As requested via an Instagram poll, today I will be talking about long distance relationships! (If you aren’t following me, you can find me @thevegbeauty on Instagram.) So if you’re in a long distance relationship, keep on reading! (And really if you’re in any type of relationship, this post has advice that can be applied to anyone!)
Relationships in general are hard. They take time, work, and dedication. They’re hard enough when you live close to/live with your significant other. Throw distance into the equation and you’re in a whole new ball game.
Avery and I did long distance for about a year and it was such a test for us. I was finishing up my last year of college, working, and student teaching. He had just started his first job out of college.
We were both so busy all of the time and during the week, especially. He worked all day long and was adjusting to living in a new area. I would go to class and go to work. We didn’t start as a long distance relationship, in fact, it was the opposite. We spent every day together before experiencing long distance, so to say it was hard on us is an understatement. It’s so hard to go from spending every day with someone to only seeing them on the weekends. We made it a point to take turns traveling to see one another on the weekends. That was one of the pacts we made. We also decided to FaceTime every single night no matter what. The few times that one of us missed, it was a fight (usually always caused by me).
At the end, long distance made us so much stronger. It makes you appreciate your significant other even more. It makes you value your time together. In a way, you get to know each other even better. You really figure out priorities and what is most important. I am convinced that if you can survive long distance (and now quarantine), you can navigate anything that comes your way.
So how did we make it work? How did we survive and come out on the other side of it engaged?
Here are my personal survival tips…I am by no means an expert. This is just my own personal experience.
How to survive:
Have a talk about expectations.
Ideally before you enter into long distance, you have to have a long, hard talk about expectations. It is extremely important that both parties are on the same page. What are each of your communication expectations? Will you have a call every night? What are each of your expectations about traveling to see one another? Maybe it’s not feasible for you to see each other every weekend so you need to have a plan. If you are currently in a long distance relationship, you can still have this conversation. It’s vital.
Make a date!
If you can’t see each other as often as you’d like, create a date night! Technology is awesome in 2020 and there are ways to substitute an in real life date! Have a FaceTime (or Zoom, Google Hangout, Discord, Skype- there are soooo many programs out there) date. Call one another with video. Make the same meal together or play a game. Get creative! While you can’t see each other face-to-face, video chatting is a great alternative! You can go to Pinterest and search for ‘long distance date ideas’ and so many pins pop up. Find what works for the two of you!
Snail mail is fun.
Go old fashioned and write letters to one another. It’s such a nice surprise to receive a letter in the mail! It lets your significant other know that you’re thinking of them and is guaranteed to put a smile on their face! (Let’s be real, getting anything other than bills or junk mail in the mail makes me smile, lol.)
Be clear about wants and needs.
Everyone has different wants and needs. For me, I need attention. For my husband, he is more chill. Your significant other is not a mind reader. They may not know what you want or need if you don’t tell them. When I would get upset about not seeing Avery, I learned that instead of getting upset with him because he is not doing what I want or need to actually talk to him. If I felt like he wasn’t communicating the way I wanted, I would have a conversation with him and it worked. For example, I wanted his full attention on FaceTime; I didn’t want him to play video games while we were talking. It was our time together. When I expressed this to him, he wouldn’t play video games while we talked. It was as simple as that.
Talk about the future.
Chances are, long distance is not your end all be all. Talk with each other about your hopes and dreams for the future. Avery and I talked a lot about getting married and now here we are, almost married for a year. I think in any relationship, there should be talk of the future. After all, why are you dating? I would hope that the answer to that would be to spend the rest of your life with that person. Otherwise, why are you wasting your time dating them to date?
Get out and DO SOMETHING.
When you are together, go DO SOMETHING! It can be anything. Go on a date to a bookstore, go out to eat, go on a hike, anything! Some of my favorite long distance memories are when we would spend time together on the weekends and adventure. And don’t feel like you need to keep your S.O. to yourself. If they have friends or family in the area, make sure that they get to see them, too. Your S.O. needs to see them, too. It’s not fair to them to ONLY see you. That’s selfish. (*Disclaimer: I get that this might not work right now with quarantine, but when it’s safe- get out and do something!)
I would always try to surprise Avery in some way. Sometimes, I would come to see him earlier than he expected or I would buy him a gift. There are so many ways to surprise your S.O., do something that works for your relationship. After all, it’s the little things. I’ll never forget the time I bought Avery socks from Marshalls and he was over the moon. I was like, “Really??” He was so appreciative. It’s actually really funny now.
This is hands-down the most important piece of any relationship. Always communicate with one another. Always talk. If you aren’t talking, there are problems. Even if you’re angry or upset, TALK. Not everything can get solved overnight but if you talk, you’ll be alright. I’m not saying every second of every day you need to be in communication with each other, but have a communication plan and know each other’s expectations. Stick to it. It’s important.
Relationships are tough. Relationships take work. Relationships take time. Relationships are so, so worth it.
There were so many tears shed while we were long distance. So many fights. It was tough. It could have ruined us. But we didn’t let it. We persisted on. Long distance teaches you so much, about yourself, your S.O. and your relationship. Maybe you end up on the other side of things or maybe you realize that the person you’re with, isn’t who you want to spend forever with. And that’s okay, too. I am firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
Once again, I am not an expert. This is just what worked for us! Sending love to you all. ♥