Research has revealed lots of interesting things about long-distance relationships. Although it encourages this unique arrangement, today, there are more red flags to it than the success rates. Technology has made romance a lazy affair. But no more of that!
We are breaking the rules of today and bringing the spark back in long-distance relationships. These 20 tips would return the charming essence of every long-distance relationship to its former glory.
So, if you have been looking for some real tips for sustaining your long-distance relationship rather than the monotonous and inefficient ones, you have come to the right place! Read on to unlock the unthinkable ways of unlocking a happy long-distance relationship.
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Keep It Old School by Being Pen Pals
There is a reason why so many people were able to retain their relationships irrespective of the distance so successfully all these years. Why do you think the romance in the song Kabootar Ja was such a hit back then and is still looked up to even now by so many people?
The thing with technology is that it becomes too impersonal too soon. Nothing is private anymore. All your so-called ‘encrypted messages’ are also stored by the government and used for any security purposes that may be required. And I don’t have anything against it, but the point is that romance is a private affair. It loses its essence the moment you share it with someone who does not appreciate it enough.
Instead of using long emails like many ‘relationship bloggers’ may advise you to do, try writing elaborate letters. Pen down your thoughts on a piece of paper. It will be more satisfying than any email. While I am not discarding the use of emails in a long-distance relationship completely as they are quick and convenient, I am simply encouraging you to take your romance in an older and simpler time where everything wasn’t so rushed.
The Phone is Not Your Friend
Continuing the above thought, phones are anything but your friends. This may be a completely biased point of view, given that I am a fan of old school romance. But I truly feel that conversations over a phone leave much room for issues.
Avoid talking to each other for longer durations. Even texting all day is toxic even if it means that your texts only consist of “I love you” and kiss emojis. They are anything but romantic. Couples who talk constantly tend to give in to non-verbal communication so much that they are highly likely to get frustrated and dissatisfied with their relationship.
Moreover, you become so engrossed in your phone that you miss out on everything else that goes on around you. And that is unhealthy even for a close distance relationship.
Right now, the most convenient thing for you to do is reject this thought completely and continue happily chatting with your partner, but do you think that is a good philosophy to follow if you want to have a long-term relationship with your significant other?
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Avoid Having Unrealistic Expectations with Each Other
Thanks to the filters and free editing apps, no one looks the same online as how they look in real life. Since most relationships these days begin on the internet, you have a preconceived idea about how your partner would look in real life with just one glance at their profile picture. And that, my friends, gives rise to the unrealistic expectations that the subheading is pointing at.
Countless relationships break every day because of this and it is not only limited to looks. If you have ever dated an introvert, you would know how transformational they are over the phone as opposed to when you actually meet them in real life.
Long-distance relationships survive on the pillars of expectations and future plans so, imagine what would happen if the former one would collapse!
Check In. Do Not Keep a Check on!
I know you are possessive because you are away. And sometimes, you don’t intentionally stalk your partner. But if you are dating someone who always knows the difference between checking in and keeping a check on, you would be in deep trouble. Your relationship may begin to struggle and become extremely short-lived, which is not our motive here.
So, what do you do when you want to know what your partner is doing when in a long-distance relationship?
That’s right! You check in.
Those of you who are acing this concept know exactly what I am implying here. Being in a long-distance relationship currently, I know my boyfriend’s whereabouts to the tee. I even know what he is doing right now. But that is because I show my concern and never my insecurity. And that is the part that we all need to work on.
A simpler way of putting this is by saying, checking in is a more mature way of dealing with a long-distance relationship and keeping a check is a rookie mistake.
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Try Seeing Each Other Every Three Months
People change in 21 days but I say you should meet in at least three months because it keeps the excitement alive. When you begin to procrastinate your visitations, you are practically digging a grave to bury your dead relationship in. Quite a strong metaphor but it is the truth.
And even when you meet, make sure that you don’t spend all your time travelling. Make sure that you find some quiet alone time and engage in physical romance, too. It is one of the most important aspects of any successful relationship.
See the Relationship as an Opportunity to Explore Places Together
I made a huge mistake with my relationship of meeting my partner either in his city or in mine. Although we belong to the same city, I moved out and now it has become a ritual that if we want to meet, it has to be in either of the two cities. And it is frustrating now. So now, we cannot wait to explore newer places.
Don’t make the same mistake as I did. Instead of meeting at either of the cities, go to a new place. It serves two purposes.
- You get to see something new that neither of you has seen.
- It is a vacation for both because if you go to your partner’s city, it is a change for you but not for them and vice versa. And you both deserve some time off of your regular schedules.
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Send an Occasional Material Love to Each Other Once a While
Call me materialistic all you want but I find items to be a delightful perk of being in a relationship. I mean what is the point of putting up with someone if there are no gifts involved? Right? Hold your horses. I am just kidding!
But they do work. Getting little surprises from your partner from a different city would give you joy that you would not otherwise get if you were physically shopping with each other together.
My boyfriend sends me all kinds of practical and impractical stuff from online shopping sites and his city and I do the same. And each time I get a parcel from him, my assurance of his loyalty to me somehow increases. Perhaps because I know that his eyes don’t have enough time to wander because he is planning to send me thoughtful gift items.
Be Prepared for Less Physical Affection
One of the best tips for sustaining a long-distance relationship that anyone can ever give you is to watch out for that physical romance that you are not going to get that often. No holding hands, no kissing goodbyes and no sex. And you have to live with that because you know that this is just a temporary arrangement and good things are due soon.
