a full guide on how to make a long distance relationship work

What is long distance relationship?

If you are like everyone else, you might have experienced it once or two in your life. In fact, according to this long-distance relationship statistics, almost 14m people are in a long-distance relationship in the US.

This long-distance relationship guide will teach you a lot about what you need to know if you are in a long-distance relationship or what is simply known as LDR.

You will learn:

  • What a long-distance relationship is
  • How to make a long-distance relationship work
  • Tips to make your long-distance relationship work
  •  What are the long-distance relationship problems you should expect to face
  • Long-distance relationship quotes
  • Long-distance relationship gifts to send to loved ones

and much more.

What is A Long Distance Relationship?

A long-distance relationship is described as a romantic or intimate relationship in which the couples are not in the same geographical location.

Long Distance Relationships is a concept that attracts different emotions from different people. However, one common opinion about a long-distance relationship is about how it takes a lot of work and better avoided. Some people even go as far as saying long distance never works.

It is the kind of relationship where both parties in the relationship live in different locations or far away from each other and therefore, do not have physical access to each other as frequently as should be.

A lot of people have suggested that long-distance relationships are not for the feeble-minded, players, or immature, they are for serious-minded people whose connection is beyond the physical and they have the heart to handle the difference. Usually, when we do our q&a during our relationship blog weekly session, I tell people that there is no relationship that is for feeble-minded people

In this piece, we will look at how do you find and maintain love in a long-distance relationship?

How Long Does a Long-distance Relationship Last?

It is hard to ascertain how long a long-distance relationship will or should last. There are many factors that would determine that and simply put, the world is simply full of uncertainties. One thing is clear though and that is that long-distance relationships can and do work if both parties are willing to stick to it and put in the work.

However, the condition – and this is probably what answers the question of how long a long-distance relationship will last – is that the long-distance has to be temporary. No matter how much you love each other, if one party is not planning to relocate at some point, then there is no point. So, after all, is said and done, long-distance relationships can last but they usually last till it is clear it is not temporary.

How to Start a Long Distance Relationship?

There are usually many reasons why people opt for a long-distance relationship. Usually, what happens is that the couple were once together, and for some reason, one had to move away, either due to school or work.

Another way people get into long-distance relationships is when one party visits a place and meets someone they connect with, even though they have to go back to their base.

Then the more recently social media trend of people meeting online and deciding to have a go at it. However, the way you came about the relationship, it is important to have some things clear.

  • First things first, the couple needs to have a sit-down and agree that they are both going to do this. A long-distance relationship cannot work if both parties are not on the same page. And usually, it is more profitable, if the decision to go ahead is willingly and not coerced because the coerced party will constantly need reassurance and that could drain the other party. Then the couple needs to have a set of laid down codes on how to conduct their relationship. The codes have to accommodate both personalities and not arranged after another person’s relationship.
  • Be realistic and set realistic expectations. You have to know upfront about how limited visits will be and based on the schedule of your party how often communication will be. You have to decide for yourself if you can handle it or not. Know from the start that physical touch is important, hugs, when you are feeling down from the one you love, is very important, so don’t downplay it starting out in the relationship.
  • Understand that your party will spend more time – more physical time than they do with you – with other people. So if you are the jealous type, you might want to have a rethink.
  • Understand it will consume more money, time, and energy. Before starting, you need to remember transportation, the extra time you have to sacrifice to communicate, especially if you are on different time zones and energy to maintain it. You need to be ready upfront for all these before going into a long-distance relationship.
  • There must be plans to end the distance. If there is no plan for one of you relocating, then there is no point in starting the relationship. Long-distance relationship has to be temporary, there has to be an end to the distance. That is a question you need to ask yourself.

A long-distance relationship is not run normally, that is why it is pertinent to be sure of what you are going into before starting out.

