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Starting A Long Distance Relationship (51 Things To Know)

by Sonya Schwartz

Starting a long-distance relationship is difficult. It takes trust and discipline to stay connected and retain a healthy partnership. 

To make your long-distance relationship work right, you must work together, because long-distance relationships are harder than regular ones. 

Really, the best way to make a long-distance relationship work is to have good communication and patience.

However, there’s no need to fret when starting the long distance relationship; some studies have shown that in the first few months, at least, for a long relationship, distance is not a deterrent. It makes no difference if you are close or not, your odds of success are the same. 

Time magazine reported that for those in relationships, long distance didn’t matter, even if you’re married. Long-distance relationships (LDR) have just as high of a success rate and those who live together. Therefore, if you’re worried about making a long distance relationship work, think positive. 

So, how long do long distance relationships last? According to one study, LDRs usually last 2.9 years, whereas proximal relationships last an average of 7.3 years. 

Since the reports are contradicting, let’s look at the best tips for your LDR to fit in the success category!

Contents

Focus On Yourself

1. Stay busy.

Commit to your career and build upon it. Find things to do so you aren’t just thinking about your love and missing him like crazy. Instead, find ways to stay occupied. Try a new hobby or join a meetup group. Do something outside of your normal routine.

2. Take care of yourself.

Remember to exercise, eat right, and maintain good hygiene. Just because your significant other is out of the physical picture doesn’t mean you should neglect your appearance. You never know when there will be a surprise visit.

3. Make new friends.

Make new friends

Instead of wallowing in loneliness, take this time to branch out and meet new people. Avoid becoming friends with anyone you could see yourself falling in love with, though. This can lead to a dangerous situation.

4. Enjoy your alone time.

Learn something new; try yoga and meditation. Enjoy being alone and make the most of the time you have with yourself. Take advantage of this situation, and find your inner bliss.

5. Focus on your goals.

You have the spare time now to tick things off your bucket list, so get to it. Think about the many new year’s resolutions you haven’t yet accomplished, and get busy.

6. Pamper yourself.

Make yourself beautiful. Hit the spa for a day of pampering or pamper yourself by doing a manicure and pedicure for you. You will feel prettier if you take care of yourself.

7. Spend time with friends and family.

Don’t forget about the people you have in your support group. They are there for you when you need to get out and about; allow them the opportunity to comfort you when things are hard in your LDR, and believe me, there will be those times.

8. Expand your horizons.

Don’t be a shut-in. Get out and explore the world. Step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Consider taking a self-defense course or learn a new language. The point is to do something different to get your mind off your LDR.

9. Talk it out.

If you are trying to make an LDR work and feel very sad and lonely, it may help you to talk to someone like a therapist or good friend. Let your feelings out and get suggestions on how to best cope during this rough patch. Finding the right person to talk to can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your mental and emotional health.

10. Exercise.

Try to make physical activity a part of your life. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week for optimum health results. Exercising releases endorphins, hormones that make us happy!

11. Recognize your feelings.

No one enjoys being alone and sad, but if you are feeling upset because of your LDR, you should recognize your emotions and let it out. Hit the gun range or throw a baseball around with a friend; do what you need to so you can feel better soon.

You may want to use a journal or notebook to let your feelings out. During fights or when you feel especially angry at your partner, it might be helpful to address your journal entries to him directly. You don’t have to tell him what you wrote, but let it out. That way, it doesn’t just bottle up inside of you.

12. Practice mindfulness.

Try not to dwell on the past and what your relationship was like when he was here. Likewise, don’t live in the future, only focusing on the next time you’ll get to see or talk to him. Neither is healthy if done in excess. Instead, be in the present. Learn about mindfulness; it can greatly help your mental health.

Connect In Person

13. Set ground rules to manage expectations.

It’s important to come to an agreement on how to manage expectations, like how often you will visit each other and whether you will date other people. Then, if you do date others, you need to decide if you will tell your lover about it. 

Will you talk to each other every day or once a week? These details matter, so discuss the hard stuff, so you’re both on the same page.

14. Visit each other often.

Sometimes, it takes more than phone conversations to connect with your partner. You need to see each other face-to-face. This allows you to bond physically instead of just emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.

15. Give each other something special to hold on to.

Consider keeping an old t-shirt to wear to sleep in and give your love something special to keep, too. This way, you can stay connected even while you’re apart. 

