How To Make Long Distance Relationships Work in 9 Easy Steps

How to make long distance relationships work

Do you want to know how you can make your long distance relationship work in just 9 Easy Steps?! Well you are in the right place…

Before you dedicate your time to reading this I will begin with a confession.

I am not a “relationship expert”.

Or at least I am not a “relationship expert” in any conventional sense, by which I mean the daytime TV sense… 

But what I am, is somebody who has successfully made a long distance relationship work for nearly 2 years now. So in that sense, I’d say yes, I am quite the expert. 

And like I’ll good experts, I’m ready to share with my expertise with you my Dear Reader!

Do Long Distance Relationships Work? Ever?

Long Distance Relationships are hard work. There is the lack of intimacy, the long periods without sex and the longing & loneliness. Inevitably there will also be some mistrust and jealousy to contend with. 

All of, or any of these things can easily kill a long distance relationship, but if you can get a handle on them, then you may just about be able to make it work.

My Long Distance Relationship

I never intended to enter into a long distance relationship. In fact, had you asked me before, then I would have completely advised against it;

“Do long distance relationships work?! No way. Long Distance Relationships are a bad idea. They never work! Impossible” 

I would have said.

But then, life happened. I met a girl in India and we stayed in touch once we both got home. She came to visit me in England a few times (you might say she paid me a long distance booty call…), one thing led to another and we fell in head over heels in love. Whether we liked it or not, we were now in a long distance relationship.

And we made it work. So let’s take a closer look at how to make a long distance relationship work.

 

1. Have An End Game

Firstly,  you need to understand why is your relationship a long distance relationship? 

Is it because one of you is going away for a while to maybe work or travel? Or is it because you simply live far apart and have separate lives in different parts of the world? Either way, in almost all cases, you absolutely need an end game and you have to to be looking forward to a time when the relationship will not be long distance one.

If your relationship is only going to be long distance for a clearly defined, fixed period of time (such as whilst you are away traveling or studying) then the whole thing usually becomes that bit easier as you a happy ever after to look forward to. You know when they return from traveling or whatever, and then it will be business as usual. You just need to get through the absence period.

In my case though, it was the latter scenario which can be a bit more complicated. 

We both had real lives and responsibilities in different countries. Initially, this was very hard and I didn’t know what to do. I even considered breaking up. But within 6 months of the relationship becoming serious, we both made a commitment to try and live together ASAP. 

It would mean one of us moving to a different country. We knew that logistically it may take some time to achieve that goal, but working towards it together made us stronger and more committed. There were a few setbacks along the way (such as Brexit) and that goal was delayed, but we continue to advance towards it.

There is no way whatsoever that I could live forever in a long distance relationship. If you have been in a relationship for some time (1 year +) and there is still no “end game” on the horizon, then it may not be meant to be. 

2. Make Sure He/She is Worth It

OK so whatever the reasons for the relationship being long distance, and however long it will remain long distance for, it is going to be hard. 

You, therefore, need to make absolutely sure that the person really is worth it all. They need to be worth all the long, lonely nights and all the crusty tissues you are inevitably going to accrue waiting for them.

I hate to sound so harsh and cynical here, but you do need to be absolutely honest and frank. 

Is this person really worth it? Are they actually all that special? 

Do they really have some qualities or charisma that none of the guys and girls in your local vicinity have? Guys, if you are dating a girl purely because she is “hot and likes Game of Thrones” then you can probably find somebody similar nearer to home. And girls, if you are dating your boy because “he is tall and dresses well” then you also can probably find somebody nearer to home (unless you live in the Philipines or Liverpool). 

Of course, it may be that you can’t actually work out just what is so special about them but for some reason, you just love them and can’t imagine your life without them. In that case, congratulations you are truly in love. May God help you.

How to make long distance relationships work
How to make long distance relationships work

 

3. See Each Other As Often As Possible

I see my girlfriend at least once a month and usually for a week. In addition to that, we have also done quite a bit of longer traveling together including holidays to Madagascar and a whole month together backpacking Goa.  

Yes, this has proven quite expensive and sometimes inconvenient but without it, we would not have made it this far. Plane tickets don’t pay for themselves and we both had to sacrifice other things to be able to keep on seeing each other.

However, I appreciate that it is not always going to be possible to see your long distance partner every month. 

In some cases, you may not really be able to see your partner for an extended period (such as when they are sent on active service to Afghanistan for 6 months at a time). You may just about be able to scrape through this as a one of.  However, if it becomes the regular state of play, then the relationship is going to struggle. You will feel lonely and your lives will naturally grow apart.

Top Tip Guys!

Over the last year, I and my girlfriend have been hopping between The UK and Europe to see each other at least once a month.