How to Maintain A Long Distance Relationship

Finally, long-distance relationships can work as has been mentioned many times above. However, there are certain tips that one need to know. Here are some tips that can help;

  1. One of the first things any relationship coach will mention to couples of all kinds is communication. It might sound like a cliché but it is as important today as it was yesterday. And some people talk a lot but do not actually say anything. Actually talk, about things that matter to you both, even as you also joke around. However, it is important not to choke yourself because you want to make sure you are really communicating. Keep the communication strong but give each other time for other things.
  2. There is no competition in a relationship on who did the calling yesterday. Both partners should be committed 100% to make the relationship work. There has to be a genuine willingness on both sides.
  3. Avoid distrust as much as you can. Try to be as reasonable as possible and not try to give in to unwarranted suspicions, it does no good for your relationship.
  4. Be romantic. Nothing stops couples in a long-distance relationship from being as romantic as the next person. Constantly do things for each other that will the other person smile.
  5. Try to both plan visits as much as possible. Make sure that as much as you can, you see each other.
  6. Have supportive friends and have fun. Don’t just keep yourself away from people wallowing in self-pity because you are in a long-distance relationship. It is not a death sentence. Have friends who genuinely love you, so they can help with loneliness and just so you can have a life.
  7. Be honest. There is nothing like dishonesty to destroy a relationship. Stay open and straightforward.
  8. Avoid tempting yourself by getting too close to members of the opposite sex that will make you start questioning your relationship.
  9. Be optimistic. A long-distance relationship is not doomed. Yours can work too, so stay positive.
  10. Have a plan on when the distance will be bridged. The distance can only be temporary or there is no point.

Long-Distance Relationship Activities You Should Engage In:

The long-distance can seem to surmount but it does not necessarily have to put an end to fun activities that you both can engage it. With the help of technology these days, the couple can still have some fun together.

  • Play a game together online. You can play a game together online either while skyping or individually and then talk about the result with each other. Share ideas and usually those kinds of things always bring up other topics for discussion.
  • Watch a movie together. Technology really has made everything easier. You both should decide on a movie that would interest you both or sometimes, one party will have to stretch to watch what the other loves. Watch the movie and then find time to discuss it later.
  • You can take a virtual vacation by each going to a place you have never visited or take turns as your schedules permit. Then send pictures and videos about the vacation and talk to each other about your experiences.
  • Go on a virtual date. It does not matter what is on the table, the most important thing is both of you dress up, go somewhere quiet with your laptop and have a date via skype or even video chat. It can be a coffee date or a dinner date, whatever appeals to you both.
  • Spend time planning your next visit. Make sure it is not bland or boring. Considering you both do not see each other often, you need to make sure your visits are memorable. Whoever is doing the traveling at that time does not matter; you can both talk about all the activities you will like to do when you see each other or even talk about how you want to stay in if that is your choice.
  • Write to each other. Do not just dwell on text messages and chats. Actually, write a long letter and send it either via email or even post. You can talk about virtually anything as far as it will put a smile on your partner’s face and make them think of you.
  • You can register for a course and learn something together. Then you can serve as each other’s accountability partner in making sure you are paying attention and studying what you were taught.

How to Make Your Long Distance Relationship Work

It has always been said that men and women think and act differently. So, it can be concluded that the way a man handles long-distance relationships might be different from the way a woman will go about it. As a girlfriend, you need to, therefore, learn how to maintain a long-distance relationship with your boyfriend.

  • Communication is key. This is not a cliché even though it has been hammered many times; it is actually true. Try to make sure your line of communication with your boyfriend is strong. Send messages, chat, and talk on the phone as much as you can. And don’t just keep the message bland; actually, talk about things that matter to you both.
  • You will need to trust him. Trust is important in any relationship and even much more in a long-distance relationship. Men, in particular, will not want to be questioned and suspected, every move they make. If you want to be in a long-distance relationship, be ready to trust your man.
  • Be realistic and understanding. If you give him grieve over the time he has to be at work or even hang out with friends, you will most likely be pushing him away and not drawing him closer. Be realistic with your demands of his time. He has other things he has to take care of as well, understand.
  • You don’t have to talk too often about your male co-worker at work; that will just make him jealous.
  • Plan visits with him

Long-Distance Relationship Questions People Ask

It is quite expected that a lot of questions trail long-distance relationship because of the uniqueness of the relationship. It is also necessary that anyone planning to enter into ask themselves and their partner some pertinent questions.

