There’s a lot of unwarranted shade thrown on a long-distance relationship (LDR). From awful depictions in romantic comedies to negative input from friends, long-distance relationships don’t get a fair shake. Now that the world undergoes lockdowns and quarantines, though, views are shifting.
Social distancing has made most relationships “long” distance relationships, in some sense. Furthermore, with no opportunities to socialize or go on dates, new relationships are bound to be long-distance for now.
With that in mind, we’ve put together the nine best tips to have a successful long-distance relationship. Whether you’re in an LDR, have been in one before, or think you’d never be in one, pay close attention. You might learn a thing or two!
Top 9 Tips To Have A Successful Long-Distance Relationship (LDR)
Without further ado, here are the top nine tips for a healthy, nurturing, and happy long-distance relationship in 2021.
1. Efficient Scheduling
Having a relationship can be a lot of fun, but it’s also hard work. When you’re apart, it’s common to disregard just how much work that is, leading couples to grow distant. They become complacent and settle into negative patterns that are harmful to both or break up.
Instead, keep the relationship alive and healthy by scheduling your time together well. Think of when you’re both at your best—full of energy and a good disposition. It might be at the crack of dawn, over lunch, or whenever. What matters is that you’re both fully present.
2. Compatible Goals
Let’s face it. No one sees 100% eye-to-eye on everything with their partner. Everyone has their own dreams and expectations. However, for a long-distance relationship to retain its spark, you need to be working towards the same endgame.
For instance, are you going long-distance for now, but planning to be together later? If so, when? If both partners want to go from LDR to a very short distance, that’s all well and good. But if one prefers the distance, then you’re in for trouble.
3. Beyond Tech
Technology is definitely a boon in this day and age. Between video-calls and instant messaging, staying in touch is easier than ever before. However, a lot of what’s required for maintaining the health and spark of an LDR lies beyond technology.
Physical reminders are very powerful as well. From handwritten (and scented!) letters to pieces of clothing, personal symbols, or souvenirs. A care package now and then is another great strategy. Anything that lets you reach out through the distance.
4. Quality Over Quantity
Modern life is so hectic, we often don’t have the time to spend with those who matter most. When you’re dating long-distance, this is doubly true. You don’t even have the benefit of each other’s background presence, and shared existence.
The time you talk is all there is. Therefore, you need to value quality over quantity. Make the time you spend interacting with your partner the best part of your day. Whether it’s a phone call, Skyping, or just texting, set aside the time, respect, and cherish it.
5. Boring Bonding
A common mistake in long-distance relationships is not sharing the “boring details”. Because you want your time together to be precious, you don’t want to bore each other with the same old thing over and over again. As a consequence, you skip over the “boring” parts.
Truth is, a big part of life together is sharing all that small stuff. It makes the distance that much harder. By sharing the ups and downs of your daily routine, you have an opportunity to get in sync with each other.
6. Be Natural
Another common issue with a long-distance relationship is feeling like you need to program every second you spend together. Just because scheduling and timing are important, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be spontaneous. Otherwise, the relationship can grow “stiff” over time.
Each partner becomes used to performing their role in a wooden sort of way. That half-hearted commitment is a death sentence for a long-distance relationship. It’s important for you to be real, natural, and spontaneous to preserve your connection.
7. Keep Living
A quick way to doom even the strongest long-distance relationship is putting your life on hold until you can be together. Whatever the conditions that are keeping you apart are, if you’re missing out on life to wait on each other, you’ll grow resentful.
Don’t stop socializing, going out, meeting new people, exploring new places, and having fun. Your better half maybe somewhere far away, but in the meantime, you can squeeze all the life you can out of every moment. Get a story or two worth tell your partner the next time you speak!
8. Draw Lines
Being far from those we love can be maddening. We may feel the need to check in multiple times a day, simply to touch base. However, there is a difference between “checking in” and “checking in on someone.” The latter will definitely lead to trouble down the road.
It’s important that you draw lines and boundaries early on in the relationship, to ensure that you’re both comfortable. Be honest about what these lines are for you. If your partner has issues with your boundaries, you may simply not be a great match.
Trust is the quintessential pillar of any long-distance relationship. While trust is key to many romantic and Platonic relationships, it’s truly a cornerstone of LDRs. Far apart and knowing better than to “check in on” each other, both partners need to be capable of trust.
Many of us have been hurt, and some of us are still dealing with that pain and the resulting scars. Trust can be very difficult if your trust has ever been betrayed. Still, keep in mind that your current partner isn’t responsible for what happened in the past.
Long-distance relationships have a lot to offer, but they’re no less work than up-close-and-personal relationships. In fact, they can be even more demanding than conventional relationships.
However, using the tips outlined above, you’ll be able to maintain happy & healthy LDRs. That said, it’s worth noting that long-distance relationships aren’t for everyone. Make sure you’re listening to your partner when discussing any possible long-distance relationships.
With that, we bid you adieu, and wish you the best of luck in your long-distance romantic endeavors. As they say—distance makes the heart grow fonder!