Like most things in life, there is no "one size fits all" approach to relationships. Some couples elope after a few months of dating, while others date for years before tying the knot (or not tying it at all). Some move in together right away while others decide to savor the distance. Relationships of any kind are no walk in the park, but one of the hardest types to be in is the long distance relationship. Whether you've been long distance for only a few weeks or for your entire relationship, there are several things all long distance couples should do to keep their connection strong.
Before I was married, my now-husband and I dated from different towns. While we still lived in the same state (a piece of cake compared to some couple's distance), it was a completely new experience for me to get to know someone without seeing them all the time. Granted, there were the weekend trips together, the (all night long) Skype sessions, and the fact that our long distance relationship only lasted a few months, but those months weren't easy.
Anyone who has ever been in a LDR can pretty much arrive at the general consensus that they suck. However, there are lots of ways to make them a lot less awful and, dare I say it, a lot more fun.
1. Talk About The Details
For any relationship to be successful, you have to go beyond the surface level. Talking with each other about the details of your day or little things only the two of you know will help the distance seem smaller.
2. Prioritize Talking To Them
Making each other a priority is especially important when you're long distance. Talking is what keeps you close— so if it's not everyday, make sure to at least set up times that work for both of you to talk, be it everynight before bed, every other day or something else.
3. Send Photos Throughout The Day
Sending them little snapshots of your day, even of things that don't really seem important, can make them feel close to you and like you're making an effort to include them despite the distance.
4. Enjoy Your Time By Yourself
Although it probably doesn't always feel that way, one of the perks of being in a long distance relationship is that there isn't the option to loose your identity in the other person. Take time to spoil yourself, learn new things and discover what you love to do without your SO by your side. It will make you a better partner and person.
5. Plan Visits As Often As Possible
No matter how great the distance, it's important to reserve time (and money) to actually see each other in person. Long distance can work for a while, but physically seeing each other will only strengthen your connection.
6. Don't Get Discouraged
There will be days when you want to give up or you think that this whole long distance thing isn't worth it — but remember the positives in your relationship, why you're together in the first place, and don't give up.
7. Talk Before Bed
Even if you can't make time for a long phone call, even a quick goodnight text or a short FaceTime sesh can help strengthen your connection, even while you sleep.
8. Practice Trusting Each Other
When you live far apart, it's easy to let the "what if's" creep in. However, these little seeds of distrust can slowly tear away at your relationship until you don't trust anything your partner says. Trust, more often than not, requires an active choice.
9. Have FaceTime Date Nights
When you're in a LDR you have to get creative with your date nights. Cook dinner together over FaceTime or meet up at your favorite coffee shops and share a virtual cup of joe together.
10. Download Some Apps
In this day and age, of course there is an app for everything under the sun, including long distance dating. Time magazine notes that there are several top apps for long distance relationships that could keep you two feeling close.
11. Keep It Positive
Try to remain positive when you're talking to each other, or even when you're alone. Dwelling on how much you miss your SO will only make the distance harder.
12. Don't Fight Over Text
If there's something bothering you, it can be hard to know how to handle it since you can't talk face to face as often. But arguing over text is dangerous because it's all too easy to misread their intentions. It's best just to hash it out over Skype or a phone call.
13. Surprise Each Other
Show up for the weekend unannounced, or find some other way to let them know you're thinking about them. The great thing about LDRs is the opportunity to be spontaneous!
14. Include Each Other In Your Daily Lives
When you do get the chance to visit each other, show them what your day-to-day life looks like when they're not around. Introduce them to your friends; take them to your favorite lunch spot. These things will help them feel closer to you when they go back home.
15. Send Snail Mail
If you can't surprise them in person, try sending them a surprise in the mail instead. Send them a care package when they're sick or flowers when they get a big promotion (or just because).