It came to my attention recently I am sort of the go-to for some friends who are dealing with long distance relationships (LDR.)
My boyfriend and I were long distance for 2 years, after which we dealt with military sending him away a lot.
So without further ado: my top five tips for dealing with a LDR!
(YAWN!) You should have these in any relationship so let’s quickly skip over and get to the good bits.
3. Don’t go reading into things. The majority of your communication is going to be texts and phone calls so you won’t have facial expressions and body language to help guide what the person is saying and feeling. When they say “I had a really great day today” they are NOT saying “I had a great day WITHOUT YOU. My life is SO EASY without you.” I used to talk myself into some crazy shit from texts. Like I could go from happy to furious in 2.3 seconds from reading a text. When you get a text like “no worries.” when you live together you can come home and explode on the person… “what the hell was that? Why did you JUST say no worries? Was there some hidden meaning? Why is there a full stop? That is outrageously rude” and they can reply “I said that because I had no worries from what you said” and you can go about your merry day. But OH MY GOD the fights you can get to from a text message! Just don’t read into them, and if you find yourself reading into them quickly get on FaceTime and try to physically read the situation.
4. You are NOT the only one in the relationship, and don’t you dare let them know you feel like the only one in the relationship. They will be doing everything they can to not fight with you, because they don’t want to fight with the person they love but never get to see. Sometimes you get to the emotional place that makes you want to fight, I know, I was that person. Don’t assume they are not hurting, don’t assume they don’t feel the same things you feel. Your partner can can only say so much to help you out of a LDR funk, the rest is up to you to remember this simple thing: You are not the only one in the relationship.
5. Do not do this if you are needy. There is nothing wrong with being an attention seeking boyfriend or girlfriend. There is nothing wrong with admitting you are not made for this. The tip is to try to realise this BEFORE entering a LDR so that you don’t spend (potentially) years sad about not getting the attention you crave. Some people love so deeply they can not be without that person physically, other people (like me) are selfish enough to go off on their own and put in the time to making it work without the physical. It doesn’t mean we don’t love as hard, it just means we love differently. Either way figure out what type of partner you are before you get into this.*
I let too many of these things define my LDR… But (nearly) 7 years on and we are still going. It can work, it’s just that sometimes you need to hear these few, seemingly simple, things to just keep making it work.
What are your tips?
*I realise you might not know this BEFORE entering a LDR so if a conversation arises where there is a potential for living apart try to spend up to a month not seeing each other, this might help in knowing if you can do it or not.
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