9 tips for making your long-distance relationship work

Keep in contact, but don't spend your whole life on the phone!

Keeping things going across the miles

Being miles apart from your partner is never easy.

Whether they've gone to uni or moved to a different country, keeping things going in a long-distance relationship (LDR) can be both rewarding and difficult. Here's advice from the TSR community on how to cope and make the most of an LDR.

How to make it work

Talk

Simple but effective. Carve out some time regularly to talk to your partner about how things are going and what you have been up to. Just hearing their voice can sometimes make things seem that little bit easier. Having a weekly scheduled skype sesh can be a great way to make sure you both make time for each other. Remember that sometimes life gets in the way, so try to be understanding if your partner has to cancel (for a good reason) and let them make it up to you another time!


Be honest

It's crucial to be honest with your partner about how you're feeling. If you're feeling upset or angry and you don’t share this, it's going to make things worse and lead to resentment.

Sometimes you may feel that your partner is having an easier time of it than you or that they don’t understand how you are feeling. Talking it through with them as soon as these feelings start to arise will enable you to address them.

Have time to yourself

When your partner is away it can be tempting to stay at home and mope or just talk to them all the time. But it's important to also have your own life and independence when they’re not there. If you make friends and see them regularly it will make things that little bit easier, and more fun, for you.

Make time to see each other

See each other regularly

If you are a busy person it can be difficult to make time to see your partner, but the key lies in finding a balance.

Cost is always going to be a factor when it comes to seeing them so try to plan your trips in advance - you'll get cheaper deals that way.

If you're feeling organised, start a fund into which you both put a little bit of money each week to make up travel costs. When it comes to visiting each other, try to make it so that you take it in turns to visit. It's only fair!

Random romantic gestures

When you aren’t with your partner for much of the time it can be hard to be romantic. There are lots of little things that you can do to brighten up your partner's day. A little bit of romance can help you both feel connected.

Send a letter

Yes, sending a letter is old-fashioned but that's really the point. Take the time to sit down and write your partner a letter telling them how you are feeling, what you have been doing, how much you are looking forward to seeing them, and so on. You will find it helps you to get these feelings out and your partner will enjoy reading them.

Send a gift or flowers

The cost of this might make it something you only do occasionally, but it can be lovely to send a gift to your partner. This doesn’t have to be an expensive or overblown gesture; it can be as simple as remembering that your partner likes stripy socks and sending them a pair because you saw some they might like.

It can be a pleasant surprise for your partner and it shows that you know them well and - even though you are apart - you are still thinking about them.

Spend a weekend away

Again this is something that you might both have to plan and save for. Try going somewhere away from both of your homes, preferably somewhere you both agree on!
This way you are both somewhere new and can go out and explore a new place together.

Keep a diary

Keep a diary

It's lovely to keep a diary of how you are feeling. This doesn’t have to be every day but just every now and then. When you next see your partner you can go through your diary together and read it and talk about what you have been doing.

What if it isn’t working?

Long-distance relationships are hard and they don't always work out. Breaking up with someone is hard enough when you see them every day. But it is can be even harder when you are in a long-distance relationship because you have the problem of when and how to do it. While there is no easy way to break up with someone there are some things you can do which make it easier.

Give them some warning. Before you go to see them, make sure they are aware things aren’t going well and that you need to talk to them about your relationship. Hopefully it won’t then come as too much of a surprise.

Try to make sure you talk to them when you are in their home town and when you can leave relatively sharply. This will mean that you don’t have the uncomfortable situation of breaking up then still having to spend the rest of the weekend with them.

Cut down contact. While it can be easy to just slip into the routine of talking to your partner again it is important that you take some time apart before attempting to be friends.

Have fun!

Being in a long-distance relationship can be tough. The most important thing you can do is talk to each other and make sure you understand each other's feelings. Try to be romantic and to keep things interesting and - most importantly - try to enjoy yourself. That, after all, is what love is all about!

If you want to talk to other people about your long-distance relationship, head to the TSR Health and Relationships forum.

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