This one goes out to anyone who has ever been in a long distance relationship, has ever considered being in one, is currently one half of one, and the guy who makes mine worthwhile. My heart goes out to you.
Now, in honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I would write about how I make something as daunting as a long distance relationship work for me.
Whether you are one hour apart or half a world away, distance can be difficult to factor into a relationship. These are a couple of things I picked up on after doing long distance for a year and a half which I would expect to carry over into most other long distance relationships.
For starters, having an open discussion about whether or not distance will be manageable for both of you is a necessity. Having the ability to clearly communicate is even more important than it would be in a normal relationship. When you eliminate physical interactions due to a lack of proximity, your words and actions are what you must rely on to keep the love alive. Talking about where things are headed is scary, but it’s a conversation to have sooner rather than later. It truly puts you at ease once this conversation has been put to rest.
Once you've determined that long distance is the right move for you, the next thing you can do is throw any expectations you may have had out the window and let the wind carry them off. A long distance relationship is really different from one where you live five minutes away from your S/O, and it will change accordingly if either you or your partner need to move away. Anticipate things to go off the rails for a while because they will. But don’t worry. There’s an adjustment period, but you will adapt. Now I'm going to say it louder for those in the back:
Just because things don't transition smoothly doesn't mean that there is something wrong with your relationship.
As you adjust to the distance, remember that being able to set aside time to talk is incredibly important. However, not having a weekly schedule which is set in stone is the best possible thing if you are giving the long distance a try. While having the same plans once a week, every week to talk at 6 pm on Thursdays or watch a movie at 8 pm on Fridays might work for some, I feel that it’s best to avoid anything which could turn spending time with your absolute favorite person in the world into a chore.
Lastly, just because it’s long distance doesn’t mean you should feel lonely. A relationship is supposed to be a positive thing, and if long distance isn’t going to make you happy in the long run, you should really evaluate whether or not it’s the best thing for you.
This has been a very sincere thank you to the dude who managed to be both my best friend and my S/O and makes the long distance worth it.