It all started when I met a boy in a Yankees hat. As a diehard Red Sox fan, I shouldn’t have been interested in anyone wearing the least bit of Yankees regalia. But as I got to know the boy in the Yankees hat, I began to see that he was exactly the kind of guy I wanted to be with. We started dating and had two wonderful years together at the University of Connecticut, where we both went to school. I still have one more year to go, but my boyfriend recently graduated. He has moved back home, which is more or less an hour and 45 minutes away from me. So we are currently in a long-distance relationship.
I never thought I’d be in a long-distance relationship. I always thought, it’s too much work and you’d feel so disconnected and why would anyone choose to do that anyway? Well now I understand why people would choose to do it – if you truly love the person, then it’s worth it. But it is a lot of effort.
So how exactly do you make a long-distance relationship work? I found a blog article that gives 7 ways to do so: 7 Ways to Survive a Long-Distance Relationship. They are:
- Establish ground rules from the start – this means discuss whether to remain monogamous or not when apart, how often to communicate, and how often to visit each other. I would consider this to be one of the main building blocks for creating a strong long-distance relationship. If you’re both on the same page with these three things then it creates some stability in the relationship, which is necessary for it to work and helpful since this kind of relationship can get unpredictable.
- Discuss a mutually agreed-upon end goal for your relationship – there needs to be “a light at the end of the tunnel”, especially for when the going gets rough. It’s also important for this goal to be agreed upon. Things will only end up in disaster if one thinks the other will eventually propose and the other doesn’t plan on that. For me and any other young person in a long-distance relationship, even just determining what the end goal is can be tough. You’re in the midst of planning your life and you don’t always know where you’ll end up or what you’ll be doing. But agreeing on short term goals along the way is beneficial.
- Avoid excessive communicating – the article quotes a dating coach who recommends only talking on the phone once a week for about an hour so that you’ll always have exciting news to tell each other. I guess it’s different for everyone, but I think talking a little bit each day is fine. I do understand the importance of keeping the conversations interesting, though. Having nothing to talk about day after day is monotonous. So if you find this to be happening, take a few days to talk a little less, and that should help.
- Alternate visits on each other’s turfs – this is pretty self-explanatory. The article explains that this creates balance. You’ll be spending the same amount of time traveling and with each other’s friends. There won’t be any resentment about putting in more effort than the other. This is very important.
- Raise your trust level significantly – since you’re apart more often, you don’t always know what the other is up to, which can create anxiety. It’s important to learn to trust your significant other and not constantly keep tabs on his or her whereabouts. I’m betting that if you are both willing to put in the effort to be in a long-distance relationship, then chances are neither of you will blow it by cheating. So don’t worry about it so much. If you do truly suspect the other of cheating, then have an open conversation about it.
- Keep it sexy and spicy – I’m not going to spell this out; we all know what it means. But it’s true that if things get monotonous then your relationship is not going to last. I think the only reason people DO cheat when they are in a long-distance relationship is because they see a chance for something new and exciting. If you cover those bases with your boyfriend/girlfriend then your relationship will stay fun, and there won’t be any temptation to cheat.
- Live your life! – the key is to maintain your life, friendships and interests while your partner is away. I know that I’ve made the mistake before of wallowing in my sadness when my boyfriend and I weren’t together (physically). But that only makes things worse. If you go out and have fun and focus on your goals while you’re not with your significant other, then you’re much more happy overall. And that overall happiness will benefit your relationship greatly.
I think I’m speaking for most people when I say a close-distance relationship is ideal. But if a long-distance relationship is worth it for you and your honey, then, well, go the distance! Do everything you can to make it work, because, even though it is difficult, it CAN work if you try.
And to give yourself a little hope listen to: Hey There, Delilah by the Plain White T’s!