Balancing a Social Life in a Long Distance Relationship

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For the LDR community, weekends often involve staring into the pixelated abyss of your partners face and finding ways to entertain yourself on the technological platform.

No matter how little or long your relationship has existed, it’s extremely important to understand that while you’re apart, you must take care of yourself. Your own physical, mental and emotional health is always number one. From there, you can build a relationship build on the best parts of yourself including mutual happiness, trust and confidence.  Taking care of yourself sometimes means spending time with friends/family to keep a healthy balance of all the relationships in your lives.

IT’S HEALTHY TO SPEND TIME APART. It’s not abnormal for you or your partner to want some time away from the screen. Your relationship isn’t doomed if this happens. It’s natural to want the “me-time” in a sense. Spending time with people in the same vicinity as you is refreshing and enjoyable. It does not mean that you’re spending time away from your partner because you don’t want to be in the relationship. Sometimes that can be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s a necessity in keeping things balanced.

INSECURITIES WILL SURFACE, AND THAT’S OKAY. It’s hard enough being away from your partner, let alone hearing that they want to spend some time even further away with friends. If you’re on the receiving end of this, where your partner is wanting some social time, there’s a very likely chance you’ll feel insecure initially. It’s okay to feel this way, because in any close distance relationship, a night out with friends wouldn’t feel like a night out and a whole universe away. It’s a completely normal reaction to instinctively feel like you’re being left out. Unfortunately this is just part of the distance.

DISCUSS YOUR BOUNDARIES. Where the boundaries are at the discretion of each couple. Open communication is always going to be key in finding the comfortable ground you’ll both be happy with. Trust is going to be your stronghold in this scenario.

BE UNDERSTANDING. This is a two-way street. You likely both have hobbies that you can enjoy with or without the other. Being accepting that your partner might want to indulge in those hobbies as a break from the distance. They also may have commitments to school, to work, to friends or family that they have to fulfill. Don’t take it personally and see it as a normal part of daily living.

EXPECT DIFFERENCES. You may be dating an introvert or you may be the introvert. In this case, socialising isn’t usually something you/ your partner will crave. If you’re on different playing fields in this respect, you may have to adapt to a perspective that you haven’t experienced before. If you’re the introvert, it might be odd to hear that your partner wants some time with their friends. You might jump to the conclusion that you’re not good enough for them. *See paragraph on insecurities. If you’re the extrovert dating the introvert, be kind with how you express yourself. You know your partner better than anyone else, so make sure you have a calm approach when explaining that you’d like to spend some time with friends.

KEEP YOUR PARTNER INVOLVED. The most important thing is to not leave your partner in the lurch. A night out with no contact generally doesn’t result in a good mood. Wondering what your partner is up to when you haven’t spoken for 8+ hours isn’t fun. A quick text or snapchat their way every couple hours will help them feel involved and keep everyone happy.

About Tianna

Tianna is a 23 year old from Australia. She works part time as a business administrator, but spends most of her time on music and writing. She has been in an LDR for almost 4 years.