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16. Plan visits ahead of time.

Of course, surprise your partner every once in a while. However, planning visits will ensure your time together isn’t wasted on trying to decide what to do together. Instead, make plans, do something fun together, and make time to connect physically.

17. Minimize goodbyes.

If your partner regularly goes on business trips, for example, learn how to manage your farewells. If you know watching their plane take off is going to cause you more pain than ever, consider saying your goodbyes at your home instead. Find a way to make your departures manageable rather than devastating.

18. Balance your visits out. 

Spread out your visits so that you can see each other regularly after you’ve missed each other plenty. This will help the two of you maintain a healthy long-distance relationship.

19. Leave little surprises.

When you do visit, be sneaky and leave little presents around the place. This way, he can find them once you’re gone and will think of you. This is a great way to remind him you exist and care very much about him.

20. Prioritize your partner.

Prioritize your partner

Take time off work and away from friends and family when your partner visits. If they are visiting you to spend time with you, you want to make sure they feel special.

21. Don’t waste time when together.

Remember, the time you get to spend together is precious. Don’t spend the whole time talking or dealing with something you could just as easily do over the phone. Talk about the big, important stuff, but don’t overdo the talking. Cuddle and enjoy your time together.

22. Work through big issues in person.

If you have heavy conversations that you need to talk about, try to have these conversations in person, so you can best deal with them together. Don’t just fight in person, though. Rather, use your time to work through issues together in a healthy way.

Long-Distance Communication

23. Avoid too much communication.

When you first enter a long distance relationship, it’s tempting to over-communicate. Avoid this; you will run out of things to talk about and may get burned out fast.

24. Be honest with each other.

When talking to your partner, it’s important to talk about more things than just how much you love and miss each other. Don’t get me wrong; expressing your love is important, but so is telling him about the mundane things going on in your world. 

25. Set up healthy communication patterns.

Invest in a good hands-free headset. According to Time magazine, having your partner talking in your ear like that makes it feel like they are in the room with you. It helps you get closer to one another and have a more relaxed, intimate conversation. 

26. Listen to one another.

Be empathetic. If your partner sounds tired or upset, be understanding; don’t make him call you if he’s just got through working a 12-hour day. Pay attention to tone, inflection, and body language if you are video chatting.

27. Find a way to video chat.

Sometimes phone calls just aren’t enough; you need to find a way to video chat. This way, you will feel like the person is there with you. You can see each other and read the body language of your partner.

28. Send a text message every day.

If possible, communicate the little things that go on in your day via text messaging, so the two of you can stay connected just as you would if he were here. Save the long details for phone or video conversations, so you have something to talk about.

29. Use a reliable messaging app.

Before you depart from one another, be certain that you are on the same page when it comes to the right messaging app. Do you know how to use it right and get the notifications when you want them?

30. Provide family and friend updates.

This is a great way to stay connected and gives you something to talk about. One of you probably lives near the other’s family and friends. Stay in touch with them for your partner’s sake and provide regular updates.

31. Set up virtual dates.

Using a video chat program, have an actual scheduled date with your partner. Set a time, dress up, and eat together. Act like it’s an in-person date. Giving each other that connection is an important way to make things work between you two.

32. Encourage your partner to make new friends.

Make sure your partner doesn’t feel like you are holding him back from making new friends. Ask him what his new coworkers or neighbors are like. Encourage him to branch out and build new relationships.

33. Find a new way to connect virtually.

Leave voicemails, voice messages via text, or mail/send him a video you made just for him. If you are watching a television show and a part comes up that you know he’d want to watch with you, make a quick video for him, and send it to make his day!

34. Communicate consistently.

Dr. Randy Schroeder from Women’s Health magazine said that people in long-distance relationships must work hard on communication so that things don’t slip through the cracks, destroying the foundation of the relationship. This means you must rely on consistent communication to keep a strong bond. 

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35. Find new things to talk about.

Instead of talking about the past or what you plan to do in the future, talk about what’s going on in the here and now. This will give you realistic expectations about what life with one another is really like.

36. Do things together.

Consider playing chess with one another or go jogging together. Just set a time when you plan to do an activity like watching a movie and do it at the same time.

37. Know each other’s schedules.

Understand that both of you have things to do, people to meet, and careers to follow. Know that he can’t just drop everything to talk to you when you feel lonely. Respect one another’s normal schedules and be realistic.

