Ah, long distance. Don’t you just love not being in the same city, even country as your significant other (not lol)? I have had some experience with long distance: Charlie and I have been in a long distance relationship from Sydney to Melbourne (him being in Sydney, me being in Melbourne) for a year now – we are so fortunate to be only a state away, as we don’t have to struggle with timezones and expensive flights! Nevertheless, this still means we miss each other and I thought I would share my tips on how we pass the time before we reunite.
Now look, I say this lightly – but I am the type of person to keep busy in my general life. Between college, university, work, and internships – finding yourself a general weekly routine allow you to focus your mind on yourself, rather than missing your SO. For one, I find my blog helps me focus: going out and taking photos, working with lovely people and making friends – but this could be anything: taking a barista course, taking yourself out for lunch or even learning a new language on Duolingo helps yourself pass the time. Plus, you might surprise yourself and figure out a hidden talent that you never knew you had (mind you, I bought myself a ukulele and have yet to figure how to tune it!)
Now, this might seem like an obvious one but communication is seriously KEY when maintaining any relationship, let alone a long distance one. You don’t have to communicate every day (although Charlie and I do!) but even the “good morning, good night” text goes a long way – voice memos, videos, photos all help too! If I go to a new place (usually that involves food!) I’ll message him and tell him about it so we can make sure to go when he is next in town. That goes for fighting too – communication is also important as I say “we’re already apart a physical distance so we don’t need mental distance too” – especially because you can’t read someone’s body language, it’s even more crucial that you talk things out, especially when you can’t give them a cuddle afterwards. Also be open + honest with your communication.
ENJOY HAVING ALONE TIME
Now as much as I want to wither in the fact that I would rather NOT being in a long distance relationship right now, to be honest – it’s actually a good place to be in for the timing of where we are right now: both at focusing at university, both focusing on our jobs, spending time with friends – and when we’re together, all those extra stresses (like university work, for example) – I try and not focus on. I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but I try and make my time back home as stress-free as possible, for example, doing all the readings for the week ahead, the week before I go to Sydney: so I don’t have to spend my weekend back home at my study desk when I could be doing that in Melbourne. One of my favorite things about being in am LDR is going back to Sydney and seeing all the new places that Charlie has been to (for example, everyday canteen!) and getting to share them with him, the same thing goes for him coming to Melbourne to visit me.
PLAN AHEAD + HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
Whether this be a skype date, watching the same movie at the same time or planning an actual trip to see your S.O – I always find having a set plan for the week allows yourself to almost have a “proper date” (ie: Friday mornings for “breakfast”) and so you have a set time to talk about your week and have some uninterrupted date time as if you were in the same state (plus, planning for the week and talking about how your day has been! all very important things!)
BIG THINGS MATTER, BUT DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE LITTLE THINGS
Obviously, big things like your anniversary and birthdays matter, but one thing that i’ve come to learn that it’s the little things that matter most – for example, I was having a really bad day (oh to be a woman) and Charlie surprised me with chocolate + flowers (I know, what a sweetheart) via my best friend at college (thank you delivery boy, Ricky!) – even though I was probably the grumpiest girl on the planet, muching on my favourite vegan mint chocolate cures all moods. Plus, knowing the thought and planning that went into it still trumps us spending money on an expensive dinner out.
Naturally, of course, there are two sides to any relationship, so I asked Charlie (who actually read my blog from the beginning! what a loyal supporter) to give his tips on what he thinks makes a long distance relationship work – I’ll pass over to him!
Hi there! Charlie here my most important tip long distance is trust. I know I have had my moments where I haven’t been fair to her, but I have always trusted that she would always be there if I needed her, whether over text or in person. It is especially important in long distance, probably even more than a non long distance relationship. Letting your partner know if you aren’t going to be able to be contacted for an extended period of time can alleviate any fears or worries for the opposing person. Whether it be just a short “Just off to dinner!” Or even “I’m going to work I’ll call you once I get home”, it helps strengthen the trust between you and your partner and will lead to a more successful relationship in the long run.
I hope these tips can give you an insight into what I think are important in maintaining a LDR relationship – if anyone has any other tips (or opinions) – let me know in the comments below!