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11 Tips On How To Make A Long Distance Relationship Last

August 7, 2016 in Love & Relationships - 18 Comments

This month marks the third year of my amazing five-year love story where I have been in a long distance relationship – and yes, it fucking sucks.

As much as it does suck, I know it could be worst. I consider myself one of the “lucky ones” where my long distance relationship has actually been manageable to keep because my job allows me the luxury to work remotely, granting me the freedom to visit and stay with my boyfriend, who is 3000 miles across the country (me still in California and him in Maryland), as often as I like.

Long story short, higher education and the start of our individual careers took my boyfriend and I in two separate directions although it never changed how much we loved each other. Determined to ensure our love would not be hindered by distance, we figured out a way to make it work. Nonetheless a long distance relationship is never easy, hardly ideal and, I repeat, does suck.  But there is hope:

According to a recent study, long distance relationships can be equally, if not more, satisfying as geographically-close couples and, contrary to popular belief, the hard part is not the distance itself but about the “discrepancy between your expectations for relationships and the reality of your current situation.

Pretty much you and partner both have to be on the same page in terms of what you want and expect out of a long distance relationship in order to make it work at all.

Should you find yourself deciding whether or not to have a long distance relationship, or you are currently in one and not sure how you can make it work, I do want to assure you that is it possible.

11 Tips On How To Make A Long Distance Relationship Last



1. Share something that belongs only to you and your partner. 

When you find yourself so far apart from someone you love, it helps to have one special thing in common that can bring you both closer together. For my boyfriend and I, it happens to be Game of Thrones. On my last visit to Baltimore, we started watching the series together and we both got hooked. My visit lasted only a week so we were only able to get through season three and we promised each other we wouldn’t watch the show with any one else. As silly as that sounds, it became “our thing” and wanted to keep that way. It gave us something to look forward to when talking on the phone and something to bitch about if one of us was too far behind or too far ahead in the series. Figuring out “your thing” with your partner, whether that’s scheduling in video game night together every Wednesday or Sunday night Skype dates, provides another level of intimacy despite the miles in between.


2. Simply enjoy each other’s company when you see each other.

That seems obvious but the one question people always seem to ask me when I mention I am going to visit my boyfriend or when boyfriend is in town is “What do guys have planned?” As mentioned in this other Buzzfeed article about long distance relationships, I learned to not cram so much stuff to do when I see my partner but to instead enjoy the “mellow stuff.” What people don’t seem to understand is when you can only afford to see your boyfriend every three months (tickets get pricey and I still have to coordinate both our work schedules), all I care about when I do see him is being wrapped up in his arms, having crazy monkey sex and simply just being around him. As someone who personally enjoys being out on the town exploring the next place to check out, I had to remind myself that the limited time I have with my boyfriend is precious and just spending time with him doing absolutely nothing means so more than us trying to do a bunch a shit in such a short amount of time. Enjoying the mellow stuff (hand holding, laughing at each other and just hanging out) is something you’ll find more valuable especially since you are not able to do that as often as you’d like.


3. Live like you’re single.

No, I do not mean cheat. When you spend a significant time away from your partner, you have a chance to really focus on yourself and develop a stronger sense of independence. Throw yourself into work, learn a new skill and hang out with your friends. Not only will it help you feel less lonely but also reminds you that you have a life outside your relationship. For me, being involved in a company that allows me to explore my passion for travel and social media, as well as enjoying time with family and friends, makes the time until see my boyfriend again fly right by and always gives me something interesting to tell him about whenever we talk. With that being said,


4. You don’t always have to talk to each other.

While studies have shown the key to any successful long distance relationship is communication, no need to indulge in excessive communication when you really have nothing to say – that’s a great way to start getting tired of each other.


5. Don’t play games.

In terms of communication, when all you have are  phone calls, text messages or Skype, if something is the matter, be honest with your partner and let them know how you are really feeling. Long distance means an inability to read body language or interpret tones in voice. You should never expect your partner to read your mind when you say “You’re fine” and you really aren’t, and then you proceed to get upset when they don’t inquiry further.


6. Schedule visits.

There’s nothing like counting down the days until you next each other to give you something to look forward to. Emma Dargie, a PhD student in clinical psychology at Queen’s University who has studied hundreds of long-distance daters, mentioned that “Those who are certain of when they will be in the same city as their partner … seem to cope better with the distance.” Decide how often you can see each other or what works best for your situation. For me, it is much easier to fly out to see my boyfriend (due to me being able to work remotely and the fact that he has his own place),  than it is for him to see me (where we works crazy hours as a nurse and I live with my parents so we have no place to stay). Since he can’t always fly out to me, we take turns paying for the airfare when I fly out to him.


7. Set some ground rules.

Obviously being in a long distance relationship means a lack of physical contact. It is important to lay some ground rules with your partner on what you are allowed or not allowed to do. Are you okay with your partner going on dates as long as they do not get intimate with that person? (This I do allow my boyfriend to do). Perhaps you decide to explore an open relationship while you are separated – what are the limitations? Having an open and honest conversation about exclusivity can help eliminate the chance for cheating to occur and feelings of betrayal to arise because you have already addressed each other’s needs and set the necessary boundaries.


