Wednesday, 2 February 2011

How To Make A Long Distance Relationship Work

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Long distance relationships can be an absolute ballache. They can be hard. They can be confusing. However, that's not to say that they aren't do-able and, at times, really quite enjoyable! As someone who has been in a 'long' distance relationship on two separate occasions, I thought I would chime in and share some tips on how to make a long distance relationship work. 


communicate
We are lucky enough to live in a digital age that makes communication a hell of a lot easier. Apps such as Facetime, Skype and Whatsapp mean that we are able to communicately more intimately than ever before, no matter how far away we may be from one another. When my partner and I were first 'long distance', I use inverted commas as we were only 2 hours away from one another but we didn't see each other very often, we used Skype as some of the more advanced apps didn't actually exist. I wouldn't necessarily recommend Skype, as it's quite unreliable. Instead, I would suggest you use Whatsapp and Facetime. They're mobile, instant and allow you to chat away with ease. Phone one another, send texts, send letters, send photographs, mail postcards, whatever, just be vocal! 

be honest
Honesty is a pretty important part of any healthy relationship but it's magnified during LDR's. Don't feel like you have to bottle things up, be honest with one another, whether you're happy or sad. Speak to one another openly about your relationship, if you would like to. My partner and I found it hugely important to just sit down and have open discussions about where we were headed and how we felt every so often and I cannot recommend it enough. Secondly, be honest with yourself! Why do you feel the way that you do? How could you work on those feelings? Talk it out! 

be trusting
Distant relationships also rely on trust. If either of you have your doubts, it's going to make for some pretty awkward situations and unnecessary arguments. To avoid this, again, make sure you both know where you stand. I guarantee you'll feel a lot more comfortable. 

plan ahead
Planning ahead can really take your mind off things. Give your mind something to think about or plan, whether it's a day out together or a holiday or a time when you will no longer have to be long distance. We found that by planning a holiday and our flat, we were able to start new dialogues and get excited. It makes the time fly by! It'll also ensure that everything runs smoothly too because you have planned everything meticulously for months. 

live a full life
It's so incredibly easy to put plans off with others when you're long distance but, as I came to realise, it's actually really damaging. You need to make sure you maintain a balance within your own individual lives. Don't feel like you have to constantly be there for your partner. Go out and see friends and indulge in a bit of 'me' time.

The main thing to remember is that long distance relationships do get easier in time. You just have to work a little harder to them. If you ever find yourself feeling low, reach out to someone. Don't keep things bottled up and don't feel embarrassed for how you feel. 

If you'd like to scroll through all of my advice posts then you can do so.


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37 comments

  1. All of these are so true! I'm in a long-term LDR with my boyfriend and I can't wait to see him again in a month's time <3 I don't regret the decision to go to different Unis, even if it means we won't be together on a permanent basis for another 3 years x

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  2. Amazing post. I can totally relate to this. My boyfriend of two years went to uni in September too, we went from living literally 2 minutes away from each other, to barely seeing each other at all. Things were pretty difficult and yeah we ended up breaking up in October for two months. Thankfully we're back together now and things seem a lot easier now that I've grown used to the fact that we won't get to see each other that often but it makes you appreciate the times when you do :) also, hooray for Skype! x

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  3. I'm currently at uni in Wales and my bf is in England, so its pretty far :'(
    however i feel like there are benefits such as getting all my work done (without many distractions) and when we see each other its so much nicer because we actually appreciate it :)
    thanks for writing this post!
    -Rosie xxx

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  4. 'posts with words in throw people' haha so true, i love wordy blog posts though... well, when the words are interesting. this is a great post, i've never been in a proper long distance relationship, me & my boyfriend met in our hometown and although we go to two different universities we still both live in london. i honestly dont feel like i could have adapted to university life without him- im a homesick pup at the best of times!

    i think it's great that youve written this, its made me consider aspects of ldr's that id never considered before! and some of these really apply to any relationships full stop, im definitely guilty of bottling up emotions, something i definitely need to fix. this posts going to be helpful to alot of people. and your boyfriend is lucky to have you :) xx

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  5. I loved this! One of the best posts I've read in a while. I'm not in a LDR but I can imagine how hard it must be at times for others! I think this post will really help people who are in LDR :)

    Xxx

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  6. All such good advice. I tried it a long time ago, but there was no trust so both of us were constantly paranoid which is horrible. Having said that when I got with Nath 3 years ago, we were a good couple of hours apart, we did manage to spend most weekends together but also knowing that I would be moving so much closer from the start really helped (I always planned to move back to Bristol, even before meeting Nath). I guess it helps knowing that the distance part is temporary, not matter if it's a few months or years - without that I really don't think I could do it.

