Long distance relationships are hard but also so beautiful. You miss the person deeply but you’re allowed more opportunities to grow within yourself. You learn to be independent yet you know in the back of your mind that person is only a phone call away. Your communication is strong and you learn all there is to know about that person as often your “date nights” are centered around talking on the phone. Your planning skills blossom as you must schedule every time you will see one another. And ultimately your love grows stronger as you cannot wait to be physically reconnected with that person.
For those of you who don’t know, I have been in a long distance relationship for nearly two years. Dave lives in Atlanta and I in Charlotte. Its only 4-5hrs apart but with our polar opposite schedules this has been quite a challenge. Our relationship is strong and full of love yet it doesn’t come without the occasional heartache. We can talk on the phone till we are blue in the face but that doesn’t make up for the day when you just need a hug. Through this, not that we know any different, we have become strong, independent people on our own and even stronger as a couple.
So in today’s post, I want to share my top three pieces of advice for navigating a long distance relationship (LDR):
- Communication is key! You have to be open and honest. I think this goes for all relationships but in particular for a LDR. You don’t have the body language to go along with what you’re trying to say, so communicate clearly. Also in a LDR, your verbal communication is the only way to grow as a couple while you’re apart. Start the morning with a “good morning” text, say “I love you” frequently, tell the other person what you’re up to, even paint them a picture through your words. Use your words to let them in on your life, and listen and allow them to do the same for you.
- Every time you leave each other, know when you will see one another again. This is so helpful because it allows you to have something to look forward to. Dave and I like to countdown the number of sleeps till we are back together. Planning ahead gives you time to plan your next adventure together and make the most of seeing one another. It allows you the opportunity to gather friends you want your significant other (SO) to meet and make reservations for where you may want to go as you try to show off your city to your SO. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes these “reservations” will be a Netflix binge and pizza on the couch or a quick errand, as after all, even those of us who are in LDRs are still normal people. But, if each time you kiss each other goodbye, you know when you’ll be reconnected, those days will go by faster and there is significantly less stress placed on the two of you.
- Enjoy your independence. Capitalize on doing the things that you love. Grow within your career. And ultimately, grow as an individual. Yes, you can do all these things when you’re in the same city together but its on an even greater level when you’re apart. This is something I personally have been so thankful for as I am in a season of life that is all about growth and development. Do I think I could do it all with Dave in Charlotte, Yes! but with him being 5hrs away it has been much easier to be selfish and really focus on me. Our time together is the best, we can really put all the stressors aside and really focus on one another for those couple days we get to spend just the two of us. We get to recharge when we are together yet when we are apart we can continue to push harder to meet our goals. There is no one waiting at home every night for you so if you need those extra couple hours at the office or want to pick up that extra shift, stay a little longer at the gym, or even just want to last minute stop and grab drinks with a friend, its okay! Enjoy this season of your life as even with the most flexible and understanding partner, there will come more expectations when you live in the same city and even more so if you live together.
Now, for those of you who are also in LDRs or have previously navigated them, what advice do you have? I would love to hear your stories of love on the road!