How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work: 7 Proven Tips
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Looking for how to make a long distance relationship work? You’re in the right place. We’re about to do a deep dive into the whole long distance relationship thing, AKA the LDR.
You’ve heard the saying:
Does absence really make the heart grow fonder?
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My answer to this thought-provoking question? Yes and no.
Long distance relationships aren’t easy to manage, that’s for certain. But they’re not automatically doomed for failure, especially if you’re willing to put in the energy to succeed in a relationship where your partner is hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
In this video, I’m going to talk about how to make a long distance relationship work, as well as answer some questions that I know are on your mind:
- Do long distance relationships work?
- What are the chances of a long distance relationship working out?
- Should I run from the hills if a guy lives far away?
- Are long distance relationships actually better than other relationships?
Let me just start out by saying that long distance relationships absolutely can work. You just need some tools for success, and I’m going to give those to you today.
P.S. While you’re here, check out my free Love Texting Report. Texting is such a huge part of a long distance relationship, so you’ll want to up your texting game by sending your guy these 3 free texts!
Now, before I dive into helping you know how to make a long distance relationship work, let me share some interesting information from a new study.
According to research from the Journal of Communication, couples in long distance relationships have more meaningful interactions than those who see each other on a daily basis, and this can lead to higher levels of intimacy.
Who would’ve thought that being in a long distance relationship might actually be better for a couple?
Basically, the study implies that in order to keep the romance alive (a challenge with so much distance between the two of you), couples may communicate more frequently. Their communications may delver into deeper issues, like what you want in the future, the importance of trust in relationships, et cetera. You won’t waste time on those little frivolous conversations, like hey, did you pick up the dry cleaning?
This study’s actually been really eye-opening for me because I’ve always been a little negative when it comes to long-distance relationships, and I have to admit, this study showed me that there are real benefits to being apart.
But don’t let this fool you. Just because there may be a heightened sense of intimacy in the relationship because you are discussing those more intimate and deep topics, there are also some major downfalls when it comes to long distance relationships.
One drawback worth mentioning is when you seem to idolize your partner. You don’t really acknowledge that he’s human. You only see his most positive traits because you’re not seeing him every single day. It’s hard to consider his flaws when you maybe only see each other every other weekend…or even less frequently.
So if that’s an issue in your long-distance relationship, make sure you take your boyfriend off of that pedestal. He is human, and he does have flaws.
It can also take you longer to really get to know your partner. We feed off of one another’s energy when we’re together in person, and it’s those million little conversations (many seemingly unimportant) that add up to getting to know someone and bond with them.
Whether you’re in a long distance relationship right now, you’re starting a long distance relationship, or you’re simply curious in case you end up in a long distance relationship one day, take note of these tips because they could make the difference between this relationship working and totally bombing. In this article, we’re going to look at the following tips for how to make a long distance relationship work:
- Get a plan for the future
- Focus on quality, not quantity
- Set clear expectations
- When you see each other, go easy on the activities
- Surprise him
- Get a life
How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 1: Get a Road Map for the Future
I encourage you to talk to your boyfriend to develop some sort of plan on how and when you will live together other or at least live closer to each other in the future.
I mean, if there’s no plan to eventually be together, what’s the point? Are you just going to be in this long distance relationship forever?
I don’t think so.
I can’t tell you how many women who are in my Sexy Confidence Club program have been in long distance relationships that are absolutely doomed to fail. For example, if he’s stationed in Japan and plans to be in the military for the next 20 years, and you have your tenure as a professor at Middlebury College, then there is absolutely no way that you are going to be together in the future, right?
He lives so far away, and you don’t plan on leaving your job, so why even engage in the relationship? I’m sorry, but you may feel something really strongly for this person, but unless there’s some type of path toward being together in the future, it is really not worth investing your emotional energy into this person.
And I know that that’s an extreme scenario, but I can’t tell you how many people I talk to who are in love with someone but they’re so far away from one another and there’s no way that they’re ever going to be together in the future. So if that happens to you or if you’re in a situation like that right now, be realistic about what’s actually going on.
