"How you do it?" "Are you all still together?" "Isn't it difficult to be in that situation willingly?" These are just a "few" of the questions I'm constantly asked about being in a long distance relationship (or as they are so lovingly known on social media as LDRs). Listen, some days, I don't know how we've managed to get THIS far either, but my response to all of this is, "clearly there's a lot of love between us, huh?"
There are SO many things I've learned from being in a long distance relationship, and have learned about myself as well as what my limits are, but here are a few of the key take-a-ways I've learned from being in a long distance relationship that could also be applied to long term relationships...
Keep the dependency LOW
Most conversations start with "how was your day?" or "What's the weather like on your side of the country?" but other times the conversations could revolve around current events and what we think about them or "I came across this BuzzFeed article that made me think of you". There are times the conversations get intense and our differences in opinions are night and day, and you know what? that's MORE than okay. I don't need (nor want) someone to agree with everything I believe in (how boring would that be?) but when it comes to the latter, the respect for the alternative opinion has to be there, and with us, it is very present. It's always good to keep the conversations interesting while finding that balance between intense & silly (I'm REALLY good at the silly part).
|can you hear me now?|
Avoid "Dangerous" Situations
If we know we are going out for an extended period of time that could potentially cut into our "end of day" phone call/FaceTime, two things always happen... 1. a phone call/text before going out to "reassure" the other person that they're thinking about you. 2. a text that you've made it home from your night out. It's not about taking away the independence of your significant other, but when we're 3000+ miles away, knowing you've made it home safely is more important than how your night was (that comes later, of course).
Plan a trip away from your respective "comfort zones"
As much as my heart lives on the East Coast, I love traveling to the West Coast. She's expressed her love for traveling to the East Coast. Sometimes it's okay to just get away from your home to be somewhere else for a period of time. But sometimes, it's also good to go to a place where neither one of you has been before or one of you has gone to, liked it a lot, and wants to share that with you. You learn A LOT about a person when you travel with them, but it also helps grow the relationship.
Care Packages are Cool
Sometimes I'll be on Amazon (sometimes??) and I'll come across something that reminds me of her, so I'll throw it in my cart and wait until pay day. The phone call/text I get when she's not expecting it might be the cutest thing I'll ever witness. Or the time she scoped out my Pinterest boards and bought something for me that was on my "wish list"... it's never been about the materialistic things, but who doesn't like a little snail mail from time to time? Little gestures like this help keep the "awww" in the relationship.
Honesty doesn't (and shouldn't) feel like a chore
Always always ALWAYS make it a point to stay as honest as possible, even if it might hurt to hear what the other person is saying. There isn't a moment where we feel we can't trust each other. The lines of communication are always open, so this is never a worry of mine... or hers! There will be times where the conversation will get uncomfortable and could very much feel as though you're being punched in the gut, but better to hurt by the truth than be destroyed by the latter, know what I mean, jelly bean?
Goal Setting is relatively Important
We know that we're not going to be in a long distance relationship forever. At some point, it will get "old" and we'll find a way to be in the same time zone. At the same time, we also know that we don't know exactly when that's going to happen and that's okay too. Talking about it/revisiting the conversations about what the future could look like are healthy, especially to know that even though we may not be on the same page, at least we're in the same book. Future talking can be fun, and there's no additional pressure from either party to make something happen immediately. We know we're in it for the long haul, so there's no current need to floor the gas pedal on it.
|follow the (non-yellow brick) road? SURE!|