8. Keep each other in the loop.

It is very easy to become jealous when your partner does not respond to you right a way, they tell you they went out somewhere or they hung out with someone after the fact. Whenever my boyfriend and I know we might not be able to answer calls, will be busy or will be going out, we always give each other a heads so we aren’t left wondering what the other is up to.


9. Send pictures.

I text my boyfriend pretty much every day but whenever  he sends me a photo of himself my heart stops every time. When you spent so much time apart, seeing how your partner dressed that day or how sexy they look naked reminds you that they are real and just makes you that much more excited to see them again. For me, I also find it fascinating to being able to get a glimpse into his life on the same day we are both experiencing apart from each other.


10. Get intimate.

Just because you are not in the same town or state doesn’t mean you should let the fire die. From sexy texts to a voicemail saying how much they mean to you can go a long way until you can get real intimate the next time you do see each other.


11. Work toward an end goal.

To be quite honest, I am not sure of anyone who would willingly choose to be in a long distance relationship for fun – you go in with the mindset that you will come out stronger because you share a plan for the future. The truth is no one wants to be a in a long distance relationship forever. Should you find yourself deciding on whether to have a long distance relationship or you are currently in one, discuss with your partner what is the end goal you are both trying to achieve. Some important questions to ask are “What are our plans for the future?” “How long are we going to keep up the long distance?” For my boyfriend and I, since we started our careers in two different cities, we decided once we both reached two years at our jobs, we would discuss who would have an easier transition to move and where is the best place we can both settle down. Having a goal in mind gives more value to your long distance relationship and gives you a better understanding on why it’s worth having.


How long have you been in a LBD? How have you made your long distance relationship thrive and last? Let me know below!

Katrina H.

Katrina is a 20-year-old something goal-digging career girl with a passion for helping millennials navigate the career world and helping entrepreneurs grow their business through digital story telling.

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  • Harpreet August 7, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing this useful post. The tips you shared will help people to stay connect ever after they don’t see each other due to long distances

  • theCuriousPixie (@theCuriousPixie) August 7, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    When I once had a LDR it was really important to not play games and to be open and honest. Things can change very quickly when you’re not around someone and communication is paramount. Things you have touched on already in your post. And remember its not forever!

  • Kaleigh - xoxoklee August 7, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Such an awesome post!! Kudos to you and yours for keeping it up for so long! You obviously have something special there! I did the long distance thing for about a year but we were only 2 hours from one another. We still saw each other every month. I love your point about “living like you’re single”. I think I found myself the most when I was in a relationship, being loved, but having the space to do what I wanted for myself. As hard as it was for us, I think it was one of the best experiences for me, personally. It’s always best to find the silver lining in a situation as hard as a long distance relationship – but it looks like you’re doing just that! Keep it up lady!!

    • Katrina August 7, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Thanks girlie! Definitely hard but it’s been worth it 🙂

  • Axx August 7, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    A few interesting pieces of information. Long-distance is such a debatable matter. It was great seeing it from this perspective 🙂

    • Katrina August 7, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      So happy I was able to provide another perspective for you!! 🙂

  • Lesley-Anne August 7, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Yeah. I have found that you need to know it won’t last forever, it’s really hard though. Great post

    • Katrina August 7, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  • Analesha August 7, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    What an awesome post! I love your tips. Especially about being present and enjoying quality time when you get to see each other. X

  • maca August 7, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Loved this list! I was in a long distance relationship for years and you are absolutely right. We lived like we were single and we enjoyed every minute of it when we were together 🙂

  • Shannon Schroecker August 8, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    One of the best posts on LDR that I have read. A lot of these ideas are important for any relationship – especially NOT playing games.

    • Katrina August 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Thank you so much Shannon! That means so much 🙂

  • Krysti August 8, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Excellent tips. I was in a LDR for just a year, was hard only cause we missed e/o so much! But daily skype helped! Really great read, I admire you x

    • Katrina August 8, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      Thanks so much Krysti! No matter how long, one year or three, always tough!

  • Cierra August 16, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Yes, to all of this. I know you were around when Justin and I first started and this needs to be a cycle! Many people seem to think that after some years, it should just be routine and not to worry about the little things. Justin and I are at that point, almost seven years in, and guess what? We need to do a little pick me up. Along the way, you forget that the little things mean the most. To put your phone down for a second and just enjoy life. Often times people think commitment means you need to sacrifice certain things. No! Take time for yourself and find what it is that you love about yourself. Odds are, your significant other will learn to love it too. Great read!~

    • Katrina August 23, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Thanks so much boo 🙂
      Love how you and Justin are going 7 years strong!

  • CeCe August 17, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Katrina! I love this post! My new hubby and I started out as long distance and we pretty much did everything you suggested in this post. This is a great resource for people who are in OR thinking about being in a LDR. Great Post! 🙂

    • Katrina August 23, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks so much CeCe! Reading your post and seeing how happy you are in embarking on a new chapter in life with your recent marriage means you’re living proof LDRs last and I hope me and my boo will get there one day 🙂

      Best wishes,


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