5 tips for surviving a long distance relationship

How to make the best of distance between you.

 

It began as just good friends helping each other through difficult seasons in their lives and then blossomed into much more. 350 miles apart the growing bond was a challenge to continue within the restrictions of distance. We knew we had something special and refused to let go of that spark. The distance was something we were forced to deal with and being apart when we wanted to be together.

So, how does a couple survive such a challenge? Here are 5 tips that will help, if not ensure success.

  1. Communication. This is important in any relationship but vital when distance is between you. Set aside a time in your schedule for quality phone time. What worked well for us was an early good-morning chat to get our day started on the right foot and then a longer, more leisure conversation in the evening. It's important to share not only the big things in life but the daily details also. The good things that happened that day and then troublesome. It's during these conversations your personalities bond and your lives blend. Being able to share the details of one's day with someone brings openness to other issues that either trouble us or inspire us.
  2. Good old Snail Mail. I can't stress enough how uplifting it is to go to the mailbox and find a letter, card or small package. Yes, the modern world of email, text and instant messaging is great but there's just nothing like holding a handwritten letter from someone who took the time to write it and send it. It's the little things that build relationships, not the large flower bouquets, etc. It's the snippets of thoughts that we have about each other throughout the day and sharing those snippets.
  3. Trust. When you are apart by distance, suspicion can drive one mad. Going the extra mile to ensure your honey is not worrying is a gift of great worth. You may be completely innocent but if there is a doubt in your honey's mind, then you are causing unnecessary grief and that is not how one shows love. Sharing more than required or offsetting being put in gray situations brings forth trust in volumes. Is it not better to put your darling's mind to rest than to challenge an accusation? If the trust is there, the accusations will not be.
  4. No Guest in the house. I used to drive 700 miles round trip on weekends to spend time with my honey. We found that if my time there was treated as if I were a guest, then that's exactly what I was, a guest. We found that our time on weekends needed more of a touch of reality. We didn't have to be joined at the hip through the entire weekend because that just was not normal for either one of us, especially since we each were used to being independent. We found that while I was up on weekends life still had to go on, chores still needed to be done, etc. We would spend our evenings together, enjoy as much leisure time as we preferred but then when chores and responsibilities called, we didn't mind spending several hours doing other things than just being side by side. This gave our relationship a more natural flow to it and when we did finally join our two lives together and end the distance issue our lifestyle didn't take a big blow of change. This is an area I think more couples find challenging than they realize because you do crave to be together so much but one must remember; start out as you can hold out.
  5. Don't try to change your Honey & Be yourself. Here's where a lot of relationships go wrong. It is important for each partner to feel independent, free to live life and enjoy the things that interests each of you and then let your honey compliment your life by sharing togetherness. It isn't pleasant to try to fit him/her into a lifestyle he/she doesn't prefer to participate in. If you are in a relationship then you've found common ground of which you share. Build on that and enjoy each other within that but don't try to make carbon copies of each other. That's not what attracted you in the first place. With the distance forcing you to remain independent yet you enjoy spending time together, keep this in mind to continue once you are together without the distance. My honey loves to build engines and restore vintage cars. I love to make crafts and write. We allow each other to enjoy our interests and then share blissful time together watching movies of which we both enjoy. Now, that's not to say we don't mingle our interests some. I go with him to car shows and he goes with me to quilt shows and supports me in whatever creative project I'm into. If he'd prefer to stay home elbow deep in grease than to go to a quilt show, then that's fine. Life is just way too short to fill it with doing things one doesn't enjoy doing. We've found a common respect for each other concerning this and that is critical for the future of any relationship.

Denise with her honey, Bud.
Denise with her honey, Bud.

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