Have a discussion with your partner. All relationships — long-distance or not — benefit from open communication. Before committing to be long-distance, you and your partner should have a serious discussion about how the relationship will work.
- What are your hopes and expectations for the relationship? What are your fears?
- How often do you expect to check in with each other? Do you expect to communicate with each other in some way every day?
- How often will you visit each other in person? What's realistic given your budget and responsibilities (i.e. school/work schedule)?
- Will you see other people while you're apart, or will you be monogamous? How will you satisfy your physical needs/desires from afar?
Ensure that you both feel secure in your relationship. You can do this by talking about your relationship but also through daily actions. One great way to do this is to keep your partner updated on your everyday life, including the people you interact with.
- Keeping your partner updated on your daily life will help them feel more involved in your world and your daily life. This will help them feel more secure in the important role they play in your life.
- Consider your partner's feelings when making choices. For example, going out for late-night drinks with a cute member of the opposite sex or an ex when your partner is halfway across the world might make even a secure partner a bit nervous.
Figure out your end game. Chances are that you ultimately hope to be in the same place as your partner. Being clear about your end goals will help keep you and your partner committed to the relationship.
- Discussing the end game of your relationship will also help ensure that you and your partner are on the same page. Maybe you're hoping to get married in a few years if all goes well.
- If you're both just enjoying an international fling, that's okay too. It's just important that you both know that, otherwise you might have one person pining over the other while the other is happily dating around, which isn't fair.
Make plans. Even if these plans don't go ahead, talk about your future. Where would you like to visit with your partner and what would you like to do when you're there?
- Talking about the future can break the distance and make you feel more positive that the relationship is heading somewhere.
- Planning a trip together can be a lot of fun. Make a shared Google doc or a Pinterest page detailing the things you'd like to do on your trip. You might even put together an Itinerary together.
Establish your methods of communication. People in long-distance relationships are no longer limited to snail mail and pricey telephone calls. Here are some apps that make keeping in touch easier and more affordable:
- WhatsApp, Viber, and Skype allow you to send messages and files, and call each other from anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection.
- Couple, Avocado, and Kahnoodle also allow you to chat and send pictures and videos, but their focus on romance sets them apart from other apps. You can "thumb kiss" your partner with Couple, send virtual hugs and kisses with Avocado, and "fill your partner's love tank" with affectionate acts on Kahnoodle.
- HeyDay allows you to keep a journal as you go about your day. You can take photos and add captions, and can even track where you've been through the day, then share your day with your partner to help them feel more like they were there with you.
Commit to checking in with each other each day. Things will be different for each relationship, but this advice seems to be unanimous: at the very least, say good morning and good night to your partner each day.
- It doesn't have to be long chats — just a simple "Good morning beautiful!" or "Night night!" is perfect. It's just important to schedule some time each day to be virtually close with each other, no matter how long that time is.
Don't go overboard. Research has found that spending too much time together online or on the phone when you're in a long-distance relationship can actually be damaging to the relationship. Keep this in mind while discussing your expectations.
Make sure you have a good support network. Talk to the people you're close to, namely your friends and family. Let them know about your situation, and tell them how you feel about it.
- Maintaining a good support network will help you stay strong when you're feeling sad and lonely, and missing your partner. You can even talk out some of your insecurities with your closest friend or family member when you're feeling low.
- It's okay to talk to your partner about your insecurities too, but try to avoid it unless they've done something to make you feel insecure. This will help keep things lighter and more positive when you talk to your partner, which is important since you have limited time with each other.
oin a long-distance relationship discussion forum. As helpful as your friends and family might be, they might not be able to fully understand what you're going through. There are a lot of great forums online, including a popular one on Reddit.
- Forum-goers talk about their problems, their fears, and their joys. They also share tips and tricks for keeping the relationship fresh and healthy.