How To Keep The Spark Alive In Your Long-Distance Relationship

How To Keep The Spark Alive In Your Long-Distance Relationship

Things I've learned and practice doing to keep my long distance relationship strong.

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As I was talking to a friend the other night I thought I'd write about the most important things that have kept me strong in my long-distance relationship. It has been almost two years that I have been dating my high school boyfriend, Brandon. With the majority of time being in college, I figured I could give a little bit of insight on how we have stayed strong.

Communication

I believe this is the most important factor of any healthy relationship. You need to talk to your significant other. For long distance, you have to develop the same skill of talking and touching base with people even if they are not physically with you.

To do this you can use the phone, facetime, skype, texting, or even writing letters. The letters may be a little old fashion but, I still do this as an extra way to communicate because I feel that it is really personal. It makes me feel so loved to receive a note, so it inspires me to share that same love back with people in my life that are meaningful.

Staying Connected

This point is similar to communicating but, it's staying connected. For example, I want to know what Brandon is doing and I get excited for him to tell me about it. The same goes for him, he wants to know what's going on in my life too. I think that this is healthy if you care about people, you check in on them and support them (even though we are not physically together).

I've learned to make a priorities list. After leaving high school, it can sometimes be so hard to stay in contact with your significant other or just friends. If you are both on the same page knowing how much time and effort needs to be put in and are willing to adjust your schedules, you can do it. It isn't that we are always perfect at this, but you have to make this effort. For example, I typically always talk to B at night because he plays baseball in the morning and then has classes after, so while we're both at school I know and have in my schedule that we talk at night. For us, this works for us and is the easiest. So, I would recommend figuring out your schedule, discuss theirs, and from there making the time and effort to stay connected.

Friendship

To keep your long distance relationship going I would say you have to be pretty compatible friends. You will see pretty quick that since you aren't always together, that if it is just something physical or convenient that it will not work out. I know from friends experiences that your relationship will crumble if you're not well rooted in a friendship first and foremost.

Similar Values

All is easier when you have the same values as the person you are dating. How are things going to work out when you don't see eye to eye on important issues and value the same things? This doesn't mean that you will agree on everything, quite frankly I would hate that; it would be like we were the exact same person and would never have anything to talk about. So expect differing opinions, but don't ever compromise on your values. Definitely a good thing to discuss for a healthy relationship!
Ideas of different values / some of ours
- Honesty and authenticity - growth
- Work ethic - faith
- Laughter - happiness
- Kindness - being healthy and active
-Friendship - respect

Balance/Trust

Having a relationship can be hard whether you are near or far. As I said before, communication is important, however, you still need to find some balance and trust in your relationship. If you are going to be away from each other and not have to worry about what decisions they are going to make, trust must be the forerunner in the relationship.

Personally, B and I are both in college and while we are both figuring out life, I know that there is a piece of him also with me here and that we are growing in this new adventure together. This is the way that I like to look at the situation. It makes life easier being apart and makes me feel good. I have found that this has actually strengthened our relationship. While it may be hard at times, the distance has also let us focus on ourselves and built us into better, smarter people that in the end will be better for each other.

Support

I think this a key point: that you should be with someone who supports you. Someone that is going to lift you when you fall. I would say that it is essential to both have the mindset to help each other grow into better people. Every day, apart or together, it is a desire and goal of mine to become a better version of myself. I want to do this for my boyfriend and all my friends. I need someone who is going to support me and inspire me to reach that potential, especially when I don't see it in myself. I think this is important in any relationship, that it brings you up and makes you better... not the opposite.

In your relationship, you need for your partner to be encouraging and seek to help you.

Beware!!!

Side note: One of my fears is to actually just be comfortable with someone so long that your love dies and that you just have no care for each other. I know this happens to people and that nothing is changing or growing inside either of them... don't do this.

Work

Overall it is going to be hard work to keep a relationship going, but it is worth it if both people are dedicated. Just remember, it is very possible and a lot of people are in the same situation as you. Essentially, being apart for so much time makes your time together better. On breaks, it is so much more satisfying and enjoyable to see each other because it has been so long. I've realized from this experience that your relationship can actually become strengthened and that you are more grateful in the end.

