Having a long distance relationship (or LDR) can seem daunting. The miles apart, the different time zones, the uncertainty of what your partner is up to, the empty side of the bed—these all can be overwhelming side effects of a LDR. But just because a long distance relationship is difficult, doesn’t mean it’s not worth pursuing. To make it work, you’ll have to tweak your lifestyle, plus get more creative, in order to keep the love alive.
As in every relationship, communication is crucial, but even more so in a LDR. Since you won’t be seeing each other on Friday date nights, it’s important to establish and maintain an emotional connection. Although not vital, it might be in your best interest to download Skype, WhatsApp or Viber to your phone and home computer. These apps can make the time spent away from each other a little more interactive.
LDR Fact: 75 % of all engaged couples have been in a long distance relationship at some point.
If you’re the busy bee of the relationship, send your partner a quick email or text message to let her know what your schedule is like and reassure her that you want to connect as soon as you can. If your partner is living in a different time zone, then be prepared to stay up super late or to wake up really early, and take turns doing so. It might be inconvenient at times, but it’s worth it.
LDR Fact: People dating long distance visit each other less than twice a month and call each other at least once every three days.
Plan Date Nights
For the tech-savvy couple, there are tons of online games to choose from that you and your partner can play together online. If you have Skype, you can have your partner join you for dinner—across state lines. Plan nights in just to focus on each other. An extensive video call sounds ridiculous, but anything you can do to make your relationship more normal will make things easier for you both.
LDR Fact: Most people in long distance relationships tend to be at least 125 miles away from each other.
Besides constant communication, making the time to visit each other as often as it’s possible is most important. Sustaining that in-person connection and intimacy is necessary. Try new restaurants, visit the local museums and art galleries – be a tourist in your hometown. Spontaneity and excitement will reinforce the positive feelings and create memories between you.
LDR Fact: Most couples expect to be reunited after 14 months.
Long distance relationships require work; they’re not to be taken lightly. But, if you and your partner are equally committed, you’ll find that distance will have a way of bringing you closer.
*All statistics courtesy of Dr. Guldner at The Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, a division of JF Milne Publications.