Advice for Those New to Long Distance Relationships

So, you’re new to LDRs? Maybe this is your first, or maybe you’ve just entered a new LDR? Or even if you just needed some fresh advice, and new tips, here’s the place for you.

I’d imagine it may still feel odd to be in this type of relationship, one where you are so far apart from your significant other; but LDR’s are more common than you might think. The Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships estimate that roughly 14 million people in the US are in a LDR, and overall, roughly one in 7 couples. Because of the introduction of social media, online dating, and increasing globalisation, it inevitably means that LDR’s are becoming more and more common, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Don’t let others define your relationship

Don’t let anyone else define, or judge your relationship. Every relationship, whether it’s distance or not, is unique, and are all special in their own way. Don’t let anyone else make you believe that LDR’s are any less special, or loving than other relationships. It’s simply not true. Yes, the situation is different; but the love is as strong, the trust is as important, and the commitment is as clear.

We’ve all heard the common lines thrown around: “they’ll cheat on you”, “you’ll never get to see them”, “it’s not real”. It’s all utter nonsense. Couples in LDRs do not break up at a greater rate than those who are geographically close, and those in LDRs do not cheat at a greater rate; in fact, it’s a lower rate! Couples in LDRs also generally report similar levels of relationship satisfaction, intimacy, trust, and are likely to have higher levels of effective communication.

LDRs are difficult, there’s no shying away

Everyone knows when entering a LDR that it won’t be easy. Distance is arguably the toughest test that a couple can face together. Physical contact is a big positive in a relationship; having someone to hold your hand, kiss you when you’re sad, and not having this at your disposal will be hard. Time differences will bring other challenges. Valuable communication time is eaten away. One of you might even be waking up as the other is falling asleep, and there’s much more of a chance that your partner might not be there to talk when you really need them.

This clearly makes effective communication much tougher. Add to that the lack of face-to-face time in the relationship, and it really does put pressure on written communication. As I wrote about previously here, LDR’s can also be tough on a person’s mental health, as it’s very easy to feel lonely, isolated, and even jealous at times. It’s important that you focus on both of your mental health, and make sure this is put first, as this will then improve the relationship. Arguably another challenging aspect of a LDR is feeling like you’re not properly involved in the person’s life at times, as they are hanging out with others, living their own lives, and you can miss out on key events.

LDRs are full of positives

I hope I didn’t scare you in that previous section, because there are huge positives to LDRs. LDR’s rely on many traits such as trust, communication, and commitment; and being in an LDR can help you both to improve these throughout! LDR’s help you to communicate in different ways with one another, and if you two can beat this, you can beat anything life throws at you.

As well as this, having your own separate lives allows you to pursue your own interests, and take on new projects, whilst maintaining a great relationship. It allows you to be productive and grow as a person, and you can even take on some of these interests and projects together. You don’t always have to be presentable when talking, the relationship is built on more than physical aspects, and LDR’s are generally full of fun, travel, and great adventures.

Check out this article about the positives of a LDR! (will open in new tab)

Some handy tips to help you along

It’s important that you and your partner are always looking into the future, and you should always have a goal, or a date to look forward to. Whether this is a meet, a vacation, or moving to be with one another, it’s important to have something to aim for.

Sometimes it will get tough, and sometimes you might feel like giving up. Stay optimistic, and focus on the positives. Remind yourself why you’re doing this, why you’re together, and focus on that future. There will be a countdown. There will be an end date. You can get there.

Don’t shy away from communicating, especially tough conservations that need to be had. I know that you will want to shy away from awkward chats that could end in arguments, but some things just need to be said, and it will help you to grow as a couple.

Find new hobbies and interests together to keep the magic alive, because there will be times when boredom can set in. It’s not a weakness, but not seeing each other physically will lead to this. Have a regularly scheduled night that you two can look forward to. Create playlists, bucket lists, play games, take a class together, watch movies through Skype – the ideas are endless!

You’re part of a community

A final point to remember, you’re not alone. You are part of a huge community of those in LDRs, and an ever-growing community here at Long Distance Diaries. We have advice for you on many aspects of LDR’s, forums for you to meet and chat with others, stories from couples to inspire your own relationship, and you can sign up and become friends with other members.

Whether you’re entering a new LDR, or you’ve been together for years, good luck, you can do this!

About Michael

Michael, 22, is a writer for Long Distance Diaries. He works in Data Services, is an avid reader, writer, blogger, tweeter, and was in a LDR for almost 2 years. Twitter - @mikejwake