Hope this helps + inspires!

xoxo

Ally

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13 Movies Every Couple Needs To Watch Before They Get Married

Let's be honest, Rachel McAdams is in all the best love stories.

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These 13 movies are the foundation of any long-lasting relationship, and I'm not joking. Each movie will show you something new about your partner, and make you ask each other the hard questions. How many kids do you want and how are you going to raise them? What would happen if you got into a horrible accident? Some are less serious though, like what if you could time travel?

I promise that not every one of these movies is a Nicholas Sparks classic, and I also promise that not every movie has Rachel McAdams in it!

1. "The Time Traveler's Wife"

This movie is both heartbreaking and amazing.

2. "About Time"

Let's be honest, Rachel McAdams is in all the best love stories. It's on Netflix right now, so grab some snacks and turn it on!

3. "Like Crazy"

This infamous Tumblr gif came from "Like Crazy." It's about a couple who goes long distance and build their life together. I used to cry every time I watched it, and I'm no crier! It also has the (now famous) Felicity Jones in it.

4. "The Notebook"

Every girl wants this kind of love.

5. "The Last Song"

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth are literally married now so if that isn't good luck, I don't know what is.

6. "Safe Haven"

You guessed it! This is another Nicholas Sparks classic. This movie has a dark twist as well, which men will love.

7. "Inside Out"

You may be thinking that this one is a bit weird. Well, this movie will help both you and your partner understand each other's emotions better.

8. "The Choice"

This movie is great because the female lead is feisty and extremely intelligent, which usually doesn't happen in love stories. How do you keep the love alive with a woman who is hard to get, and even harder to keep entertained?

9. "The Longest Ride"

Originally I could not stand the main female lead (Britt Robertson) but now she is in one of my favorite shows (For The People), so I have no choice. This movie had me on the end of my seat, and as a rom-com it is a must.

10. "The Age Of Adaline"

I began loving the name 'Adaline' thanks to this movie. This unlikely love story and self love journey really gets me.

11. "The Vow"

Imagine falling in love with someone and building a life, but an accident forces you to start all over?

12. "Titanic"

If they don't have any sort of reaction to this movie, they are probably not the one for you.

13. "Yours, Mine, & Ours"

Yours, Mine, & Ours is a true classic. Are you Helen or Frank Beardsley? You should figure that out before you tie the knot!

You're welcome!

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8 Things Only Your Long-Distance Best Friends Will Understand

We can always choose to be stronger than the miles in between us.

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A few days ago, I packed up my suitcase from my best friend's place in Florida after visiting for a long weekend. I always think it's going to be just a little easier leaving this time than the last, but it never is. We seem to have a better time than the last one. Our dates on the calendar come slowly, but our time together goes by way too fast. Soon I found myself holding my people close, then standing in the airport alone crying my eyes out because I already missed my best friends.

Because I have far away friends, I always have someone special to visit and a guaranteed good time. It's exciting to not only to make memories at home with them but also at their college and other places as well. People go to college, graduate school, pursue dreams, get jobs, tie the knot and eventually settle down. We can either lose our long-lasting friendships, or we can choose to fight a little harder to remain close. I choose the second; not because it's easy or convenient, but because it's worth it.

Life often takes people across the city, across the state or even across the world from us.

1. People underestimate the power of a phone call.

Miles in between you and connection problems can make talking face to face impossible, but your person is always just a phone call away. Even if you can't see their face and expressions, there is nothing quite like hearing their voice on the other end of the line. It's almost like you are right there with them when you come together to talk about what is going on in your lives. There is nothing that says two friends can't spend time together and hang out, even if it's not physically.

