Surviving a long-distance relationship is not enough, much like simply being in a relationship isn’t enough. You and your partner have to grow as a couple and as individuals or you’re just killing time together instead of actually being in a working relationship.
1. Have an End
One of the most important things to have in a long-distance relationship is an end date. The distance must end at some point. As a couple, you must have a plan to come together physically at some point. It doesn’t matter whether you plan on living together or just living in the same city. What matters is that you have an idea of when the “long-distance” part of your “long-distance relationship” has an end.
Having an endpoint gives you something to work for, something to hope for. Without something to work towards, a long-distance relationship is inherently doomed.
2. Have a Visitation Schedule
A long-distance relationship does not have to be totally bereft of physical contact, nor should it be if at all possible. Talk about it and plan alternating visits that are financially feasible. It is important that you alternate visits whenever possible. Travel isn’t fun for everyone and it can feel unfair if it looks like only one person is making an effort.
There are plenty of ways to communicate with your significant other. Gone are the days of waiting three months to exchange letters to talk about things that are probably no longer relevant. Now you can talk about your bad day to your significant other that same day. If you both set aside the time and make an effort, you can at least keep the mental and emotional connection alive despite the distance.
Talk about when you can talk to each other. Take your daily schedules and different time zones, if applicable, into account. Try to talk about this before the move happens so you have a plan to work with once you’re apart.
4. Make a Commitment
A long-distance relationship is fraught with peril, most of which comes from doubt and distrust. Doubt and distrust are deadly enough to a standard relationship, but add distance to the factor and they may as well be a death sentence. You might not be able to prevent it all – and depending on your specific circumstance, nothing might – but you can try and prepare for it.
Let each other know just how committed you are to the relationship. You need to know what your partner expects from the relationship. Be open and don’t be afraid to say what you feel. The sooner you know where you both stand, the sooner you can figure out what to do about it.
5. Keep Calm, Have Things to Do
Long-distance relationships are painful and it can be easy to let all that pain and physical emptiness get to your head. Do whatever it takes to keep from losing your mind, as it won’t help. It might even make the other person feel guilty, if they’re the one who moved away. You’re both apart from each other. It hurts them too.
People in long-distance relationships tend to have a lot of free time. Try out new hobbies. Take up some classes and learn something new. Not only will it help grow you as a person, but it’ll give you lots of neat things to talk about during your weekly chat.
A long-distance relationship requires many of the same things that a normal relationship does, and then some. Just remember that merely surviving a long-distance relationship isn’t enough. You’ll want to have it grow and develop as well.