How To… Survive A Long-Distance Relationship.

14 Jul






When Steve and I first started dating, one of the major hurdles our relationship faced was the fact that we lived miles and miles apart. In fact, part of the reason I held off on starting a relationship with him for as long as I did was because I didn’t think I could do “the long distance thing.” I’m far too co-dependent for that, ha ha! But, there was literally a moment in time when Steve announced triumphantly, during one of the many pre-relationship marathon phone calls we had, “Well now you have to date me!” He came up for a visit soon after and his arrival date is what we now celebrate as our anniversary.

Long distance relationships are definitely a challenge to maintain, but so are all the other kinds of relationships that exist out there. So, with that in mind, here’s a quick list of things that seem to make the challenge of long distance a lot easier to overcome. 

Talk on the phone. A lot. Of course talking on the phone is no substitute for seeing someone in person, but it’s nice to hear someone’s actual speaking voice as opposed to just reading emails. Get a good long-distance plan, because odds are good you’ll have lots to talk about! When you don’t share in the minutiae of each others’ day-to-day routines, even the most inconsequential events suddenly become fodder for deep conversation. I’ve never used Skype, personally, but knowing what I do about it, I suspect it would also be good in this capacity. 

Utilize the powers of the internet. Okay, I know I just said I’d rather talk on the phone than read an email… but the emails are nice to receive too! Just don’t fall back on them as your primary means of communication. The internet is also a really useful tool for doing things “together.” Get on the phone or instant messenger, cue up your favourite YouTube clips, and hit play at the same time. 

…But don’t forget about the good old fashioned postal service! Particularly for special days like birthdays or Valentine’s Day. Those free e-cards just ain’t cuttin’ it. Send cards, photographs (wink wink), hand-written perfume-sprayed letters, mix cd’s, comic strips cut from the Sunday funnies, whatever your heart so desires! This is nice for two reasons: One, it’s nice to have tangible mementos and two… who doesn’t love getting mail??

Schedule visits whenever you can (natch). This should go without saying. If you have the ways and means, visit each other. If you don’t have the ways and means, find a way to get the ways and means. Part of the warm-fuzzy feeling we get from relationships is contingent on the element of touch, so make sure you’re getting close enough to touch whenever you can. 

Keep yourself busy. This is the unsentimental part. The truth is, you’re going to have a lot of solo downtime. You can lie around in bed crying and waiting for the phone to ring, or you can remember that you do have a life outside of your relationship, and go out and live it. Besides, if you don’t, what are you going to talk about when the phone eventually does ring? 

Trust your significant other. This is the part where I think a lot of people mess up, and the reason why I think long distance relationships have such a reputation for being so hard. You have to feel very secure in the relationship for it to work. If you’re paranoid that they’re cheating on you the whole time, you’re just going to drive yourself (and possibly your significant other) completely bonkers.

Don’t cheat. Duh. 

Honestly, having gone through it, I think long distance relationships have a bad rap. While it’s true that a lot of them don’t work out, those are probably the relationships that ultimately wouldn’t have worked out even if the couple did live in close proximity to each other. In the end, I think those of us who make it through end up even stronger and more secure in our relationship because of it.


2 Responses to “How To… Survive A Long-Distance Relationship.”

  1. Katie July 14, 2009 at 2:06 am #

    I feel like I’m always commenting on your blogs, but I relate to them so I feel the need to chime in!

    BenZ and I also did a long distance relationship dance when we first started dating and then again when I went back on ships!
    I’ve done a lot of long distance relationships actually, it seems to be my M.O, I like the tortured love sick feeling I guess LOL!
    If I could add anything to this post it would be that a long distance relationship is actually a really great thing for everyone to go through. It forces you to be creative, because you don’t see this person everyday! I would send cookies, and mail and doo-dads and gizmos through and in return I would get poetry and stories and gifties.
    It also helps you decide if this person is really worth the effort you’re putting in! The old adage is true, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.
    While it’s difficult to go through, I personally think that if you manage it, then you’re relationship is good to go.
    And if I can second any of your helpful hints Bex, it would be the TRUST. YOU HAVE TO TRUST!!!! But then that’s true for non long distance as well, if he/she can cheat at a distance, they can cheat when you’re in the same room….

    good post! love the pic!

    • beeks July 14, 2009 at 3:52 am #

      I love your comments, Katie! They make me feel less like I’m just talking to myself like a crazy person!

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