Just to clarify, I don’t think there is anyone who wants to do long distance. Can you imagine waking up next to the love of your life and saying to them, “You know what would make this even better? If we spent a year apart with a five-hour time difference!” I don’t think that’s how it happens, as far as sane people are concerned. This article should really be titled “So Your Life Circumstances are Forcing You into a Long-Distance Relationship?” That’s just a wee bit long-winded if you ask me.
Travelers are just about as hard to tie down as they come. When you’re here today and gone tomorrow, how can you commit to anything long-term? Even the thought of living in one place for more than a few months is enough to give any wanderer the hives.
So what happens when you meet up with a cutie from Tinder and, for once, they’re not a scrub? Or the same person keeps re-appearing in your life at precisely the right moments? What happens when you actually let yourself fall for someone, and the thought of being without them is worse than the struggle of making it work?
Wow, I did not plan on going deep today. But it’s a Monday morning and I’ve been trapped in bed with the flu all weekend, so here we are!
While I am no expert on the topic, I was in a long-distance relationship for a very formative year of my life, during which I traveled to 5 different countries. (All in different time zones. Hooray!) I will happily share with you 3 short and sweet tips that I think are helpful to bridge the gap.
I mean, duh! This one practically writes itself because, as with any relationship, if you want to stick together, you… NEED. TO. COMMUNICATE! (Please imagine the hand-clapping emoji between each of those words)
The biggest step you can take in laying the foundation of healthy, open communication is having *the talk* before you go long distance. And no, I don’t mean the one involving birds and bees. Hopefully you two have been able to figure that one out on your own.
The talk that I’m referring to is more along the lines of: “where do we go from here?”
As existential as that sounds, it’s extremely important to express your priorities and expectations for what’s to come. Some vital questions to ask include: How often will we be in touch? What can we do to keep our spark alive? What happens if one of us falls victim to temptation/cheating? (Dark, but it happens!)
Once you lovebirds have established a framework of what you want your long-distance situation to look like, you’re ready to get some into some more advanced territory.
If you plan to spend time away from your lover, you’re going to need to be confident in each of your abilities to stay faithful, both sexually and mentally. Especially if you’re about that monogamous lifestyle, y’all are going to need to keep it in your pants. (I don’t know why I say this as if I’m not also “about that monogamous lifestyle.” But no judgment here!)
Even if you decide that an open situation will be more your speed, it’s still super important to stay in touch with where your priorities and loyalties lie throughout your long-distance experience. Items in the overhead compartment may have shifted during flight! What matters most is that you trust your instinct and that you are honest with your partner about this.
And beyond that, you also need to trust yourself. Continually check-in and make sure you are still in it for the right reasons. If you’ve gone this far, odds are that you’re good, but some things are easier said than done.
Even though you may be far away from your significant other, this should never hold you back from experiencing your own damn life. If your entire time apart is colored by missing them and wishing you weren’t apart, odds are you should not have embarked on this journey in the first place. You need to be comfortable enough in your own skin to remember the person you were before the relationship, the person you have always been.
Take that person on a movie date. Show them your sickest dance moves. Filling yourself up will only give you more to share with your sweetie when you return.
Despite the struggle, it is my humble opinion that everyone should be part of a long-distance relationship at some point in life. I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s one hell of a challenge, but it’s going to teach you so much.
Distance makes the heart grow—Emily King, “Distance” (A.K.A. the best love song of all time)
Originally published on shutupandgo.travel.
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