9 Tips to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work

reading time: 4 min

After living together for three years my boyfriend and I have been keeping a long distance relationship for six months now. That's because I moved cities at the beginning of the year due to a job. It was quite a change and a challenge for us because before that we used to see each other basically every single day. 

I'm excited to see my boyfriend again tomorrow, yay! :) (Also, it won't be long until we move in together again, this time into our own house by the end of August!!)

However, I think it was very valuable experience for the two of us because it taught me that a) staying in contact isn't only a challenge physically but also emotionally, and b) communication, communication, communication. The key to any relationship, whether long distance or not!

So here are my 9 tips to make a long distance relationship last:

Use different communication channels.

To keep your conversation fresh and varied, make use of the different ways of communication. So maybe use a text messenger such as WhatsApp (or in my case Telegram) for short, quick-response texts, but maybe also write more elaborate e-mails from time to time, call each other or do video chats, send some pictures, or surprise your loved one with a handwritten letter or a postcard.

It's also very helpful to first learn your partner's and your own love language! Is it

Speak on the phone as much as possible.

From all the ways of communication, calling each other and talking about your feelings, your struggles, the small or big things that are going on in your life, is definitely the most important and personal way. That way it's also easier to avoid any misunderstandings. Little obstacles can become mountains when you're apart! Plus, it's just nice to hear your boyfriend's or girlfriend's voice. 

And don't worry, your calls don't have to be hours long. Just 20 minutes each day could be an option. Although in my case it's usually 2 hours each week.

Take your memories with you. 

Whether you keep a photo of the two of you in your room or you take your boyfriend's hoodie with you to bundle up in when you're feeling lonely, it's nice to have a physical reminder of your loved one with you that you can look at, listen to or touch.

Set timelines for visiting each other. 

I find it very helpful and motivating to set your intermediate goals (as well as your "end goal", unless you want to keep your long distance relationship for the rest of your life, which is also an option). Plan your next visits in advance. That way your next time seeing each other will be more foreseeable, and it's just nice to look forward to a certain date and maybe book a table at your favourite restaurant :)

In our case, the maximum of being apart is three to four weeks, anything beyond that is too long and doesn't make the two of us feel good and connected.

Do things "together" virtually.

A great way to do things together despite being physically separated is by just doing them simultaneously. Like watching the same movie (you can even watch Netflix shows in sync with each other) or reading the same book, listening to the same playlist or audiobook, playing an online game together, cooking the same meal on the same day, or maybe even doing an online blog together!

Create a shared playlist. 

We didn't actually do this particularly for our long distance situation but just in general because it's nice to have a playlist that reminds you of you as a couple. In our case we both separately made a playlist of songs that reminded us of either our partner or our relationship, and then we merged them all into one big playlist and sorted out the duplicates. It was so fun to see which songs my boyfriend associated with our relationship!

Surprise each other.

Another great way to bond with your loved one is to surprise them with small gifts or gestures. That could be flowers, their favourite ice cream, a love letter, homemade cookies, a neck massage, an activity you can both do together...

Always say good night.

This might sound trivial, but: Always say good night (and good morning), no matter what time it is!

Value your own time.

Last but certainly not least: A very - if not the most - important tip for making your long distance relationship work is to be okay on your own. To use this time of separation for self-love and self-development. Learn that you don't need each other, and live for your own adventure!

There's nothing wrong with counting down the days until you get to see each other, but realize that you were born as a perfect and complete. I repeat: You don't need anyone in the world to "complete" you. Your partner is not your "better half", but rather the cherry on top of your already perfect creation. Appreciate your relationship, but not as a necessity - as a gift.

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? 
What are your tips to make it work?

Other posts you might like:

8 Tips for Travelling Couples

10 Ways to Keep your Relationship Alive & Exciting