How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship (LDR)
My long-term relationship with my boyfriend, B, transitioned eight months ago into a Long Distance Relationship, or, as relationship experts call it (ahem, Cosmo), an “LDR”. Relationships are changing. Careers have become important to both partners (this isn’t the 50s, guys…dolls are corporate now, too), many marriages are being delayed, personal ambitions are not easily given up on, and, because of this, as people pursue careers and goals, LDRs are becoming more and more common.
It goes without saying that these types of relationships, although typically temporary, cause their own range of problems, varying from trust issues to minimalized communication and even to financial strain if you are more than an hour or so apart. And, trust me, B and I have experienced all of those, from the “Who are you with?”s to the debate of “Are you coming here this weekend, or am I coming there?”, and we’ve learned some tricks to keeping the communication flowing, the trust strong, and, overall, the relationship fun and exciting.
How to Survive an Long Distance Relationship:
- If you aren’t too far apart, plan one night a week to meet halfway for a “date night”. (B and I are meeting at Cracker Barrel this Thursday. It’s an hour drive for each of us.) Get dressed up, and make an occasion out of it! If you’re too far apart to do this, utilize technology. Plan to have one night where you talk (reallytalk…none of that “How are you?…Me, too…Love you, bye”) over Skype, and, if you’re feeling really creative, order the same kind of pizza and eat it together while you talk (cheesy…literally). It’s the “date night” of the 21st century!
- Talk regularly, but be sure that your conversations don’t become too routine. If in your daily planner you have your text messages and phone calls mapped out and scripted, you’re not doing it right.
- Share and communicate. This is one of the biggest problems that B and I encountered in the first few months of our LDR because it’s less natural for men. As a guy, B felt that he should only share monumental happenings, but really, how often does something monumental happen to us normal people? Even if your day has consisted of nothing but work, dinner, and television, she wants to know about it. We’re women; we are classic over-sharers. What did you do at work? What did you make for dinner? Any funny jokes on television?
- Trust her. Period.
- Make every weekend and visit special, but, on the same thread, don’t put too much pressure on making it perfect. Sometimes all you need to make it “special” is a couch, some popcorn, and a movie.
And, remember, Long Distance Relationships shouldn’t last forever. All it takes is patience, creativity, trust, and a lot of communication to make it work, and, really, how different is that from any relationship?
Still uneasy about your long distance relationship? There are plenty of books on the topic
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