Be real about the logistics of your relationship, because if you continue to lie to yourself and think, oh, we’ll just address that later, you’re going to waste so many precious years of your life hoping that something’s going to change when it’s just not. As hard as it will be, let this relationship go before it hurts even more.
How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 2: Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
I think most people really get this wrong when it comes to figuring out how to make a long distance relationship work because they think that constant contact is the best way to maintain the relationship.
Every day after you finish your lunch, you text your guy.
You get home from work, you text your guy.
You get home that night, you FaceTime for four hours.
Most people think that talking constantly to one another (text, call, video chat) is the best way to maintain the relationship. But I don’t believe that relationships are formed through constant texting or even FaceTiming. I believe that it’s all about the quality of those interactions that really matter.
I think it’s more important to send a few strategic texts throughout the day that really make him smile, rather than sending 25 texts throughout the day that just interrupts him from what he’s doing. And I’m sure you’d feel the same way about the texts you get from him.
So I would say that it’s better to wait throughout the day, let the tension build up, and have that time at the end of the night, maybe before going to bed, where you can really have that quality time to bond. You’re focusing on one another, not distracted, and you’ll find you can share intimacy better than when you’re overcommunicating. Plus, you’ll actually have something to talk about!
How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 3: Set Clear Expectations
Don’t assume that your partner knows what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate in the relationship. It never ever hurts to clearly define expectations for one another.
Now, this is a little bit embarrassing, but I want to share this story with you.
When Jess and I first started dating, we lived about an hour’s drive from one another. We met in Boston (I live in Boston), but she lived an hour or so away. Within the first two or three months of us being exclusive, I remember I went out with a bunch of single guys for a wild night out.
I don’t know what got into us…we were just really amped up and excited. It was one of those nights where we had just a little bit too much to drink. I came home, passed out, and I never called her before falling asleep. Now, for me, having been single for basically two years before this relationship, I wasn’t used to someone expecting me to call.
But of course, putting myself in Jessica’s shoes, this was clearly not cool. Needless to say, the next day, we had a very important conversation. And she used some wording that was really effective that has stuck with me, and I want to share with you today.
She didn’t yell at me. She didn’t accuse me of anything. She didn’t get irrational in the conversation.
She just simply told me, look, now that you’re in a relationship, Adam, it’s just not appropriate for you to go out with your single buddies for six hours and then just pass out and not call me at the end of the night.
Now, of course, I go out with my friends, but I don’t get too crazy, and at the end of the night, I make sure I call her before bed.
Jeez, I should know this stuff, right? I’m a dating and relationship coach, but it took my girlfriend to get me to see that I wasn’t acting in a manner that was good for the relationship.
Maybe Jess’ words are something you can use in your future relationships or in your relationship right now. Because setting expectations of what is appropriate and what’s not appropriate is really going to save you a lot of headaches in the future. You want to make sure he knows exactly what you expect of him, whether that’s:
- Him calling you every night or at least texting if he’s out
- Not going out with other women (friends or otherwise)
- Not making plans on certain nights that you usually have your weekly catch-up FaceTime session
How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 4: When You See Each Other Go Easy On The Activities
I think this is so important when it comes to long-distance relationships: when you visit each other, try not to pack it full of a lot of activities and doing stuff. Learn how to just be with each other, and have as normal a day as possible with one another.
I’ve seen this time and time again with a lot of long distance relationships: people will go from not seeing each other for a couple weeks or even a month, then they have this weekend together that’s amazing. They are constantly doing exciting activities when they’re together: going out, sightseeing, visiting museums.
But once they actually move in with each other or spend more time with each other post-LDR, life naturally just gets boring and then they think that there’s something wrong with the relationship. But the reality is…and I hate to say it: relationships kind of get boring sometimes, especially if your day to day life is pretty much the same.
And that’s perfectly okay.
What you don’t want to do is have this expectation that your relationship is going to be the same as it was on these crazy weekend getaways. That’s not reality. It’s a vacation. And we all know that life on a vacation is far from our normal boring existence.
So allow some of those weekends you spend together to just be a little bit boring, okay? Without so much external excitement happening, you’ll be able to bond with one another and have real quality time together.