Some frequently asked questions about long-distance relationships include;

  • Are long-distance relationships common? Yes, more common than you will think but not as common as couples who live in the same geographical area.
  • Is long-distance relationship the same with an online relationship? Well, no but the online relationship is a type of long-distance relationship where the couple met online and continue online. There are other forms of long-distance relationships where the couple met physically or did not start out long distance.
  • Do long-distance relationships last? Yes, they do. They just need more work put in.
  • Do couples in a long-distance relationship have a satisfying relationship? Yes, they do. In fact, some people choose to be in long-distance relationships deliberately because of their personality.
  • How often should long-distance couples visit one another? It will depend on the distance between the geographical locations of the couples and other circumstances like work and school.
  • Do couples in a long-distance relationship cheat more? The personalities of the couples in the relationship determine whether there will be cheating or not. Long-distance is not what determines how people cheat. But there is a type of temptation that comes with being in a long-distance relationship.
  • How do you keep love? By making more efforts to communicate and keep the effort to reignite the love at all times.

Check this post for a full list of all LDR frequently asked questions

Long-Distance Relationship Questions You Need to Ask and Get Answers To

Some pertinent questions to ask when going into a long-distance relationship include;

  • How long is the long-distance going to last before one of us relocates?
  • Who is going to be relocating?
  • How often do we communicate? Talk about your schedules and work around it.
  • How often do we visit the long distance and how do we shuffle it?
  • Can we trust each other?
  • Are we open to doing other fun activities to rekindle our love?
  • Are we up for this?

Remember that the point of this discussion is to be truthful to each other and know if long distance is a good idea for both of you.

The Best Romantic Ideas for A Long Distance Relationship

Due to the fact that there is no luxury of physical access in the long-distance relationship, it is important to be creative and has different ideas for keeping the relationship romantic. The distance is not a barrier to doing romantic things. Here are some examples that can come in handy.

  • Send good morning and good night text and if you can call. There is nothing as refreshing as hearing from the one you love first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. If you live in a place with different time zones, learn the time difference, and work with it. It makes your partner remember you throughout the day and in their dreams.
  • Intermittently, send photos of your day. If you see something that was funny or interesting, send it to your partner and have a good laugh together.
  • Send gifts, especially surprise gifts. With the help of e-commerce, you can order them a gift and have it delivered to them wherever they are.
  • Give each other compliments. Talk about how great your partner is and how great they have been handling the distance. That will motivate me to do more. Also, show each other pictures of a new hairstyle or new wear and when your partner does, throw a compliment.
  • Celebrate important dates. Distance is not a barrier. Send a gift, use a webcam or skype to spend the time together, or be in constant communication on such dates.
  • Visit often and spend time together during the visits.

Discover a list of the best long-distance relationship gifts to send to a loved one.

10 Long-Distance Relationship Quotes You Need to Know

Like practically everything else, there is long distance relationship quotes that you can take and hold on to dearly to keep you going when the going gets tough. Here are just a few of them.

