I never thought I would be the girl to thrive in a long distance relationship (LDR), but it turned out to be one of the best relationships I have ever had. My LDR eventually failed, but it was never the distance that was an issue to us. Long distance is not easy, but these tips are what kept me going strong in my own relationship.

​1. Get creative while using FaceTime  ​

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FaceTime is an LDR lifeline. While it is awesome to just see your partner and chat with them, it is fun to break up the routine by doing something new. I recommend having FaceTime dates to speak, watch the same movie together, eat a meal together, play a game, go on a walk and describe/show what you see. Sometimes, only having your phone to communicate gets boring and frustrating. This will help give your relationship a sense of normalcy and help you and your partner connect and make memories through a less than ideal situation.

2. Send surprises/gifts that will remind them of you

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In an LDR, I recommend sending little surprises or gifts to your partner throughout the time spent apart, not just on birthdays and holidays. This will help keep the romance alive and give them tangible things to remind them of you. Some ideas are, taking polaroids of things you do during your daily life and sending them with little notes of what the pictures are (it'll almost feel like they were there with you!), sending things that relate to any inside jokes or to something special to you two as a couple, or puckering up those lips with your favorite lipstick on and kissing some paper to send some "kisses" (I know it sounds weird, but you have to get creative in LDRs). These are all a bit more creative, but you could even go as simple as spraying a box with your perfume before sending it or a good old fashioned handwritten letter. Just use whatever fits your relationship best, and if you get stuck, look at Pinterest for more ideas.

3. Use the time apart to really get to know each other

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Long distance is the perfect opportunity to have a lot of time to talk and get to know each other on a deeper level. Talking whether it be over text, FaceTime, or Snapchat is one of the only things you guys have as a couple. Use this time to ask the get to know you questions, or play get to know you games like never have I ever or would you rather. These will not only jazz up your next FaceTime call but also may allow you to get to know more about each other without any distractions. When it seems like all you have is talking, turn it into a positive and learn more about your partner, they may surprise you.

4. Use the time apart to focus on yourself

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Sometimes, people can get wrapped up in a relationship and forget to make time for themselves; in an LDR you don't really have that problem. Long distance is also stressful and if you don't stay strong, it can break you or your relationship. Sounds like the perfect time for some self care am I right? I highly recommend trying out some new hobbies, working out, joining new clubs, strengthening your relationships with friends and family, and treating yourself once in a while to the occasional massage, mani/pedi, or wine in the bathtub night. Some of these things can help you grow as a person, and some are just good for your mental health, all of which is important while in a LDR.

5. Always have something in the future to look forward to

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You probably think I mean the day when you finally reunite in a romantic whirlwind of emotion and passion. While yes, that is what every person in an LDR is looking forward to, I do not believe that is the best thing to focus on. Focusing on the day you're finally back together can make the time drag on, and may hinder you from enjoying the journey. I recommend focusing on the mini milestones, such as birthdays or holidays or anniversaries, or even your next FaceTime call. Things that are still exciting but are more short term things to look forward to than your reuniting day. This will help keep you upbeat and positive when you have little things to look forward to and in my personal experience helped the time go by faster.