    Penny x

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  7. These are great points. I live with my boy and it's so different than when we didn't. We still saw each other every day before, but now we're constantly together so we make time to do things without each other. It's so dangerous to rely on someone, no matter how much love there is. :) xxx

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  8. I absolutely love this post! I'm in a long distance relationship and have been since July last year when the boy and I graduated from University and moved back home. This post highlights exactly what I'd point out for LDR's (:p) Skype is definitely the essential tool, the boy and I live on skype 2 days a week which we have off work the same day and then occassional use it the other days! Planning is key, the boy and I always know when we are next seeing each other! And I'm rambling but everything else you said was so true! Brilliant post, I really hope this helps anyone who is just going into a long distance relationship!

    L x

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  9. This was very well written and all great advice! I should've heeded some of it myself when I went on my year abroad (me in Seville my boy in Brighton..) I'm glad things are more positive for you now and you have such lovely things to look forward to :) x

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  10. This is a great post - all your tips are fantastic. I've been through exactly the same thing in the past.
    Thanks for sharing this :)
    x

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  11. Bee, this is a great post. You're wise beyond your years missy!

    Hope everything works out for you. You seem to have your head screwed on and if you follow your own superb advice i think you'll have lots to look forward to with your boy :)

    xxx

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  12. Aw, I'm not in a LDR but I really liked reading this post. You are a wise wise girl!

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  13. Great post Bee, I think this will help a lot of people, all your points are very valid, especially the trust one xxx

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  14. this was a very very good post, i think for those in LDR's as well as for those not. thank you for sharing :)

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  15. Great post lovely! You covered everything so well and I couldn't agree more! xo

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  16. This is such a brilliant post, me and the boy have been living apart since September 2009, it's not so bad now but last year I was in Portsmouth and he was in Loughborough which put us 180 miles apart. Now I've moved back home 45 minutes down the motorway from him we still only see him every other week or so but it's more comforting having my friends and family around me to distract me. But weirdly enough I think it definitely brought us closer - the first time I cried infront of him was the day he moved away.

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  17. all very valid points - i did it once and turned out we were better off long distance! ha xxx

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  18. Aaaaw this is great, I had a long distance relationship while I was at uni, which ultimately ended, partly because of the distance. Now, it looks like I might be heading into a new relationship with someone who half the time lives an hour away, and the other half about 2 hours away. So, not loads, but still a bit of effort. Will definitely bear these points in mind!
    xxxxx

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  19. Great post, it was really interesting to read how you deal with 'LDR' and how you've managed to find the positives. I really admire your honesty in this post too, it's brave to put your feelings out there but I'm sure this post will benefit people in similar situations. If I'm ever faced with a LDR again I'll be sure to make this the first thing I read to remind myself it's not all bad ;) xxxxx

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  20. Love this post. I am fortunate me and my boyfriend both go to the same university and live down the street. If I ever did become in a LDR I will keep this blog post in mind because it is very good advice :)

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  21. these are great rules to follow.. but i need a boyfriend first! ;}

    excuse my ignorance for not knowing but i've only followed you for a month or so, dear, but are you quite alright? a life long illness sounds so very serious.. <3 what is it, if you don't mind me asking.

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  22. I agree with this, a very useful post, because I too am in a long distance relationship. I am moving in with my other half in September too and I can't wait!

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  23. I really liked this wordy post! I think lots of bloggers will find it very relevant as they're often of a uni age which can mean relationships with distance. My boyfriend is moving to Belgium for most of the year in the summer to try and make it as a pro cyclist. Obvz I'm really looking forward to it....naaat!

