How To Survive a Long Distance Relationship

By Fin Sheridan

The dreaded ‘long distance relationship’ or ‘LDR’ is becoming ever more popular but not because it’s fun. Increasing global connectedness through social media, studying abroad programmes, international businesses and organisations and cheap flights mean that you and your loved one might suddenly be thrown into the world of Skype dates, timezones and precious weeks together.

Any meaningful relationship comes with challenges. Long distance has some very unique ones. My wife and I spent all of our dating and engagement period about 5000 miles apart. She was in the USA, I was in England. We started dating when she was studying abroad in Thailand. Paula, one of our Social Media Managers here at CBN is from Brazil and she and her husband spent significant time apart too. We both have friends who have similar stories. So, whilst this won’t make it easy, here’s some tips:

Any meaningful relationship comes with challenges. Long distance has some very unique ones.

Be considerate with communication. It’s 11pm his time and 4pm hers. You’re having a great week, they’re not. She likes texting and calling, he doesn’t. Most of the time, you can’t see facial expressions, hear tone of voice or reach over and squeeze a hand reassuringly. Communication is one of the hardest things to navigate. Continue to set clear expectations about how much, when and what you communicate. You’ll have to revisit and revisit and revisit these. Just accept it.

Be creative. Watch the same film, TV show or youtube videos whilst on FaceTime or Skype. Video call each other and then go about your normal business: reading, doing work or whatever, like “normal” couples do. Have a “date” where you dress up and make an effort. As much as possible, try and have rhythms like you would in non-LDR.

Make a list of things to talk about. Guys, I’m helping you out right here. The idea of 2-3 hours of non stop talking on video message is daunting. There is nothing unromantic or weird about having a note on your phone where you jot down things to ask, conversation topics or questions to ask. You shouldn’t need to do this when you go out for a meal together but over distance? Totally acceptable.

Book your next visit as soon as possible. It’s very hard to keep hopeful when you’re just floating in the wide open ocean of “whenever we next see each other”. When you know it’s “only 5 months” or “12 weeks” then you can see the shore and celebrate as it gets closer. As soon as finances permit, book your next trip to see one another.

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