2. Out of sight doesn't have to mean out of mind

I am not close geographically to "my people" but they are still close to my heart. I will continue to invest in them if they are five minutes away or five-hundred miles. It makes no difference because we are more than the miles between us. My friends have boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, jobs and some even have kids. Your friend may have a boyfriend or girlfriend, parents, jobs, kids and tend to get distracted by everything around them. This is normal to let your everyday life consume your thoughts, but you can make room to let other things enter your mind too.

Have things around your place to remind you of them, set reminders to check on them and get into a habit of catching up with people while doing chores or going somewhere. There are a few people I try to text on the daily — sometimes it's me reminding them I'm thinking about them, something random I saw that made me smile or telling them good morning. Every phone call, text and attempt at putting in the effort will make you two just a little closer than you were before.

3. It's tough to not be there when you really need and want to

Time passes and the other person can begin to change. It can be difficult to find common ground after you've been away for a while and your lives are two separate worlds. It can be easy to lose touch without intentionality, hard work and commitment. Keep the lines of communication and honesty open. Show up and be fully present. You both deserve the friendship to be genuine and prioritized.

Far-away-friends give missing people a whole new meaning. It's hard when you can't be there for every birthday, graduation, break-up, celebration and bad day. But, even between the hundreds of miles, time zones and missed ice cream dates, they are still your person. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter because you would do anything for this person and to keep your friendship with them. Long distance is worth it to still call someone your best friend.


The best stuff is always difficult. It sometimes takes longer. But you're deserving of people and people are deserving of you. Don't hold back or isolate based on past fear or that one time it didn't go so well. Pick yourself up and make the next hard move towards people. Towards abundance. Towards a life outside the lines. You've got this. I believe so fiercely in you — Hannah Brencher

4. You don't have to talk every day to be close.

We don't have to talk every single day. Sometimes it's not possible with college, jobs, family, other friends and just life in general. It gets so busy, but the right ones make time for you whether it's on their commute, the weekend or at the end of a long day. When you do long distance with someone, you usually can know pretty quickly if they are one of the rare ones you may not come across in life again.

The smallest things often make the most impact — a text, quick phone call so they can hear your voice, hand-writing a letter (the way to my heart) or a video call while you both study. Tag each other in posts and send each other selfies or other pictures. I don't know about you, but it makes me happy to see a notification from one of "my people," knowing they were thinking of me miles away.

5. Staying is a choice.

Reality is what happens when we make ourselves come back to earth instead of running through space. I think we all want to run sometimes because we get too overwhelmed to stay. Just keep walking and you'll see this place is full of others just like us. Choosing to stay somewhere tough can be the hardest thing, but rewarding. There may be no hugs, regular hangouts or a hundred texts in between phone calls. But your person is still your person, even a thousand miles away.

6. You don't want to waste the time you have.

Your energy and time are valuable things. You get to decide where it goes. Try to focusing less on doing things and more on people you know will fill you and encourage others. We only get one chance at this life of love. It's all a choice we get to make. You can share the pain, but also some of the biggest joys with another person that you choose no matter the distance between you.

7. Nothing is the same as being face to face

You can hear the person's voice on the other line, see them on video chat, read each other's words over and over through letters and share thoughts in between through text. But nothing comes even close to sitting next to them, even in silence doing nothing. You can hear their voice. You can see their face. You can talk to them (and they can talk back to you) in real time; no delay. Every time I am face to face with my person, there is nothing like it and I just want to be present in every moment.

8. You have never missed anyone as much before

I never expected to be "that one" losing it in the airport. No one mentally prepares you for what it's going to feel like when you part ways and don't know when next time will be. I keep thinking of my favorite moments, wanting to live them over again. I keep thinking I see them in places they can't be. I keep hoping and thinking they will just walk up to me and start talking again. Then I know I'll be a little more okay and won't feel such a quiet, painful and empty spot in my heart. Each time I leave, I feel like I left something behind. I did, but also I took something with me that I didn't have before. It was all completely worth it, even if I'm still missing you.

The best things in life take work and long distance ones take extra work, but I'll never regret keeping up with those who are near and dear to my heart. Together we can face anything together, even if that means being vulnerable over video call instead of across the table.

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