We've been a couple since January 2011, but the road ahead of us is miles longer than what we've covered together already. So, naturally I want to research how to survive a long distance relationship, what to expect, and how to make this work. And any advice or suggestions from experience would be greatly appreciated!
*Collaboration of sources*
1. Discuss where the relationship is (exclusive, open, engaged, etc)
2. Make it clear what will result after the time apart is finally over (who moves, where are you moving, getting married?, getting engaged?, living together?, etc)
3. Make communication consistent but not ridiculous. Keep each other in the loop of each other's lives but don't miss out on having a normal life outside the long distance relationship.
4. Set boundaries! (how many visits, who travels, where does person stay when visiting, holidays, etc)
5. Be patient and trust each other. Learn to trust the other while apart is key. Don't cause drama because you are worried or insecure. Instead find ways to work around these issues.
6. Make the time spent together count. Plan fun activities and take pictures.
7. Be vocal about all your worries/concerns/frustrations/anger/sadness/etc. Long distance relationships are hard but the killer is lack of communication. If you talk about feelings and moods through the journey it will be easier on the both of you.
8. Give each other a break. Which means don't get upset if you can't talk for a day or two. Don't jump to conclusions if you can't get ahold of your bf/gf. Give your sweetie the benefit of the doubt unless evidence proves otherwise.
9. Find ways to cope with your anger/frustrations/sadness/loneliness. Go to the gym, talk to your friends, pick up a new hobby, talk to a therapist, and etc.
10. Look for the joy in each day. There will be days that are harder than others. But remember that life is more than just being with you bf/gf all the time. Take joy in hanging with friends, watching a football game, spending time with family, and etc. If you can't be happy without your love then you will miss out on life around you!
If you are going to be long distance for a few months to a few years here are some great ideas to make the time apart not so hard! Check it out!
*My ideas in blue and source in black*
1. Make each other something! My bf and I went to a cute store called Wild@Art where you paint pottery. We made a date of it and personalized mugs for each other to have while we are apart.
2. Watch movies 'together'. Watch Netflix online or on your TV the same time. Have your phone on speaker to laugh and talk along with the show.
3. Write each other letters. Old fashion but a great way for each of you to stay connected in a different way. Plus he/she will be able to read things like 'I love you' over and over again :)
4. Play a game together. Get games connected through your phone or computer that you can play like 'Words with Friends'.
5. Cut out words from newspapers and glue them as a message in a letter to your sweetie. Make funny, strange, or heartwarming ones! Extra points would be cutting out odd articles you find and mail them to your bf/gf.
6. Read a book together. Find a common genre you share with your sweetie and have your own weekly bookclub!
7. Create a blog or website. I'm doing this right now haha. But it's a great way to vent about frustrations and also keep your lover a click away.
8. Send email capsules. Futureme.org allows users to send emails into the future. Just create the message and set the date. This would be helpful for date milestones. You can email wishes, hopes, and issues the two of you are facing and see if things have changed when you receive it.
9. Make each month a certain theme. All of June you send each other pictures of cats in strange places, July email youtube videos, September try to out do each other with jokes you find online, October text a favorite memory together every day, December send each other recipes, February watch X-rated foreign films, April competition of most parks visited, and etc.
10. Create an online calendar. Mark visit dates, unavailable dates to talk, and etc.
11. Send pictures of you in different places and doing different activities. Take a picture walking your dog, going to the grocery store, painting your toes, cleaning the car, giving money to a bum, and etc.
12. Take online relationship quizzes together. Find silly and serious ones and laugh or 'ponder' the results.
13. Send a care package every few months. Extra points would be having odd requirements (scavenger hunt of sending something soft, something blue, something like you, and etc).
14. Plan fun things to do together on the next visit. Researching and planning fun and exciting things will keep the wait a little bit easier.
15. Quiz your bf/gf on yourself. Send an email with multiple choice questions! Extra points if you learn something new about your sweetie! Extra-extra points if the 'winner' takes the other one out to dinner on the next visit.
16. Do a scavenger hunt at a Dollar Store. Have a long list to complete in 30 minutes and take pictures of the items you find. Example list:
*something that reminds me of you
*something that i would take camping
*something that we have eaten together
*something that's embarrassing
And then compare!
*sources: lovingfromadistance.com, 'how to survive a long distance relationship' by Chris Bower, '10 reasons Long-Distance Relationships are Awesome' by thestir.cafemom.com, and images from Yahoo*