38. Send snail mail.

Do it. Write love letters and mail them; do not send them via email. People who send each other mail have to make more of an effort in their communication. Plus, it gives your love something tangible to hold on to and read, increasing your love. This makes them feel more connected to you. 

39. Talk dirty to each other. 

Spice things up by talking about sex when you are away from one another. Send dirty pictures or consider sexting over the phone, but only do this if you trust this person!

40. Ask good questions. 

Ask each other open-ended questions; think about what you would ask your partner if the two of you were out on a real-life date. How does he characterize love? Does he believe in soulmates? Ask questions to find out if you are truly in love.

While Your Partner Is Away

41. See this as an opportunity for growth.

Since you physically cannot be together right now, think of the distance as a way to grow in other areas. You can focus on strengthening your communication and trust.

42. Stay positive about the relationship.

Know that you have a chance at success; you just need to do the work in the relationship to make it successful. In other words, you do have some control over whether your LDR makes it or not; just do the necessary work, and stay positive.

43. Surprise your partner with a thoughtful gift.

Surprise your partner with a thoughtful gift

Does he love fishing? Hit Walmart or Amazon and buy him a little tackle box, fill it with goodies (lures, hooks, jigs, soft baits, weights, and pliers). Then, mail it to him. What a thoughtful way to show your love that you’re thinking of him.

44. Have trust in your partner.

Trust is a critical ingredient in a successful long distance relationship. You must be able to trust your partner, or the LDR won’t work. 

45. Learn from other long distance relationships.

Talk to people who are going through what you are. If they are kind enough to give you advice or tips, be open to trying them. After all, they were successful and still have a healthy relationship, so why not learn from the best?

46. Have a plan for when you miss your partner the most.

Keep a video or a box of goodies that you can pull out that makes you feel better when you miss your lover the most. Maybe there’s a funny movie you could play that would cheer you up. Have a game plan ready to go.

47. Have future plans.

Will the two of you get married or live together eventually? Make sure you know what the plan is, so you aren’t just sitting around waiting for the future to happen. Be proactive, take charge, and have plans for the future. 

48. Be confident in the relationship.

If you are unsure as to the future of your relationship, you need to reevaluate whether it’s even worth it to try to have an LDR. You should feel confident that the two of you will make it, or you won’t make it.

49. Avoid dangerous situations.

If you and your partner just had a huge fight and you feel lonely, it’s probably not the best time to hit the bars or clubs. Use good judgment when making new “friends.” Don’t put yourself in a tempting situation where you might cheat.

50. Regularly decide if the relationship is worth it.

Since LDRs take a lot of work, regularly reevaluate your relationship. Ensure that you both think it’s worth it to do what you are doing to keep the spark alive.

51. Keep track of each other’s social media activity.

You don’t have to stalk your partner’s Facebook account, but watch what he posts, what he’s interested in, what time of day he seems to have free time, and what makes him laugh. Knowing these things can help your LDR grow into something healthy.

FAQs

How long do distance relationships work?

First, both of you need to have healthy boundaries and an end goal for the relationship. Are you planning to move to be with your partner at some point? Second, you need to communicate consistently. Finally, make visits a priority; try to see each other as often as you can.

How do you make a long distance relationship easier?

Take care of yourself - physically, emotionally, and mentally. Don’t just become someone with a long distance boyfriend/girlfriend who sits around and mopes because of depression. This isn’t a healthy way to deal with things. Do things to stay busy; develop new hobbies, interests, or meet new people.

What should you not do in a long distance relationship?

Avoid dangerous situations like a club full of single people, especially if you are feeling disconnected from your partner. Also, don’t avoid the tough conversations or give him or her the silent treatment. That can lead to resentment, suspicion, and discord in the relationship. Don’t lie or withhold information either.

Is long distance a good idea?

It depends on the relationship. If you are deeply connected with the person and have great communication, your relationship can survive, but just remember that it takes work on both of your parts. Reevaluate the relationship regularly, especially during rough patches, to decide if it’s worth the trouble. 

Can distance kill a relationship?

Yes, but if you’re both committed to making the relationship work through the ups and downs, you may have a real chance here. If you don’t communicate often or are dishonest, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Instead, make the relationship work with healthy communication.

Conclusion

Are you in a long distance relationship that’s struggling? What tips do you think will help you succeed? Do you have a healthy long distance relationship? 

Please share your tips in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you and be sure to pass this article along!

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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