Last year I wrote on the truth about long distance relationships. I talked about some key things to remember when being so far away from loved ones and we concluded that while long distance relationships were hard, they were a good thing too.
Since that post, I received numerous messages from readers asking me to write more on the topic of long distance, but especially in dating relationships. Today, I answer these concerns and will share 3 Cs for surviving a long distance relationship.
Spending pretty much 3 out of 3 years of my now husband and I’s dating relationship with the ocean between us gave us plenty of time to get good at long distance. We, of course, failed at times to keep it smooth sailing, but now that we look back on everything we went through, we are happy for the trials. The hardships made our relationship stronger, and we are grateful.
Without further ado: The Three C’s of LDRs.
If there is one thing you take from this post, take this one. Communication is a very important part of a successful relationship - long distance or not! Since you do not have the privilege of seeing each other every day, it is important to learn how to communicate. In these days, we might consider texts and messages and snaps “communication,” but let me venture to say that these many avenues are not always the best way to communicate. Carve out time in the week to talk “face-to-face” via Skype or FaceTime. Call each other if you’re in the same country (or have a great phone plan). Write heartfelt letters and emails and share your thoughts and talk about your day - even the mundane stuff. It's crazy, but even if you didn’t experience a day or event with your significant other, you will still be able to relate later when they retell it to someone else because you were kind of "there" when it happened.
Make it fun! Think care packages, fun apps, surprise visits and creative from-a-distance dates. These are all things that couples who are always near each other can’t do! I mean, no one in their right mind would have a movie marathon virtually when they’re 2 streets away - right? That’s just crazy. I remember one time I showed up for J’s 25th birthday to surprise him. I spent a couple hundred dollars and travelled 15 hours to another continent just to see him turn white like he had seen a ghost and be in shock for the next 3 hours, but it was totally worth it.
Here are a few things to get your creativity going:
- Birthday care packages
- Surprise visits
- Schedule times to pray together (or for each other)
- Download fun Apps (we used one called Couple. They even have a "thumb kiss" feature! So fun, we still use it.)
- Read the same book within the same time frame (read it together, or read it apart and discuss it later!)
- Watch a movie together (you can even mute each other and just have each other's faces on a screen)
- Eat dinner together (cook the same meal and eat at a table together via Skype)
- Keep each other accountable for exercising, etc (the Runtastic app let's you cheer on your friends as they're out and about)
- Have a scrapbook you take turns keeping and exchanging when you visit or in the mail
- Remember (or make) important dates/anniversaries and celebrate them
Being all in is the only way to make a long distance relationship work. Remember that love is a decision. There will be days when you don’t want to talk to the other person. There will be times of frustration and hurt. There might even be feelings of envy and suspicion, but remember your commitment, and trust theirs.
See? Long distance doesn’t have to be so hard. Just remember that communication, creativity and commitment are key.
Are you/Have you been in a long distance relationship? How did you make it through? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!