6 Tips for a Healthy Long Distance Relationship


I am being compensated for this post as part of the Operation In Touch Brand Ambassador Program via MSB New Media. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

John and I spent more than 2 years in a long distance relationship. In fact, before we got married, our relationship had only ever been a long distance relationship. We had been friends in college, but reconnected when I sent him a letter while he was in boot camp years after we had graduated. We spent hours on the phone, and even more writing letters and emails and traveling back and forth between Virginia Beach and Baltimore to see each other. And then John deployed for a year… so, more long distance. Yay.

Those two years taught me a lot. They taught me that, yes, I can live without John, but no, it’s not as fun. They taught me that our relationship is strong and resilient. We’ve learned how to overcome obstacles and figure out problems. We’ve had to be honest and direct with each other. We’ve seen each other at our best and our worst… and we still want to be together.

Great #ldr advice for couples in long distance relationships

While I wish we would have been able to date in the same area, I’m also thankful that we were able to find each other again at all. So I won’t get too upset with the shouldas and wouldas. If you’re in a long distance relationship, here are just a few things I’ve learned from being in one myself:

Communicate

Communication is important in absolutely every relationship, but since it’s really the only way to relate to each other (since you don’t really have the benefit of non-verbal communication), you have to learn how to best communicate with your other half. We’re lucky though– we have the most methods of communication at our fingertips than ever before in history! Throughout our long distance relationship, John and I wrote letters and emails, sent texts, spent massive amounts of time on the phone, drew cartoons and pictures, sent pictures through email and text, left voicemail, Skyped, did Google Hangouts, loaded pictures and video on USB drives, made mixed CDs, and G-chatted and Facebook chatted. Phew. See? Tons of options. Use them.

Understand

Be understanding of each other and each other’s circumstances. There will be times you’ll just not be able to talk… or text… or whatever. That’s okay. You do not need to be in constant communication. Likewise, if a unforseen monkey wrench gets thrown into plans–whether the fault of the military or just life– learn how to roll with it and be resilient.

Prioritize

Schedule time with your partner. Literally schedule it in your planner or calendar. Every few weeks, John and I would sit down (usually over the phone) and go over everything that was coming up in our lives. It made us feel like we were sharing our lives with each other and gave us the chance to prioritize our relationship over the bustle of our daily lives.

Live

You cannot stop living your life because you’re in a long distance relationship. I know there’s a serious temptation to be glued to your computer or phone all of the time, but trust me, it’s not healthy. Make time to do things with your friends. Do things for yourself. Hurdle obstacles, meet interesting people, do cool thigns– live a life worth talking about to your partner.

Carpe diem

When you’re together, make it count. (Duh, I know.) But really, make it count. Talk about what you want to do together and create a list of those things. Spend time saying I love you (if you have already) and enjoying “normal couple” things. Eat at restuarants you’ve wanted to try or go on that bike ride you’ve been talking about. Don’t worry about the clock ticking down until you have to be apart again. Early on in our dating relationship, I would get obsessed with that Sunday afternoon goodbye. It’s not worth it. Enjoy the time you have– after all, being in a long distance relationship won’t last forever.

Believe

This one’s super touchy-feely, but it’s the honest truth. If you want your relationship to flourish and succeed, you have to believe in it. If you believe it will work, you and your partner will internalize that belief and work to make it happen (both consciously and subconsciously). Of course, there will be obstacles and hardships, but they are easier to deal with if you feel deeply rooted in your relationship and believe it’s something worth working for and protecting.

Great #ldr advice for couples in long distance relationships

 

If you’re in an LDR, what advice would you give others? Let’s start a dialogue– I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

A handbook/guide for military spouses, written by spouses!


12 Responses

  1. I’m in Singapore, he’s stationed in Japan and currently deployed. All the above are spot on, but you need trust!! And being able to compromise slightly on how you’re living your life, so that you’re not giving your partner reasons to feel insecure/jealous.

    1. Hey Julie, I relate to your situation so much. I’m in the United States, but he’s stationed in Japan about to leave on deployment shortly after the holidays. I agree with you & this article so much, do you have any other useful tips?

  2. I’m a female in a long distance relationship my girlfriend is from Arizona and I live in Ohio. Something that helps us it sending each other things, such as clothing items, or she even sent me one of her pillow pets she slept with every night. Everyrhing she sent me smells like her, it’s very sentimental, and at night I feel like I’m holding her in my arms. Sending each other our things really helps when you are missing your significant other and with not feeling so lonely.

  3. These are all great tips. The only one I would add is to make the most of what you have. Too many people focus on the negative and get brought down by what they are missing out on instead of focusing on the opportunities they have and all the good stuff! Long distance is a great time to strengthen a relationship, focus on your independence, develop new skills, form new friendships and be creative in your romance. I’ve been in long distance for ages and I just focus on the good instead of the not so good.

    1. Yes even now there is such a stigma on anyone with mental illness. I have lived with this all my life. It eventually a cost me my job. That of course wasn't the reason used. "downsizing" was the official reason. It was a real shame because my job had always given me such self esteem. I always had great reviews, but the doctors I worked for did not want a bipolar office manager.

    2. Have you given any thought at all with converting your web page into French? I know a several of translaters here which would help you do it for free if you want to contact me personally.

  4. I totally agree with Julie, trust is a big one. My boyfriend and I are long distance right now while he is in Sydney, Australia for 5 months and I am still in New York. If you happen to be in a long distance relationship that involves different time zones, set an alarm on your phone and send your partner a good morning or goodnight text for their time. So nice to wake up, knowing that my boyfriend is thinking about me even though we are 14 hours apart!

  5. It`s been almost 3 years having this LDR. My husband works overseas. The first 2 years was fine, got no issues because all of his colleagues were male, but now he got transferred to another dept and we`ve been fighting the past days bec its no longer the same. Most of his colleauges are female and i feel so jealous about it. I sometimes found myself out of control. I get paranoid when I saw pics of him too close of the girls. I trust him but i cannot stop myself from doubting. Can u pls give me tips on how i can manage this? By the way we can only see each other ones a year for like a month. Theres no way for us to see and spend vacation together bec he`s too far.

Comments are closed.

Related Articles

Not sure what to read next? Here are some of the top related articles!