Everyone knows relationships are hard, but they are made even more difficult when you put a couple hundred or a few thousand miles (or km) between you and your partner.
You no longer have the luxury of dealing with everyday problems with a passing word. No, no, no. Now, you have to do this crazy thing old people used to tell me about. You ready? It’s called…
Yeah, I know. you saw this one coming. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. I’m starting here, because this is where you need to start. Communication can make or break this thing we call love.
To start, you need to think about what kind of person you are. Really..who are you? Are you someone who gets jealous easily? How important is it to you to talk everyday?Do you have any pet peeves that your partner doesn’t know about yet?
Keep going with these questions until you really get down to the nitty gritty. This is the information you will need in order to prevent possible conflict in the future.
So, for example, I’ll give you some of my issues that I found out while doing this whole LDR thing.
I only want to talk to my partner if we can have more than 15 min of quality taking time. If he calls and we only talk for 2 minutes before he has to go meet with friends, it makes me upset. I didn’t know I wouldnt like it when we started our LDR, but I found out rather quickly. So, instead of just being upset and sulking about it, I told him.
“Hey, can you please only call me when you know that you have time to talk for a significant amount of time. When we only talk for a second, it upsets me. If you know you only have a small amount of time, please just send me a text and we can talk later or the next day. Thank you.”
And you know what this little trick did?? He said,
Sure, no problem. I didn’t know it upset you so much.
And guess what.. he hasn’t done it since. This goes for anything and everything!
He doesn’t like when I have stuff going on in the background while we talk, so I make a plan to be away from people and not working when he calls. Once you get in the hang of this open communication thing, it really can be just a walk in the park.
Try it out, you may find that it brings you two closer together. You know that if they need to tell you something, they will. Building strong communication skills as a couple removes this thick air of insecurity I see hanging onto relationships like sludge. Keep it light, keep it honest.
Seeing Things From Their Perspective
This has changed the game with my relationship and the LDRs of friends as well. Seeing things from your partner’s point of view is CRITICAL.
You’re sitting up one night and your boyfriend calls you and says that he is going out with the boys and going to get lit (or hype, or whatever kids say these days). You’re worried because what if he does something while he’s drunk. What if he falls in love with someone else?? Kisses someone?? What if!?
Well, I would say, what about you?
what do you mean? Me?
Yes, you are just as likely to go out and find someone while you’re out drinking as well, unless you are planning on staying inside for the whole duration of this relationship.
Your partner could be thinking about you in the same way. Worried that you might slip up, but every time I talk to friends about this, they always say, “but I would never do something like that; I can control myself.” Okay… well, your partner probably thinks the same about himself.
Trust in your partner as much as you trust yourself. If you’re having doubts about them, maybe you’re just worried about you.
well, this follows very nicely..
Duh. Long distance WILL NOT work if you don’t trust each other. There are no lies in LDRs. Every little thing needs to be talked about much more so than if you were in a normal relationship. One small thing left out of a story can make a huge snowball of doubt crash into your relationship.
You had a shit day, tell them. Ask about theirs. You did something they don’t like, tell them. Every time you hide something, it creates tension. A small amount of tension in the short-distance world is a 50 ton brick to LDRs. Learn from me, don’t let that shit crush you.
What you want to avoid most in LDRs is conflict. Trust and communication go hand-in-hand no this matter. A 30 min tiff in an LDR is a weeks worth of shouting in a normal relationship, especially if your timezones are switched.
Give them your trust and you will get theirs in return.
This really made the beginning of my LDR much easier. I felt like every Skype call we made was so intense and stressful, because we were panning on moving countries for one another and I needed something to break the tension or at least distract us for a moment.
So, we played games. Our “games” of choice were the couples question games and my favorite ’36 questions to fall in love and improve intimacy’. These don’t seem like the most light-hearted things in the world, I know. This is just a personal preference. Apparently unleashing your inner demons is fun for us.
Choose your own poison. Each of you can get a deck of cards and play a game or make up a game. Make it a competition, try to build a house of cards, biggest wins. What they win is up to you haha
The other day, we played “Aussie town or South African food” and “Would you Rather?”
Games break up the monotony of always having to have something interesting to talk about. It’s perfect if you’ve both had shit days, don’t really want to talk, but still really want to be with each other.
Have any favorite games? Let me know!
Have an End Date
Wether it be a vacation to see the other or an actual final end to the LDR, have an end date. There needs to be something on your calendar that says THE END or FINALLY. Without a goal of ending, you’re basically treading water. It’s important to feel like you’re working toward something, rather than investing in nothing.
Countdowns are great motivators and keep the hope alive. 7 more Saturdays, 6 more… and just like that, you’re back in each others arms again. LDR aren’t fun, but they aren’t impossible either. They take a lot or work, time and attention and it’s impossible to get them right all the time.
What’s really important is that your partner knows you care and are thinking about them and that you are all on the same page.
Are in a LDR or have you every been in one? What are some tricks you discovered along the way?
Thanks for reading!