Yeah, long distance relationships are tough at times, but oh so worth it. Today I want to share what I’ve learned since being in a LDR, as well as take this as an opportunity to share what I’ve learned from other women with long distance relationship experience.
In preparing for this post, I reached out to gather some other people’s experience with LDRs. Reaching out really reminded me that while couples in LDRs have similar “issues,” they are not all alike. The women I gathered quotes from below are in all kinds of long-distance relationships. Some are long distance because of their spouse’s military service. Others are separated by an ocean where one partner doesn’t have internet access. One could only receive one email a week from her partner and another is navigating the world of citizenship to officially close the distance for good.
The LDR label may illustrate a common experience, but when you look deeper everyone has their own story. So if you’re reading this today, and you’re in an LDR, know that ultimately, you have to know your partner and what works for some couples may not be ideal for you too.
Here is a little context for my relationship. R and I have been dating for a little under two years now. We have been long distance the entire stint of our relationship so we have never lived in the same state. We are approximately a 7-hour drive apart, and see each other on an average of once every 1.5 months.
All LDRs aren’t doomed for failure. Here’s what I and a handful of other women want to share about our LDRs.
Don’t compare distance or duration with others (Jasmine & Kyra)– just like most other forms of comparison, this can lead somewhere real bad real quick. Like I’ve said, each LDR story is different. While it may be productive to seek advice from others in situations like yours, don’t measure your relationship against theirs.
Get the support you need —“Long distance relationships can be really emotionally difficult, and the people around you assume that you’ll be happy because you’re in a relationship at all. Find people who will support you when you struggle, distract you with a fun time, or who will at least hand you a new Kleenex when you’ve soaked through the old one.” (Rachel)
Find a communication style/frequency that works for you (Me)– This will differ for everyone. I talked to people who were doing long distance from different countries and one of which didn’t have internet access. Their frequency and expectations are going to be different than say someone like R and I who are only a facetime call away….and take advantage of the fact that we can FaceTime 17 times a day for quick hellos here and there.
Have a life outside the relationship– “Long distance allowed me to develop the ability to love somebody and wholeheartedly pursue my own life.” (Rachel)
Know your partner’s love language (Naomi)— Everyone has heard about the importance of learning your partners love language, but if you’re in an LDR it is even more crucial. This is especially true because you may have to get creative to fulfill your partner’s needs because you may not have the chance to provide them with physical touch, or quality time in person. For example, R’s love language is quality time, which explains why we FaceTime so often and why we rarely miss our nighttime conversations.
Try to be normal together(Alexandra)– Not every facetime or phone call has to be you and your partner having long deep conversations. A lot of times R and I are just on Facetime while I do homework, or he is watching TV. Sort of like emulating the idea of being in the same room together, minus the cuddling.
Have an endpoint (Naomi)– This doesn’t have to be when you know you won’t be long distance anymore. Instead, you should always know/plan for when you will see each other again for a visit. It gives you something to look forward to. By the time you are reading this, there will be three days and a wake-up before I see R again!
Focus on what you can do as an LDR couple (Rebekah) — Even though you are separated by some amount of distance, you can still enjoy your relationship!! Send snail mail, care packages, and explore each other’s cities! Don’t feel limited by your distance.
If you have ever been in an LDR, you know they aren’t easy, but you also know that you wouldn’t have changed a thing if it meant you couldn’t have your partner anymore. Life…love isn’t always easy and simple, distance gets in the way sometimes, but that doesn’t mean it always will. Stick it out, and remember how much you love your partner. It was worth it for my parents, and I believe it is going to be worth it for both me and you.