“Can you hear-”
“I can’t hear y- Wait, now I can.”
It’s unanimously agreed upon that long distance relationships are abhorrent. Yet, a lot of us will still convince ourselves that it’s a good idea and that it will work out.
Many couples will face the challenges of distance at least once. It could be a solo vacation or business trip, deciding to go to different colleges or taking a new job in a new city.
Estimates show that around 3.5 million married couples in the U.S do not live together and the figures are even higher for younger, unmarried couples. Of course, the majority of people would prefer to be together and plan on reuniting in the future.
Katheryn Mcguire conducted a study in 2007 on these specific types of relationships and noted that couples who have an understanding of the distance being temporary, like having long (or short) term goals of being back together again are happier and tend to stay more positive about the LDR situation.
But even still, feelings of loneliness and the frustration of a bad Skype connection may make whatever planned future seem bleak.
Here are five tips from NYGal on how to cope with the highs and lows of the dreaded LDR.
1. Keep a Routine
Distance and even more problematic issues, like time-zone differences or conflicting schedules, may cause some breakdown in communication at points throughout your LDR journey.
To avoid this, try setting up certain times when you are both free to Facetime or Skype; even if the camera isn’t on and it’s on your lunch break. Just make the time!
Taking time out of your day to speak to your other half will remind both of you why you are in the relationship! It will also keep you updated on your partner’s everyday life, which is important since you are not seeing each other every day.
2. Set Goals
The average time it takes for a long distance relationship to fall apart is around 4-5 months. Not to get too negative!
Some of these reasons could be due to a lack of communication and hopelessness in regards to the future prospect of reuniting.
Make goals and plan dates to see each other, even if, financially, it may seem like a struggle and visits seem seldom. This will allow both parties to look forward to something. Always have a plan!
This is undeniably the most ideal period in history to be involved in a long distance relationship because compared to Skype, Instagram, Facebook and everything else, the waiting time for carrier pigeons and letters seems dire.
However, I can’t tell you how much I’d treasure a love letter from an LDR BF! I mean, what a happy surprise!
Other, more expensive ways, would be sending each other gifts, even handmade ones. Take advantage of the postage system, people! It’s not dead yet!
Long distance relationships require a gargantuan amount of trust. Mistakes can happen and the chances of being heartbroken are definitely there.
That still doesn’t mean it’s fair to accuse someone of cheating if they haven’t answered calls and texts after ten minutes.
It also doesn’t allow anyone to be controlling, there’s a balance between concern and trying to run your partner’s life. Only relying mostly on what another person says they are up to can definitely bring out jealousy and paranoia in couples.
Remember not to spring to any conclusions; your partner is probably just asleep or with a friend.
5. Learn to be Alone
An article posted in The Independent last year wrote that “relationships are essential. A major study followed hundreds of men for more than 70 years, and found the happiest (and healthiest) were those who cultivated strong relationships with people they trusted to support them.”
Although learning to live with someone and be comfortable around others is important, I disagree that it is as much of a skill as being content in one’s own company.
Relationships are very much built on compromise, so make the most and lap-up as many selfish aspects of a single life as possible.
Living alone means being free to watch the shows your partner hates, eat the food they dislike, live without their mess (or anal retentiveness) before spending a large percentage of time with them when you finally are reunited.
Take it as a gift and embrace this solo-time!
Cover Image Source: The Beehive