How To Thrive In An LDR

How To Thrive In An LDR

Let your S/O miss you a little bit.
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If you are a consistent reader of my articles you already know that I am part of a long-distance relationship. You might have even seen some of our #ShortyAndTheGiant Instagram posts. While I do not see myself anywhere near a couples counselor or the best girlfriend on the planet, my man and I have made it through 3 years of this long-distance nonsense. I would like to argue that we have not only survived in spite of the distance but thrived because of it. And while we may have made a few mistakes, here are some ways we did it right...

We talked about it beforehand. Being in a long distance relationship means that both people must put an effort in. They also both have to be on the same page, which is why it is important that you talk about what an LDR between you two will look like. This requires a lot of trust from both sides.

We scheduled a time to talk on the phone weekly. This might seem like an obvious tip, but it is not to be overlooked. There are several reasons to do this. The foremost reason is to stay up to date with your S/O. If you are dating, I am just gonna take a wild guess and say that you have a genuine interest in what they have been doing. Another reason to schedule a time to talk is that you will have something to look forward to every week.

We remembered "quality over quantity." When you do have the chance to see each other, remember just that. Quality time is always more important than the quantity of time. Go on adventures together, cook dinner, and listen to each other while you have the opportunity.

We gave each other space. Now, this might seem contradictory to the previous points, but I imagine that many LDRs have ended in part because there wasn’t enough space given. Trying to constantly contact each other will only cause annoyance. Let your S/O miss you a little bit. I guarantee it will be beneficial.

We got creative! Yes, it’s easy to wallow in the loneliness of an LDR, giving side-eye to every happy couple you see, so it's important to have a positive perspective. Most LDRs are not easy, but they give the opportunity to be creative. Maybe you don’t always need to communicate via text or call. I’m sure that if you both own the same type of gaming console you could also stay connected that way. My boyfriend and I have stayed connected by playing phone games. We also have sent each other cards in the mail, just because. This Valentine's day we challenged each other to buy the silliest gifts we could find. Now I am the proud owner of a stuffed animal sea otter with a monocle and top-hat and he has a snazzy pair of socks with hearts and my face on them! Maybe they are complete junk, but they brought us closer together.

That's how we have made three years of long distance work. We communicated (the best we could), set aside time to talk with each other, spent quality time, got creative, and still gave each other space. If I had to do it all over again, I would and I am confident that he would agree.


Are you in an LDR? Did you find this helpful? Let me know in the comments below!

Cover Image Credit: Sierra Murray

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Don't Feel Bad For Me When I Say I'm In A Long-Distance Relationship

There's no need for anyone to say, "oh, that sucks" or "that's annoying" or "I don't know how you do it" because I really do love my relationship.

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When I first went out with my boyfriend, I wasn't expecting anything to come from it. He was in the Marines, stationed in South Carolina, and it was just a stupid Tinder date because I was bored and I thought he was funny and cute over Snapchat. Not only did he live an eight-hour drive away, but he was also heading out of the country for Christmas. I never thought I would ever hear from him again after I got into my car and drove back home.

But, I did, and a year and a half later, going on that coffee date was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Right from the start, I knew if he and I were going to date, we would have to face a long-distance relationship for roughly two to three years- whether I finished school first or he got out of the military was up to fate. For us, being apart is normal. We're so used to talking through FaceTime rather than face to face and not seeing each other for weeks on end is more familiar than hugging. We've probably blown more kisses through the phone than having had real kisses.

Would I love to be just a minutes drive away from him?

Absolutely.

Would I trade my relationship for anything else?

Never.

There's no reason for you to feel bad for me when I tell you I'm in a long distance relationship.

There's no need for anyone to say, "oh, that sucks' or "that's annoying" or "I don't know how you do it" because I really do love my relationship.

Being away from each other is just something we do. It lets us be independent, focus on work and school, but still allows us to support each other. Sure, long-distance relationships aren't for everyone, but couples make them work. No relationship is normal and like every other relationship, it takes patience, learning, and commitment. The only difference between a 'normal' relationship and a long-distance relationship is is that our 'date nights' consist of eating dinner together over FaceTime instead.

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