Particularly around weekends, this could sometimes get very expensive.  Fortunately, though, we found Jacks Flight Club which is by far the best Airline Search Engine on the web.

You can access Jacks Flight Club Through This Link Here – sign up for yourself and see if you can find a cheap flight and surprise your long distance partner with an improprtou visit!

If you do book through this link, then yes I can get a small kickback which I use to keep this site going.

 

4. Stay In Touch…

In the era of the smartphone and 4g coverage, staying in touch is easier than ever and I bet that Long Distance relationships in 2018 are working out a lot better than they were in 1998. 

Messenger Apps offer unlimited free texts, WhatsApp is great for sending voice messages (hearing you partners voice regularly is absolutely crucial) and then, of course, there is the possibility for regular Face Time (more on this below).

How to make long distance relationships work
Stay in touch

5. …But Not Too Much

However, there is also a danger in this. The insecurities borne out of being in a long distance relationship can cause couples to over-compensate by effectively spamming each other all the waking day. Before too long, you may well get sick of your phone vibrating in your pocket and stop really even engaging with what your partner is saying to you.

Therefore, the quality of communication is as important as the quantity.

Personally, I find that sending the occasional email or even an old fashioned letter can be incredibly powerful. A proper long form communication allows you to open up and express yourself in a unique way. I would even go as far to say that a single 1000 word letter or email is worth 5000 words of various, disjointed text message. Besides that, what woman doesn’t love getting love letters? They worked in the day’s ion Shakespeare and they still work now.

I and my girlfriend often use email when we need to resolve “tensions”. We find it allows us to properly structure our points of view and it prevents us from shouting down the phone at each other…

Which brings me to my next point.

6. Manage Your Arguments

Long distance relations are hard, tensions will arise and you will argue from time to time. Note that if you do argue, things can very quickly accelerate and get out of hand as you are not able to kiss and make up. 

Kissing and making up is natures way of keeping coils together as post-copulation hormones renew the bond. Without the ability to do that, the bond may begin to wither.

You, therefore, need to work extra hard to make sure you contain and resolve arguments as soon as possible. If your partner goes out to a club after their friends fresh after a heated argument with you, then that could be problematic…

7. Set Rules On Openness

At times you may have to go months without sex. Are you able to do this? Is your partner?

These are the kind of questions you need to be asking each other and you also need to need prepared to answer them honestly. If you are going to be apart for a long time, is it ok to see other people? If so, is this just for sex or can you be friends with that person too?  

This is a very tricky area. In fact, it is a minefield. What if you want to have sex with other people but your partner doesn’t? What if you both agree to it, but then the jealousy festers. What if you allow your partner to have a sex friend who then becomes more than a friend…?

Non-monogamy is not an area I have much personal experience in. I, therefore, suggest reading this post for more info.

8. Make Time For Your Selves

This may seem to be counter-logical and you may well be thinking; 

“Well I already have too much time to myself as it is and that’s the whole problem. Dumbass!” 

But what I mean here is that it is crucial to make quality time for yourself. It is vitally important to maintain real life and to make sure to keep on doing the things that you love to do. 

Don’t simply put your life on standby waiting around, and don’t reserve your entire “fun allowance” for when your long distance partner is in town.  I have to admit I did struggle with this myself for a while. I kept on thinking to myself; 

“Oh, I’ll wait until my girlfriend is in town to try this restaurant and see this play” 

But the truth is, it’s not always really sensible and I often spent 3 weeks sat at home doing nothing but waiting for her. In the long term, this can only lead to resentment, frustration, and to losing your own identity.

Now, I enjoy my alone time and use it to see my craft ale buddies and attend all night Psytrance parties – things I would be less likely to do with my girlfriend.

9. Have Date Nights

Even though you may be 1000 miles apart, thanks to the wonders of modern technology you can still enjoy a date together!  With a bit of forwar planning, you can fix up all kind of long-distance, cyber dates. 

There are many different ways you can do this. One idea is that you simply both get on to Facetime or Skype, open a bottle of wine and just chat. Personally, I find that I get more open and chatty after a few glasses of vino so it is good for me to have this experience with my partner rather than simply getting drunk aline in front of the TV. The grape juice may even give you the push you need to engage in a bit of dirty talk which is also very useful…

Alternatively, you can download the same movie and then watch it on your respective devices simultaneously. Or you can play an online game of Chess, Scrabble or Call of Duty Together.  

Do not under-estimate the effectiveness of this. It will help you to get some of the feelings of having a shared experience – and shared experiences are vital for relationships. 

I’d Love To Hear From You!

Are you in a long distance relationship? How is it working out for you? Do you have any additional tricks or trips to share about How to Make Long Distance relationships work? If so, let me know and I will add them in!

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