How To Make A Long Distance Relationship Work

You’ve landed a guy… but he lives somewhere else. It sounds like a sad story, but it doesn’t have to be. Since the beginning of time, people have said yes to long-distance relationships, and while they’re not always easy, they’re not forever. We won’t sugar coat: it sucks when you’re not there to celebrate the wins or comfort them on a crappy day, but it just makes the reunions even sweeter. And when the distance is gone, you’ll feel so lucky and grateful for the little things – and that’s kinda cute.

Here’s your guide to long-distance lovin’.

Make sure you’re on the same page…

Long-distance relationships aren’t a fling thing; they’re the real deal – if you’re going to put a state, country or ocean between you, you both need to be all in. They’re a huge commitment, so be honest with yourself. Is this what you want? Do you see a future with this person? Do they get excited when you think about them? Even if it’s a new relationship, you’ll have some idea about where you see it going. Tune into your feelings, and assess them realistically – and ask your guy to do the same.

If it feels right, go with it. When you already have a strong bond, you’ll be happy to put in that extra effort. And one thing’s for sure: LDRs are built on that!

Know when you’re seeing each other next…

To keep the long-distance spark alive, you need things to look forward to. And if you can’t count down to the day when you’ll be living in the same place, then plan a holiday! Whenever you can swing it with work/family/the state of your bank account, do it. Trips are mini-milestones: they help with any loneliness that creeps up, and they remind you why you’re doing this. They make the relationship feel real – and not just because you get to have that Love Actually moment at the airport. Everyone loves love, and when you come up for air, you’ll see the other passengers smiling (and probably thirstily dreaming up the same scene in their head).

While it’s amazing to jet to exotic locations, try to visit each other’s hometowns, too. That way, you can get a proper peek into each other’s lives, and meet friends and family. When you visit, don’t plan a ton of touristy activities. After you’ve spent some seriously satisfying time between the sheets, just do normal ‘couply’ things: go to the movies, cook dinner, head to a workout class, and grab a drink with friends. They’re simple pleasures that most people take for granted, so soak them up!

Is your bf a plane ride away? Get a frequent flyer card or switch to a credit card that’s partnered with an airline, and start racking up points. Soon enough, some of the trips will pay for themselves.

Talk often, and about everything…

Just like with any relationship, LDRs thrive on communication – and when talking is all you have, you get closer, faster. Thanks to the gloriously high-tech world we’re living in, there are plenty of ways to make that gap feel a little narrower. Texting, Gchatting and emailing are great, talking on the phone is better, and FaceTime is brilliant. To keep the conversation popping, figure out when’s the best time to talk to each other: a time when you’re both at home, relaxed, and free for a while. If you’re in different time zones, this might involve waking up earlier or going to bed later than usual. Whatever it is, schedule in calls and treat them like date nights. Don’t multi-task – give your guy your full attention, like you (hopefully!) would if you were sitting at a restaurant. Couples in healthy long-distance relationships often have deeper, more meaningful conversations than those who see each other daily, so listen carefully, and use this time to really get to know each other.

Epic FaceTime sessions aside, text to say ‘good morning’ or ‘good night’, and then fill them in on random and mundane stuff that happens throughout the day, like what Netflix show you binged or how that pasta put you into a food coma. By sharing those details, they’ll feel special and far more involved in your life.

Deal with arguments as you would in ‘real life’…

Sometimes, you’re going to fight (it’s passion, baby!) or get frustrated by the distance. And that’s okay. But instead of disappearing and letting the issue simmer, deal with it. Do it in a way where you can hear his voice and read his body language. Wait until you can hop on the phone or Facetime, and be honest with each other. Chances are, it’s just a small blip.

You’re allowed to have off days, so also let your guy know when you’re feeling down. When you’ve had an awful day and the only person who can make you feel better is out of reach, remember that they’re also the one person who understands. Feel that sucky moment, and then move on.

Make the most of the me-time…

As Neyo once crooned, there’s nothing sexier than ‘Miss Independent.’ Think about all the me-time you’ve been given as a gift, and stay busy. Sign up for that cooking or photography class, read a bunch of books, catch up with old friends, go shopping (sans the need for a boyfriend chair), or pamper yourself with massages and masks. Don’t dwell on the fact that you’re alone; instead, focus on the friends that are around. These things will not only take your mind off missing your partner, but they’ll also give you more to talk about and make you a happier and quite frankly, healthier, person. “She got her own thing…”

Set up long-distance dates…

You might be physically apart, but you can still do things together. Watch a movie or TV show at the same time. Start a book, take up a new hobby, or FaceTime while you’re eating dinner or on a coffee break. And get it on! Don’t let your sexual frustration spiral. Not that you need an excuse, but warm up by sending flirty/filthy texts and photos. If you’re nervous, just stick to the basics: tell him you can’t stop thinking about him (and why), and describe – in detail – what you would do to him, or what you wish he could do to you. Then, when you both have a stretch of free time, jump on Skype. Crack out some toys, put on your favourite lingerie or pump that *sexy* playlist if you like. Whatever comes next – pardon the pun – is up to you. 😉

Words by Katia Iervasi.

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