- Long-distance relationships aren't for everyone, writes author Steven John, who spent the first three years of his relationship with his now-wife living in a different state.
- He notes that long-distance relationships aren't for everyone, but there are ways to make things run more smoothly.
- Communication and planning for a future where you'll be physically together are key.
My wife and I never spent more than two weeks of uninterrupted time together before we got married.
We met when I was visiting LA on a break from college and she had recently moved to the area. She and I spent every possible moment together until I had to head back to school on the East Coast and we officially began a long-distance relationship.
As months turned into years, we constantly traveled back and forth between coasts, cities, and countries to see each other. Then we got married and now we’re expecting our second kid!
The point is that for the first three and some years of what has now been a 16-year relationship, we lived far apart, and often quite far at that, but we made it work.
Here's how we did it:
We put an emphasis on good communication
While living apart, in any given week my then-girlfriend (now wife) and I spent a lot of time talking on the phone. This involved planned calls during which we knew we would both be available and distraction free as well as quick calls to ask a little question, tell a stupid joke, or just say something sweet.
In any relationship, communication is key. In a long-distance relationship especially, all you and your partner have when it comes to communicating are your actual words. I recommend only saying what you really mean and verbalizing everything you want your partner to know. Little rifts or confusions that could be patched with a kiss or a hand laid on an arm can grow needlessly in long-distance relationships, and they take much more time and effort to heal from afar.
We didn’t waste any time when we were physically together
When I visited my girlfriend after weeks or even months of being apart, we didn’t go on bar crawls, go to concerts, schedule ski trips, or whatever else people do when friends are visiting. We spent our time working on our romantic relationship. I’m not just talking about sex; romance, cuddling, and intimacy are all just as vital to a healthy relationship. We took advantage of being together whenever we had the chance.
At the very least, we found it’s good to make sure you and your partner can enjoy each other in total comfort when you finally see each other. Whether a relationship is long distance or involves a shared bed, bathroom, and Netflix queue, the same components have to be in place for it to work — communication, patience, affection, and trust.
We kept a close eye on our travel expenses
While we were in college, my wife and I knew we would always be near enough to drive to each other around the holidays and summer vacations at home since we grew up in New York and Washington, DC, respectively. We always planned car trips during these periods, but during the gaps when we were at school or traveling, we would trawl the web for cheap flights.
Travel isn’t cheap these days, and that’s especially true if you and your partner live far enough apart that flights are the only logical way to meet up. As often as possible, we planned our visits in advance and were flexible with the dates. We even set up flight alerts for low-cost travel options in hopes of finding reasonable flights. Just because you and your SO are deeply in love and committed and such, doesn’t mean you need to spend a small fortune to be together.
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Source: Business insider