to make sure that the both of you are transparent, open and honest with one another. When Jay and I first started talking, I was still living in Europe and he was in Australia. All we had was whatsapp and crappy wifi calls. We didn’t actually see each other until 5 months later, when I came back home to Australia. But in those 5 months, we ended up talking on the phone nearly every day and really got the opportunity to get know each other.
Now, with him in Adelaide and me a 2hr plane ride away in Sydney, we took what we established whilst I was abroad and continued it here in Australia. We talk on the phone every day and genuinely take the time to ask about each other’s days. Some couples like to cut this down to a few times a week, but this works for us. Like I said, every relationship is different! Test it out and see what works best for you and your partner – find a frequency, and mode (text, call, skype) that suites you and your schedule/time zone.
You’re here, and they’re in another city, state, or even country altogether. You NEED to have trust. I’m not talking about “I trust them, but I don’t trust who they’re with” sh*t – that ain’t trust. You need to be fine with them going out at night with friends without the thought of them macking on with someone else even cross your mind – cause you know that isn’t even a possibility in the slightest. Them being in another city/state/country changes nothing from if they were in the same place as you. If any relationship is to work, there needs to be trust. Trust is about having the respect to let the other person do what they want without questioning their motives. You’d want them to trust you, right?
Prioritising time together
This is an important one for me. I mean, these are all important, but for me especially. I’m a planner. I like diaries and schedules and calendars – they make me happy. Yes, I’m one of those people. Having your partner be in another state means that you need to dedicate/plan time to spend with that person (online, over the phone) because you already have the luxury of physically being with them out of the equation. Whether it’s having a dedicated date night during the week, or every Sunday morning, or every second day – just make sure it’s set. Always give notice if plans come up – they’ll understand! You can still message them saying, “Hey babe, I’ll pick you up at 8!“.. then just call them, and pretend you’re on an actual date together. You gotta make do with what you have!
Long term plan
People ask, “how do you do it?”, or comment, “that must suck”, and yeah, I’m not going to lie and say it’s easy-peasy. Of course it’s hard, and the feeling of missing them is there all the time, but if you know where the relationship is headed, then what’s another few months, or another year of waiting in comparison to the rest of your lives? When you enter into a relationship, eventually the ‘long distance’ part will have to end, and this is something that needs to be spoken about from the beginning. Know each other’s expectations and have a plan, a timeline – even if it’s just a rough guesstimation – of when you do eventually live together.