  1. “The simple lack of her is more to me than others’ presence.” – Edward Thomas
  2. I’ll turn my back and walk away, away from the pain. Scream it loud, drown it out by the sound of the rain. Listen up, I’ve had enough all this waiting. I need you more right now than I ever did!” – Hawthorne Heights “Somewhere In Between”
  3. “Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.” – Thomas Fuller
  4. Missing someone gets easier every day because even though you are one day further from the last time you saw them, you are one day closer to the next time you will.” – Unknown
  5. “Distance means so little when someone means so much.” – Unknown
  6. “We are the perfect couple, we’re just not in the perfect situation.” – Unknown
  7. “Absence is to love as wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small and kindles the great.” – Roger de Bussy-Rabutin
  8. “Just because things are not at their best right now does not mean that we should give up. Gold is tested in fire and something precious like love needs distance to be tested.” – Olga Peters
  9. “Love is missing someone whenever you’re apart, but somehow feeling warm inside because you’re close in heart.” – Kay Knudsen

6 Long-Distance Relationship Problem You Might Face

There are quite a number of problems that long-distance relationships couples pass through. Some of these problems can occur even when there is no distance involved but the distance seems to elevate some of these things if they are not checked.

  1. The first problem is a communication problem. Communication problems can come in different ways in a long-distance relationship. Sometimes, it is time zone difference hampering on the couple’s willingness to talk, especially if the time difference is such that one is busy when the other is free and vice versa. Also, technology really does not portray emotions and expressions. It is easier to misunderstand your partner over the phone than when you are looking at the person.
  2. When one person is making more effort than the other, it can cause a serious problem. The partner doing the work will definitely feel drained someday and fight back.
  3. Trust issues. Any relationship without trust is already hanging on a thread. But what makes it worse in a long distance is that there is no physical access to actually be able to confirm and be sure the suspicions are not valid. When there is no trust in a long-distance relationship, it causes a strain in the relationship.
  4. The different parties might start depending on another physical person more than their partner. Sometimes, it’s a work colleague or neighbor, or classmate. And when this happens, it is bound to affect the relationship because one has more physical access to the person than they do their partner.
  5. When there is no openness from one or both parties, it could pose a problem. Couples in a long-distance relationship have to be more open to each other because of the distance.

5 Things Not to Do in A Long Distance Relationship

  1. Mechanical Dating
    When something becomes mechanical or when you do something by rote, then it means that you have become used to a system or method, a particular way of doing things. Avoid this in your LDR, be that partner who is willing to spice things up, shake things up a bit, you know. Don’t be afraid to change the status quo, don’t become predictable but give your partner something nice to look forward to.
  2. Absent-minded Texting
    You already know that distance is a barrier to making your love life sweet but don’t add communication to that list, ensure that when you are communicating with your partner, you are giving your 100% attention. Don’t engage in monosyllabic answers like ‘ok’, ‘yes’, ‘alright’. Don’t leave messages on “read” without replying unless you took permission to go do something, don’t put the call on hold or watch a movie while you talk to your partner unless it was agreed upon (which is quite rare). Whatever you do, ensure that your partner doesn’t come second place in line but is a priority at that moment.
  3. Avoiding Confrontation
    Don’t make the mistake of avoiding confrontation when there is a misunderstanding or an argument, many people do this because they think it is the best way to go but it only results in a toxic relationship. When you avoid addressing issues and settling them, you are only leaving room for resentment.
  4. Excess Dose of Jealousy
    A tidy dose of jealousy is good for the soul and helps keep the relationship new and all lovey-dovey but don’t get into the pit of being overly jealous, it projects insecurity, doubt, fear and ultimately distrust in your partner. You start to second guess everything your partner does and say and this does not make for a healthy relationship.
  5. Pretending
    You’ll be surprised at the number of people who actually engage in this. As much as you want peace to reign and you want to make your relationship work despite the geographical distance, it is equally important that you are also honest, transparent and direct with your feelings and emotions. Don’t pretend just to keep the ‘ship’ going, it will only end up in you bottling up and by the time you are ready to be honest and lay all your cards out, the issue might escalate beyond repair.

Like it has been said many times, above, the long-distance relationship works, so don’t look at it with negativity. If the person is worth it, you can give it a try.  Just remember it will need more work but there are tons of apps that can help make it easier.

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