A distance relationship is far from a cake walk. Most people avoid such a relationship, and doubt that anyone who happens to be in one will stick around long enough for things to get serious. Many believe such relationships are destined to fail. Of course, it is a possibility, as any relationship can fail. Heck, 50 percent of marriages do, but when it comes to romance, we millennial women cannot live our love lives in fear. What does one have to lose? Frankly, putting your feelings on the line in hopes that they will be reciprocated is a risk in any relationship.
I have been in plenty less than stellar relationships. I’ve taken my share of blows and broken my share of hearts too. My emotional responses had reached an all time low, right along with my expectations for prospects and people in general. When I learned to neither search nor expect, I was found. Literally.
I’ll spare the details and just jump right into how to make things work. Here is a quick list of distance relationship tips.
- Establish trust first. If you are not ready for all the conditions of a monogamous relationship, reevaluate your decision to build a romantic foundation with someone who lives nowhere near you. Being exclusive matters. Being faithful matters. Don’t start anything with ill intentions. A distance relationship is only go-with-the-flow in the beginning.
- Plan trips to see one another. Duh. Determine how long is too long. This will vary by couple. For me, two months is the longest I choose to go without seeing my significant other. Start planning for the next visit as soon as you leave.
- Be financially responsible. If you are not, you will never be able to see your significant other, and the relationship will be a lost cause. Traveling costs will rack up. It’s not about how much you make, it’s about how much you put aside in the name of love.
- Communicate frequently and creatively. Make a habit of hitting up your bae via FaceTime or Skype. This is the closet thing to face-to-face communication you’ve got. If necessary, plan times to do so when you are both free. Send each other selfies. I love to send #ootd pictures to my man friend so that he is constantly reminded of my ability to slay. After all, he’s dating a fashion and beauty blogger. Also, handwritten letters via mail, social media messages, and good morning and goodnight texts are pretty sweet.
- Stay attractive. Petty, but necessary. Don’t let yourself go, because this isn’t a normal relationship where you just Netflix and chill with your significant other. You have to give them something to look forward to seeing. It’s easy to slip into the whole ‘I don’t have anyone to impress here’ mindset in a distance relationship. Impress yourself. I suggest working out regularly. You’ll feel more confident, making you physically and mentally more attractive to your significant other.
- Be as open as possible. Share your life goals with your partner. Celebrate individual accomplishments together. Talk about your fears, flaws, and fantasies. Tell them about that big idea you have or your most embarrassing moment. Revealing these things about yourself to someone is extremely intimate. Open communication can build just as strong a connection as proximity. Many people in ‘normal’ relationships won’t even share their deepest feelings and insecurities, as they feel it creates vulnerability. In case anyone forgot, vulnerability is pretty much a key component of any relationship.
Distance relationships are not for everyone. If you lack patience, self control, or a vision for the future, then you may want to explore other dating options or simply not date at all. Chances are you’re too old to be wasting anyone’s time, including your own. If you enjoy instant gratification, forget it! This type of relationship takes discipline, and it works best if you have a busy, fulfilling life outside your relationship.