And PS: long distance relationships are expensive! It can cost anywhere from $850 a month to several thousand dollars if you’re flying back and forth, eating out, and doing all those expensive activities! You’re better off buying groceries and cooking a meal at home. Not only will you cut down on expenses, but you’ll also see what “normal” life will be like one day. Test run!
How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 5: Surprise Him!
Long distance relationships can be monotonous. You get used to not seeing each other, and you start to lose that passion and excitement you had at the beginning. The best remedy for this? Surprise your man every once in a while.
You could leave a love note under the pillow for him to find after you leave.
You could mail him a letter.
You could show up when he doesn’t expect you (trench coat and nothing under it optional!).
These are all great ways to keep that long distance relationship working. And he’ll feel so special, knowing how much you love him. He may even reciprocate with his own surprises!
How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 6: Get a Life
It can be all too easy to make your world center around a man you only see 10% of your time. You may be tempted to cancel plans because you’d rather talk to your boyfriend after work. You might miss out on serious opportunity to have a robust social life if you let this LDR control you.
If you’re at home while your boyfriend is traveling for work, deployed, or otherwise somewhere that’s not his normal home, he may find the long distance relationship a little easier because he’s not dealing with the normal daily grind that you are. If he’s traveling for work, he’s in an exciting new city and may be going out for dinner and exploring the local culture. Meanwhile, you’re doing laundry and going to Pilates. You miss him terribly and feel that it’s unfair that he doesn’t miss you as much.
So I’m telling you to get out there and get a life! Take advantage of having so much free time that you aren’t spending with your partner. Take up a hobby. Go out with friends. This free time makes it kind of like you’re single, but you have the bonus of knowing that somewhere out there is a man who really loves you.
One day you may look back on the time you spent in this long distance relationship and long for that kind of free time. So enjoy it!
How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 7: Establish Routines
The more like a “normal” relationship you can make your LDR, the happier you both will be. That means establishing routines that let you get a sense of rhythm in your relationship.
Maybe you have a standing video chat call every Saturday afternoon, where you talk about everything from evolution to the Kardashians for two hours.
You could eat dinner together on FaceTime once a week.
Maybe you have your own private book club, reading the same book and talking about it when you’re together.
You might establish a schedule where you switch up who visits who each month.
Perhaps you have a little heavy sexting on the weekends.
All of these tips are ways to feel as normal as possible in your relationship and to give you something to look forward to when the days stretch on.
You see? I told you that long distance relationships take work. You have to be willing to put in the work to get great results.
You’re far from alone in trying to figure out how to make a long distance relationship work: there are 7 million couples in LDRs! And while the average length of time a long distance relationship lasts is 4.5 months, I don’t want you to be disheartened by that. Most couples who are in a long distance relationship don’t have the information for how to make a long distance relationship work that I have provided you with today.
A lot of those relationships end because either one partner cheats or one worries that the other is cheating. That’s why communication is so important in any relationship, but especially a long distance one. If you’re open and honest about what’s going on, there should be no reason for your partner to be insecure about what you’re doing hundreds of miles away.
That being said, if your LDR is dragging on with no end in sight and you’re not happy, you need to acknowledge that it’s not working. Some relationships simply aren’t meant to be. You can read all the articles you want and take all of my advice, but if it’s not right, it’s not right.
So that’s all I’ve got on long distance relationships! What has been your experience with long distance relationships and have they worked out for you? Leave a comment below.
Surprise your man tonight with a super sexy text! In my Love Texting Report, you can get more than 100 texts (for inspiration or to copy and paste) you can use in your long distance relationship to get that romance back in the relationship.
Nice but i need help
I’m in an LDR with a man I felt an inner click for right at the beginning. We have never physically met, but send hundreds of texts, audio messages, photos and you-tube tunes to each other. He resides less than an hour away, but is an OTR driver with a scant few hours one day a week to tend to things. I have a crazy schedule that takes me out of town nearly every weekend, so we understand each other, boost each other, learn to show affection in different ways. It works!
Long distance relationships can sometimes be convenient. But there are nuances to think about. There are women who are used to the fact that men solve household chores, such as repairs or carrying heavy loads. Can you live alone and do all the mundane things like fixing the door yourself?