How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

Long distance relationship can be very challenging, but it also can be very inspiring and thoughtful.

I have personally been through a long distance relationship with my girlfriend for around one year, and before I give out any tips or advice, I have to first admit that this is the hardest relationship I have ever had in my life. First, like many others, I know I am that kind of person who know it is going to be suffering and do not want to suffer ourselves, and I thought I would never encounter a long distance relationship until I had two choices in front of me when she had to move, break up or embrace it. I chose the second one because I love her. I guess this is the same situation as many other couples faced when they had to choose.

Then our long distance relationship stories began at the point we were separated. The process did not go through smoothly, but I am really happy we both went through it and things are working now. I learned a lot from this relationship which I really want to share with you guys.


Pretending that you are living a single life.

With this, I definitely did not mean that you should pretend that you are single and cheat on your partner. I meant you should get your own life busy when your partner is far away from you.

When I was far from my girlfriend for the first time, I did not even know what I should do without her. We used to go to grocery together, we dined together, we did so many things together even without noticing that we were doing that so naturally. After she was gone, I felt a lot of pain when I went to the grocery, places we went together, and I was so afraid to go to those places again because this time, there would be only me.

This is not how it should be. I know how it feels, but this is not helping at all if you are feeling sorry for these with yourself or complaining about these with your partner like I did.

If you are having a long distance relationship, the first rule is always having your own life and keeping yourself as busy with your stuff as possible. With this, you will not think about when is she going to call me, what does she mean with this message, no overthinking, no misunderstanding. You can start by having some hobbies like gardening or reading or even watching some movies since you have lots of personal time now.

Busy with what you love to do, and pretending that you are living a single life, then when she calls you, you would be very happy to receive her call instead of being so sad that she called you so late and you have missed her for a while.


Do not send messages to each other constantly through the whole day.

Another thing you should never do in a long distance relationship is sending messages at every second with each other. I used to do it, and it ended up as a tough lesson I had to learn.

I know that you two miss each other, but doing this is just a big consuming hole which will eat up all your time and energy. Everyone has things to deal with everyday, and your partner has even more things to deal with when you are away since you can’t help her with anything. If you send out a message every time something happened to your life to your partner, she has to reply, and then you reply, then she replies, this would go forever until you two are tired enough to pass out on the bed. This is not how a healthy relationship should be. You will not be happy with this constantly annoying burden because you can’t do anything without checking your phone and thinking, oh, did she send me a message, I have to reply or she would ask me where was I and why didn’t I reply.

Instead of sending lots of messages, you can chat after a long day together in a relaxing environment. You don’t have to be together to chat about your days, just talk about life easily during this special time you saved for each other. And if you did not send messages during the whole day, you will find out that coming up with topics to talk about now is just like natural, and you will never run out of energy and happiness when you are talking with each other.


Think before you talk. Get prepared for phone calls and video calls.

I know it sounds like kind of very normal for people who are physically together, but things are more complex when you are separated. Sometimes you have to be very careful because it is very easy for couples in long distance relationships to feel unstable and unsafe.

You probably think a little bit unstable is fine for relationships, but it is definitely not fine for a long distance relationship. When your partner chose to have a long distance relationship with you rather than breaking you up, she or he is definitely not playing you around and treating this relationship not seriously, so you should be very careful not to hurt her or him while you are not together. I used to talk on the phone with my girlfriend the same way I talked to her when we were together, and the effect of a simple sentence can last for several days since I was not there for her, and every time she thought about me, she thought about what I said on the phone, so this is how easily I could be misunderstood by her.

This situation is something not avoidable. You have to talk to each other to keep the relationship fresh, but you have to be more careful what you are going to talk and how you say it. So, always get prepared before calling your partner. Thinking about what you are going to talk at least ten minutes before your calls, and by this way, you will show the best part of you to your partner even you are far away with each other, and your partner will be even more confident about this relationship regardless the distance.


If you made mistake, let time fix it.

It is very, very, very easy to make mistakes in a long distance relationship. You can never avoid all of them.

Long distance relationship makes people more vulnerable than they are in a regular relationship. By vulnerable, I mean your partner will be more easily get hurt by you when you are separated even you pay extra attention to everything. However, these “mistakes” are not actually mistakes, you did not do anything “wrong”, but your partner is hurt by what you did only because of the distance is too long and the future seems a little bit scary sometimes. You will feel this way as well I believe.

If this happens, please do not try to explain yourself over and over again or even trying to teach your partner this is not how it should be. Trust me, your partner is an adult like you are, and she knows what it should be. She is just too overwhelming right now, and please don’t make things even worse.

There might be many ways to sort things out for this situation, but for me, I personally prefer letting time fix it, and it works for both of us. When my girlfriend is in a bad mood for no reason, I would just sit down and listen to her without judging her about anything. Just let her talk to me, let her stress out. When she calms down, I won’t use what she said to me against her, just let everything go. I believe that she does not mean what she said on the mood, and sometimes, if you don’t mention it, your partner won’t even remember what she said when she was overwhelming. So, don’t take it personally even your partner is blaming you at this moment, she just needs a way out for all of the stress comes from the long distance.

After all, time will fix everything for you. Just be patient.


In the end, consider time as non-linear.

The scariest part of a long distance relationship is the future for sure. Yes, we definitely can plan the future for us, but no one knows how the future is going to be in the end. What if we cannot work this out? What if I cannot move to her place? What if she cannot move back? I was annoyed by these questions every time I think about our future, and this can be really stressful.

One of the advice about this part I would give is just letting everything be whatever it should be. If you are together, enjoy the happiness you have when you are together; if you are separated, enjoy the fun when you are separated even it is very rare. Don’t try to wait until you meet with each other to be happy, just try to enjoy your life at every moment and don’t worry about your relationship too much.

I’d like to consider the time in my life as non-linear on this issue. Whenever I am stressed out with the future, I close my eyes, imagine the time I was born, the kisses from my mom and dad, how I grow up, friends came and gone in my life, what kind of person I think I want to be, and picture all of these. Then I see the big picture of my life instead of a person stuck here doesn’t know what future is going to be like a little child. I found this always helps me with this situation, and also with other parts of my life.


Long distance relationships can be really, really hard to anyone. If you are planning to get into one, do not underestimate how challenging it would be. However, I still hope you can survive it if you decide to do so since on any level, long distance relationships can seriously teach you a lesson about life. If it works, you will get a very solid relationship with each other, and if it sadly does not work, just let it go. Life will always continue, especially for yours.

Good Luck.

 

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Philadelphia, PA, USA

Author: phicklephilly

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