Thursday, January 24, 2013

Distance is for the bold.

Long distance relationships are not fun. I've never met anyone who loves being in one. They're annoying, time consuming, sad and just all around terrible. My boyfriend and I dated almost 2 years while living in the same town before we were forced to be long distance after his graduation. At first, I thought he was moving to Cincinnati, OH but he ended up securing an awesome job in his hometown so he's currently living in Charlotte and saving up money for a car, apartment and I hope, a ring ;)



So yes, he's only about 2 and a half hours away but it's still not always easy and convenient to see each other. Over the past 7 months, I feel like we've learned a lot and in the end, we're coming out stronger than we were before. In order to help some other couples who may be experiencing long distance for the first time, I've compiled a couple tips that I've picked up to make it through!

Communication is key. 

Duh. It's a relationship. But communication is different when you're not seeing each other every day (or however often you're used to)! Before he moved away, I told my boyfriend he was going to have to learn to communicate through words now, since, like a typical guy, he wasn't the best at it. I honestly don't think he realized what I meant until a couple months in. 

In the beginning, we argued a lot. Nothing big or important, but just enough that I was mad a lot. I never wanted that kind of relationship and we had never really fought before that. Finally, after seeing each other a few weekends in a row, we realized the fighting wasn't worth it and we needed to find a style of communication that works for us.  

Every couple is different, so don't think our way is the only way, but you do have to find what works for you! We text once or twice a day but we are both very busy so we don't try to text 24/7 and update each other every minute of the day. If we see or think of something funny/sweet, then we'll text it but that's about it. Every night around 9:30/10, we talk on the phone. Even if it's just a quick "hey, I love you", we make the effort. 



Pick your battles. 

Some nights, one of us just isn't available to talk (finals week...). That's okay. It doesn't mean he hates me or he's mad at me. At first, I would get offended if he didn't have time to talk to me, but now I realize it's just not important enough to fight over. No one wants to spend their precious time fighting over something silly so if I start to feel upset, I stop and ask if it's really important enough. 

Trust him (or her!). 

To me, this is the biggest aspect of a relationship in general, but definitely in a long distance relationship. My boyfriend and I both have cheating in our past (by others!) so we both know how much it hurts. He's been very up front with me since the beginning that he would never cheat on me. And we both agree that the second it crosses our minds, it's time to end the relationship. Because of our history and many, many discussions, I know that I never have to worry. 

Again, communication plays a huge role here, because you need to constantly discuss how you're feeling and if something comes up that you're worried about. I also don't suggest getting into a long distance situation if you don't trust your significant other. It will lead to heartache and more trouble than it's worth. 



Fight Right.

Don't accuse. Don't yell. Don't pitch fits. Don't fight over text messages. 

Discuss calmly. Discuss why something hurt your feelings. Suggest alternatives/ways to solve the problem at hand. Listen. 

My best friend's soon-to-be fiance's mom (yes, that's a little obnoxious) told them the best advice I've heard in awhile: Once you learn how to fight with someone, you know you're meant to be. Fighting sucks. But, it's inevitable. He's going to make you mad or you're going to hurt his feelings. Learn how to discuss and talk it out without screaming and throwing things. 

Visit as much as you can!

Sometimes, a visit just isn't possible because of work, school, money, other obligations, etc. But make every effort you can to see your significant other. That time spent together will be needed and appreciated. But, make sure when these visits take place that you're spending time with your friends too. Include your guy in your life so that when you talk about people and places, he doesn't feel left out.  A lot of times, we'll spend one night of just us hanging out and another night we'll go out. Of course, some weekends it's nice to just hole up and forget the world and I definitely suggest visits like those too!

Also, by having planned visits, you have something to look forward to that helps you get through the sad and lonely days!

A weekend visit!

Finally, have fun. 

Don't get stuck sitting in your apartment or dorm waiting on his call. It's okay to forego one phone conversation in order to go out with friends. He will understand and he should be doing the same thing!


I know this got a little long winded but I definitely feel like these things are important! And of course, they can apply to all relationships, not just long distance ones!

 Does anyone have anything they would add?


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