How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work

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The man you have been staying up late wishing for finally comes into your life in the most unexpected way. He’s everything you’ve dreamed of: he’s kind, smart, and funny, he's a gentleman, and — plot twist — he just so happens to live many, many miles away from you.

They tell you it’s going to be impossible. They say you’re going to hurt yourself for even trying. You already have too much to worry about. The hours at work can be brutal, or your school load can be a lot to keep up with, even though most of our time is spent working from home. But if you think he could possibly be the one, there are ways to keep him around. Those who are in one can agree that being in a long-distance relationship is nowhere near easy. Now that the world is experiencing a pandemic, many couples are having to adjust to not seeing their partner every day and abruptly learning about the challenges of being in love, but from a distance. The good news is, it’s not impossible. If you consider these tips, being in a long-distance relationship can be much more meaningful than you think.

It Starts with Trust

Before committing to anyone, always make sure the trust is mutual. Whether the person you’re dating lives in your area or doesn’t, trust can make or break a relationship. When it comes to long distance, trust needs to be established right from the beginning. Remember, this is going to be a person you won't see every day or hear from for hours, depending on the time difference. You want to make sure this person is trustworthy, communicative, and all about you. Believe me, if there is no trust, your long-distance relationship won’t last long at all.

Keep Them Excited — Even During a Pandemic

If you’ve been in a long-distance relationship for a few months, then being forced to socially distance from your significant other is no challenge. There are going to be days when you miss them so much you just want to take the next flight or bus ride to see them. (Although now it’s hard to tell when the next time you’ll be able to see each other will be, especially if you rely on buses or airplanes.) The best thing to do is to be optimistic. Talk and plan out potential social-distance dates for the next time you might be able to see each other. Order from the same takeout-only restaurant and have a FaceTime lunch date, or have a Netflix watch party and binge your favorite shows together. Try to find it in you to make the best out of being apart, and hopefully, when the world feels safer again, the moment you both see each other will be much more special.

Make Time for Them

You’re busy. You have things that need to get done, and you want to make sure you are always your main priority. I get it. If this person is worth it and you know the relationship has the potential to be serious, you must make time for them. Your colleagues and your friends may not take your relationship as seriously as you do, because it’s long-distance. This is when you should start making changes and establishing to your friends that you are in a real, committed relationship. Start dedicating certain parts of your time to that special person. Have a nighttime routine where you both talk about the stresses of the day, or set an hour to have a phone call over dinner. Be careful, though: although the relationship is long distance, it can still be easy to get too caught up in making it work at the expense of your other goals. If your significant other is supportive, they’ll make sure you remain focused on your own personal goals and priorities.

Small Things Matter

You want to make sure your significant other feels loved, important, and special to you. When you go months without seeing them, it can be hard to find ways to show them how much you care. Small gestures go a long way in a relationship like this. Try to catch little details about them, like their favorite scent or snack. Don’t be afraid to be old-school and send them love letters in the mail, a box with some of their favorite things, or even a postcard. Although these gestures are small, they are thoughtful and show that you are paying attention. 

Enjoy the Moment

Whether you have been in a long-distance relationship for three months or three years, always remember that the distance is only temporary. You will see each other again, and when it gets really serious, you will be together always. Being in a long-distance relationship can be exciting, full of love, adventurous, spontaneous, and genuine. You will notice how amazing it is to grow with, care for, and fall in love with someone you don’t see every day. You will work out a routine that works for you both, and soon that will be the new normal. Stay positive, enjoy the moments, and, when the day comes that you both are living together in your dream home with two kids, you will realize it was all worth it.

Tags: Friends, Navigating the Pandemic, Overcoming Adversity

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Written By

Claribel Rivas

Claribel is a social media manager in the Washington D.C. area who incorporates her cultural influences into her creative content. See Full Bio

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