By: Riley Fortier, M.Ed.
What is a long distance relationship?
A long distance relationship (LDR) is a relationship in which the geographical distance between two or more partners impacts how often they can see each other. This could mean a few states away, or just the other side of NYC (talk about a 2+ hour subway trip….).
Long distance relationships aren’t destined to last.
One of the most pervasive myths about long distance relationships is that they aren’t destined to last. While it’s true that some long distance relationships don’t last, due to the distance or something else, it’s also true that long distance relationships work well for some folks and are able to last long term.
Long distance relationships require more work.
It’s not always true that long distance relationships require more work. Sure, they might require a bit more planning for logistics sometimes, but the need for emotional space and intimacy can be the same as a relationship that isn’t long distance. Just because the other person is farther away, doesn’t mean that they, (or you), are less deserving of emotional vulnerability.
Long distance relationships are only temporary.
Many folks see long distance relationships only as a solution in the interim until both folks can be together in the same physical location. Although this is a form of a long distance relationship, it’s not always true. Long distance relationships are just as valid as any other relationship, and can be as long term as any other relationship, with no plans on ever changing the long distance status.
Tips for long distance relationships
Relationship check in’s
One of the best ways to make long distance relationships work is to do regular relationship check ins. Check out my last blog HERE to learn all about them.
Maintain your independence
Sometimes you might feel like you need to be talking to your sweetie all day or every day or when you get home from work in the evenings. It’s also important to make space for just yourself and have some “me time” away from them. It’s just as important for them to do the same. Make sure you have a core group of loved ones that you still regularly talk to and hang out with to make all of your relationships in your life (sexual or not) more well-rounded.
Focus on intimacy in all its forms
If you didn’t already know, surprise! Intimacy is not just sex. Focus on different forms of intimacy and vulnerability with your long distance partner, especially if sex is important to both of you but harder to achieve because of the distance. Check out my other blog on intimacy HERE to learn more examples.
A cute way to let your partner know you’re thinking of them is sending them mail! It doesn’t have to be anything huge or expensive. It could be something as simple as a short note or a sticker that you found at a shop that you thought they’d like.
Financial expectations are definitely not the most fun thing to talk about. But, it is something that needs to seriously be considered when entering into any relationship, especially one that is long distance and will require travel expenses at some point. Discuss your finances and how much you’re able to spend on train tickets or flights and how regularly this could be possible to see each other.