Staying connected to your partner while they’re away is tough. I’m all about strengthening relationships, so I think I’ve found the perfect way for YOU to show love to your sweetie when you’re apart. Last month, I travelled several hundred miles to meet someone I had met online. The few friends that I told thought I was crazy for getting into another long distance relationship. Personally I like them, because I like having my personal space, having a chance to miss the person and having an excuse to travel. It’s only been a month, but things have been going great. I really found someone I can be myself with and we enjoy learning something new about each other every day. We recently had a pretty big fight that took about 2 days to settle and that’s actually what prompted this article. I figured after doing this for so long, I should share all of the little nuggets I’ve learned along the way.
I acknowledge my flaws. I know that I am very demanding. For example, whenever I’m expressing my feelings to anyone, I need their full attention (eye contact, no distractions), because I hate repeating myself (2nd biggest pet peeve right after horrible customer service and and before people smacking and scraping plates with their utensils). I also know that I can beat a dead horse. Because of my anxiety, I NEED to know that the situation is settled. So until there is a clear, “I’m sorry, I forgive you, let’s move on” I will continuously express my thoughts and feelings on the situation, which I know can be aggravating and maybe even provoking. The entire mood has to change, because if it’s still heavy, then I fear that something wasn’t understood or someone is still hurt.
And my worst trait has to be my anger. I was telling one of my best friends that I have three different types of anger. There’s the, “what the hell is happening” - this is where all the other types of anger stem from. Based on how the person responds it’s either settled or I cry because I’m trying not to physically hurt them, or the most dangerous one: the calm anger. This is where my volume never changes and I speak very carefully. That’s the “waiting to exhale anger.” I’m sure at this point you’re wondering if there are any redeeming qualities about me, trust me, as long as I’m with the right person, this side of me is rarely seen. In all relationships there are going to be fights or disagreements, but I’ve come up with 5 key ingredients of any successful long distance relationship (in no particular order)
5 Tips For Your First Year in a Long Distance Relationship
Communication really is the most important component in any relationship. If you’re upset, say so. No one is a mind reader and no one should be treated as such. We’re all adults, so if your partner offends you in some way, you have to let them know. And it goes beyond offences; tell them you appreciate them, tell them you love them. It’s 2019, so there are many ways to communicate for free. Whether it’s sharing relevant articles, GIFs, memes, liking each other’s posts on social media, or video chatting every day, find a common language you both understand and can use to communicate. Don’t skip talking about your past, because past trauma is important to how you handle today’s issues. Share what you expect from each other, establish standards on how you expect to be treated and express known triggers.
I can’t stress how important it is to be transparent with your partner. If your partner asks a question about your past, or where you’re going, just tell them. It takes more time and energy to lie and maintain it, than it does to just tell the truth. If you’re not physically there, then you’ll have to put in more work to establish and maintain trust. This is where clearly defined boundaries and clear communication matter. Do you need to floss each other on social media or do you prefer to stay private. Because a combination of the two can make a person feel like they’re being kept secret and that never ends well.
I love my boyfriend so I prioritise spending time with him. It’s about respect. This person is miles away and needs to know that no matter what, they’re important to you. They matter and their feelings matter. Yes you each have your own lives, but you have to make time for one another in your schedules. One of the sexiest things a man can do is in the middle of building his empire, he still makes it known that I’m at the centre of it all. Vacations must not include each other in some way. You have to prioritise seeing and spending time with one another.
Okay, here’s the thing about relationships: the dinner and movie date is SOOOOO old. You’ve got to think outside of the box. I know sometimes it can be hard to think of things to do to show your love for your partner, but if you ever get stuck for ideas, check out this article from The Dating Divas!
I know I said communication is the most important, but this is right up there with it. In any relationship, compromise is key. There are many things you’re going to have to compromise on, including things you never thought you would have to compromise on. I would definitely suggest taking turns in travelling to see each other. If only one person is booking travel to see the other it’s going to start to feel one sided. The same with arguments (you’re going to argue, don’t run away from it). If only one person compromises or gives in, that person’s needs aren’t going to be fulfilled and that’s going to lead to even more tension and problems.
These aren’t the only tips to a successful first year, but they are a very integral part of the formula. A lot of people avoid Long Distance Relationships because they feel it’s too much work. Any relationship requires work, but long distance relationships do require more work and they’re totally worth it, once you’re with the right person and focus on these 5 aspects.