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Don’t Over-splurge Every Time You Meet
Budgeting is probably one of the most important elements of dating from afar. Firstly, you have your own expenses to cover and when you know that you are going to have to save to meet your significant other, it becomes more like a task than a casual meetup.
Try looking at it this way – you are saving money to travel once every three months. And you need all your trips to be special because you don’t want any disappointments during your time together. So, you have to look for the best of accommodations, service, food, places to visit and whatnot. The list is endless. And since all good things come in exchange for a fair price (usually higher than what you would bargain for), it is natural for you to splurge.
So, there are two ways of dealing with it.
- Set a budget to keep a check on your finances and savings.
- Prepare to earn that amount back.
We often opt for the second option because we are terrible with budgeting. And I have a habit of living larger than life so, I don’t think about how much I spend as much as I think about how much to earn back. Therefore, we make sure that we recover everything we spend within a week’s time to keep our finances balanced.
Make Room for Misinterpretation (A Lot of It)
As I mentioned earlier, conversations that happen over a phone call or a text message often leave room for bigger issues and well, misinterpretation.
What if you are joking about something and forget to put the laughing emoji or ‘LOL’ next to it before pressing send? What happens when your partner misinterprets your tone because they are not able to see your expressions?
There is a lot to get into and since you cannot stop it from happening, prepare yourself for it. Yes, make room for misinterpretation. Know that conversations will be misunderstood and that you would have to spend an entire night justifying yourself before realising how silly it all is. It is bound to happen, regardless of how mature or understanding you are.
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You Are Technically Single for the Most Parts
Yes, you are! And there is nothing to feel bad about it.
Being single does not mean that you get a pass to let loose and throw yourself on any individual you see out there. And it definitely does not mean that you are in an open relationship without your partner even knowing that they are a part of that arrangement.
In a long-distance relationship, since you spend most of your time being apart from each other, you are required to do many things alone. Things like grocery shopping, watching a movie or even cooking have to be done alone without any help. Yes, you definitely video chat but you are still alone and that is okay!
Watch a Movie Together in Your Respective Cities
This is probably the cutest parts of being in a long-distance relationship. Try doing this.
- Choose a movie
- Decide the date and time when you can both watch it
- Make the same kind of food or buy the same kind of snacks
- Tuck yourself in a blanket
- Enjoy the movie together
Several couples do it and the best part about it is that it does feel like a real movie date.
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Missing Is a Part of Every Long Distance Relationship. Don’t Shy Away from Being Spontaneous
Forget what I said about watching a movie together being the cutest thing about being in a long-distance relationship. This one takes the lead.
Missing your partner is a totally common emotion. In fact, if you don’t miss them, are you even bothered by the relationship anymore?
And if you are too bothered by the missing part, don’t feel shy to drop in. Spontaneous romance is the best kind of romance. It is one of the secret ingredients to happy love life. Don’t worry about the consequences. If you think no one would get disowned or worse, die because of your visit, then it is perfectly okay to display a tad bit of spontaneity.
Focus on Taking Less Pictures for Social Media and Spend More Time When You Meet
One of the wrongest approaches that couples have toward long-distance relationship visits is the one where they think that it is good to take more pictures to create more memories until the next time. But if you are working professionals, how many times do you find yourself checking your picture gallery without a purpose? Let me guess. Never?
The only memories you should be making is outside your cellular world, which is more permanent than a hard disk that can easily be corrupted by a mere virus. I have forgotten the last time I clicked pictures on a date but I remember every other detail of what happened right from the food to the conversation.
Sure, photos are great but visual memories are greater!
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Keep a Comfort Item from Your Partner with You
Many couples do it and it is one of the sweetest things about a long-distance relationship. While you can keep anything, I suggest you get something that has been with your partner for some time. Something that they hold dear to them. It could be something that smells like them or has a distinctive touch. Keep this comfort item with you when you are sleeping or in your bag permanently so, you can take it with you everywhere you go.
Get Your Big Ears on in Every Conversation
Visual memories are your strongest memories. But when you are not with your partner, your only way of being around them and knowing all of them is by listening to them.
Keep your auditory system up and running like that of a dog’s. Make sure that you are listening to everything carefully. It is not supposed to be like a job. There may be days when you just don’t have enough energy or will to listen to what the other person is saying. On such days, you can simply talk about general things instead of having an intellectual conversation. No one is hanging your life by a thread.
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Have Something to Talk About. Avoid Talking without Content
Speaking of general talks, couples in a long-distance relationship often feel obliged to speak to each other as if they are attempting to compensate for their physical absence. In doing so, they end up having empty conversations that are full of fillers and lacks content for most of it. This may make things dull and boring. Therefore, avoid this and speak to each other only when you have content, even if it means that you are talking only for an hour in a day. And again, talking constantly is another sign of insecurity. So, refrain from doing that.
Discuss the Future of Your Relationship
Are you going to be like this forever? Would you get married over Skype? No? Then what is your plan?
Is one of you going to move to the other’s city? Are you moving to a different city altogether? When is this transition going to take place? Are you looking at your alternatives already? Have you already spent 4 years being in a long-distance relationship and still have not decided what is permanent?
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Play Virtual Games Together
Games like PUBG, Scrabble, Poker and many more can be played by couples in a long-distance relationship. In fact, yesterday my boyfriend suggested that we play dumb charades on FaceTime tonight. (Guess who isn’t getting a gift anytime soon!)
What I mean to say is that the possibilities are endless and you can try them all.
Meet Each Other Halfway (for Every Thing)
Meeting halfway does not only mean deciding a destination that falls at the centre for both of you. It means equality in understanding, respect, and scheduling. This relationship should not be a burden on either of you. That should be your primary aim.