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  24. Brilliant post! Me and my boyf have been apart for the majority of our relationship but I'm still MADLY in love with him. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that! It's nice to know I'm not the only one in an LDR! I look forward to tweeting and eating our feelings on Valentines day! XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  25. I can relate. I'm currently conducting a relationship between England and Italy. It's hard, but not as hard as I thought it would be because we have such a great relationship. Being apart keeps things exciting, it means we have things to talk about. If it's been a few weeks or months, distance can kill it, but when our relationship became long distance we had already been going out a year and a bit, so for me it has just kept things fresh.
    Trust is definitely the most important thing. Especially with me being in Italy. He's half Italian and he knows that I like Italian men, but he trusts me, and I trust myself, so it's all good! :)
    Great post! xxx

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  26. I have never had a long distance relationship and I know how lucky I am to be able to see my boy everyday. But one of my best friends had one for two years, she struggled at times, felt isolated and alone but she got through it. And I think if love is meant to be, love can survive anything. September will come sooner than you realise xx

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  27. This post is worthy of being published in a magazine! So well written - even though I've never been in a LDR I found it really engaging. Bookmarked in case I need it for future reference :) x

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  28. This is all very true to the heart.
    I have only just got skype and it is probably the best thing ever for me and Ben right now. We also talk every night and we find that we don't get quite so sad if we don't see each other for a while.
    I am just finding it a bit hard with the balance part... work is taking over right now and when I have days off I want to see Ben. It is only these last few days where I feel the balance is getting to how it should be again! That is the trouble with work, it takes up all the time. I shouldn't complain though, I really shouldn't.
    Thank you for sharing this, it was a real nice read :)

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  29. great post love.
    long distance is very hard.
    i def. agree on trust is VERY VERY important!
    xoox

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  30. Fantastic post, I cannot echo this enough!
    I think a lot of people get disheartened by a long distance relationship.
    But they can and do work!
    And for the last one you've wrote, ''be honest'' couldn't agree more! If you are not honest (with yourself and your partner) then it can cause huge problems.

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  31. Great post love. I'm going off to uni this september but i hate the thought of leaving my bf behind because i'm so used to seeing him everyday. Its going to be hard, but i think if we can get through it, then it's meant to be :)

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  32. I'm getting really emotional reading this post.. I'm really freaking out about September, as both my boyfriend and I are going to Uni - only I'm not sure where just yet! We've been going out for 2 1/2 years, so thinking about being at the opposite ends of England is such a scary thought. This advice has been really helpful thankyou! I hope you and your boyfriend are okay x

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  33. Hi there, thank you for writing this post.. I feel more than ever, this situation is relevant to more and more young couples, who want to travel, and move cities....which I think is fantastic. I had lived with my boyfriend for nearly 3 years when I decided to up-sticks and move to London, from Manchester. 300 miles distance...it's hard but we're getting there and just about used to it now.... Many people have already posted thanks, so all I want to say is, I really identify with everything you've written, and think it is such a great article, and for you to be so honest and share this xxx

    http://look-know.typepad.com

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  34. I just read this. What you're saying is absolutely true! Gosh I've been in a LDR this year as well and it wasn't easy. But it has also strengthened our relationship! He chose me over the girls who tried to seduce him, although they were in his house, he decided to stay with the one he could only see once or twice a month.
    Thank you so much for all your advice!
    It's true that planning things together really does work!
    You're so lucky to be moving in with him in September! I have 4 years of LDR ahead of me.. it's horrible to think about it, we'll probably have lots of ups and downs but I'm sure we can make it :)

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  35. Thank you thank you thank you! my boyfriend is leaving the country and all i know is ill get to see him 2-3 times a year! harsh huh?! I'm just hoping the whole distance thing doesn't mean we'll drift apart, and i hope time flies by so fast! Your post helped a lot though=)

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  36. This post has made me feel so much better about everything. I'm staying in my home town (Preston) to go to UCLAN, whereas my boyfriend Luke will be moving to Edinburgh to go to university there next week. I hope we stay together, I have faith that we will and your article helped put my mind at ease about it all :) Skype times ahead!

    Louisejoyb xo | Bits&Bobs

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