Long distance relationships are tough (especially if you’re new to one)! When I began dating John, I had never been in an LDR, much less a military one. I was more than a little nervous… but pretty much completely in love already. (I know, I know. Here’s our story if you want to hear the whole thing.)
So what does any girl who isn’t sure of exactly what to do next do? She searches the internet, of course! The good news for you, is that in the last few years, websites, books, and resources have exploded when it comes to LDRs and military long distance relationships. That’s great for you!
Check out these free and not-too-expensive resources to get you through the good, the bad, and the ugly of your LDR.
Free resources for Long Distance Relationships
Read an LDR ebook from someone who gets it
If you’re new to your LDR and seeking some seasoned advice on the dos and don’ts for managing a relationship across the miles, Loving From a Distance’s “Making Your Long Distance Relationship Work!” is a great ebook for you. Not too short and not too long, this free PDF book will help you start or maintain your relationship on the right foot.
Speak with other folks experiencing an LDR
One of the toughest parts of being in a LDR is being alone, especially if your friends and family haven’t been in LDRs, too. It can feel like no one really gets it when the struggle is real. Enter Loving From a Distance’s online forum. This active community allows you to connect with other folks in LDRs for support, advice, and camaraderie.
Download and use these idea books for LDR activities
LDR Magazine has three free e-books for people in LDRs: Over the Line, a book of word games and puzzles to spark conversation; Creative and Fun Webcam Date Ideas, for those who are looking to have some face-to-long-distance-face fun together; and 30+ Romantic Ideas for LDR Couples, a guide to keeping things feeling close no matter the miles. These e-resources are awesome for LDR newbies trying to figure out how to make it work, and old pros who want to keep their relationship lively.
Grab these LDR ideas and tips
Not in the mood to tuck into a whole e-book? Life too busy to commit to a long read? Modern Love Long Distance has you covered with their list of 50 Best Tips for Long Distance Relationships. From how to improve your communication to how to connect your partner with your family and friends, this list provides some great ideas that you can implement right away.
Steal ideas from an Ivy League College
Cornell University created this short reference sheet for their faculty and staff members in LDRs. While you may not work for Cornell, their tips, ideas, and keys to success can definitely support you.
Learn about the scientific side of LDRs
Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has a nice resource for those in LDRs. Check out this PDF which outlines some keys to success, some common pitfalls to avoid, the emotional stages of a LDR, and how to know when the relationship is in trouble. This resource is awesome because it demystifies some of the feelings and reactions we often feel we have to choke down when the distance gets difficult.
Create a book list with this LDR list
Check out the Best Long Distance Relationship Books list on Goodreads.com.
Spark your creativity with these LDR activities
This blog claims to have the “Ultimate List” for LDR activities. Take a look at the 40 options they propose. Do you already do any of these activities? Which ones do you want to add to your routine? Would you add anything to the list?
Enjoy LDR life with this challenge
If your LDR has you singing the blues, check out The Free Woman’s take on the challenge of doing things long distance. Michelle can help you reorient your thinking and find a positive spin on being apart from your partner.
Cheap LDR activity resources
These reading guides are free but the books on relationships are not
Looking for some LDR reading? The former Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationship provides some free reading guides.
In their recommended books, you’ll find nine books the Center considers “the best relationship books,” including The 5 Love Languages, The Long Distance Relationship Survival Guide, and Separated by Duty, United in Love: Guide to LDRs for Military Couples. (FYI–if you’re doing a military LDR, you might want to check out The 5 Love Languages Military Edition!)
Their extended guide provides 100 resources, including books for folks in LDRs, including When Duty Calls, Heroes at Home: Help and Hope for America’s Military Families, and Married to the Military: A Survival Guide for Military Wives, Girlfriends, and Women in Uniform. They also include research-based articles for scholars, academics, and those looking to dig a little deeper into the social science of LDRs.
Bundle it up and learn everything about long distance relationships
The Everything about LDRs Book Bundle from Modern Love Long Distance gets you four ebooks and buckets of insight. The books span a range of LDR realities, including how to communicate better and create stronger bonds, how to handle infidelity and jealousy, and a personal look at being in a LDR. This book bundle really is a one-stop shop for anyone in need of a little help with their relationship.
Snag a conversation starter
Modern Long Distance Love also has a great conversation jumpstarter which is well worth the few bucks it costs.
- 50 Texts Perfect for Long Distance Relationships
- 7 Must-Have Apps for Long Distance Relationships
- 9 Long Distance Relationship Hacks You’ll Love