I bet you have already read some horror stories about long distance relationships. That they are obviously hard and that many of them don’t work out. It is true, but to be honest, every relationship is different so it’s not good to read about others experiences when we don’t know for a fact what happened between the couple.
In my case I jumped into one without really expecting anything. I just knew there was a strong and deep connection between my boyfriend and I that I couldn’t let go.
I didn’t know if it was going to work out. I didn’t know if it was going to last; and the most important question, I had no idea how we were going to make it work.
We where countries away. Two college students with no money to visit each other whenever we wanted to, and with some cultural differences.
Even though the first year was complicated and we didn’t know what we were doing, we kept trying because the idea of quitting and giving up something so special was something we didn’t want to do.
So here I am trying to explain a few things that might happen to you the first few months that will be relevant in your relationship and you need to be aware of those issue.
[title align=”center” type=”line”]Things You Need To Know Before Starting A Long Distance Relationship[/title]
1. You Will Spend A Lot Of Money
Let’s start this list of things you need to know before starting a long distance relationship, with one of the most important issues you need to have in mind.
Yes, all couples spend money; but in long distance relationships, you will need to spend more. Why? Because to actually spend some time together, you will need to spend money to get to your significant other first.
No matter how big the distance is, you will need to invest on plane tickets or gas for your car if you are in driving distance. Plus the money you will use to actually going out when you are in the same place. You know, for normal dates like romantic dinners.
That’s why it’s so important to have a plan beforehand (if it’s possible). You will want to know when will be the next time you will see each other, who’s going to be the one to travel, how are you going to pay for those visits, etc.
Also, if you don’t know the answers to those question, don’t sweat it. I didn’t know how we where going to make it work so I just trusted God and the universe that everything would work out our way, and guess what. It did.
2. You Won’t Be Able To See Each Other Whenever You Want
This is one of the worst parts of long distance relationships.
If you are sad you can’t just drive for a few minutes and get to your boyfriend’s house to get a hug. We know how important physical contact is, but sometimes is just not possible. In our case, video chatting will have to be enough.
I know. That sounds horrible, but it’s not that bad. Believe me when I say you can go through those hard times when you don’t have your significant other next to you.
3. Trust Is Key
How are you supposed to start a long distance relationship if you don’t trust your partner? If you are the jealous type (I know I am). Then let me tell you. It’s going to suck.
At the end I just try to let go those feeling because I know my boyfriend, and I trust him. Overthinking will just make you upset and you will have a hard time getting use to the distance.
Fighting over the phone is no the same as in person, and you will realize that petty discussions are not worth it. Arguments will happen, but let’s try not to overthink those little things that can drive us crazy.
4. You Will Spend Important Dates Separated
This is one of the most important things you need to know before starting a long distance relationship. Sometimes it’s not possible to travel. Plane tickets are too expensive or you have different schedules. Things just don’t work out sometimes and you need to be open those issues.
Yes, you might not be able to spend Christmas, anniversaries, or birthdays together; but that’s not the end of the world. You will need to be flexible and keep an open mind. Maybe he won’t be able to visit you on your birthday, but you can visit the week after.
Things won’t be perfect, so you will need to remember that the important thing here: is to see each other. Doesn’t matter when.
5. You Might Not Know How Long The Distance Will Last
That’s my case. We started our relationship and just hoped for the best. It was a crazy decision but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Although I do advice to talk a little about it. Just to have an idea.
Are you waiting to graduate from college? Are you studying abroad for a few months or a little longer? Knowing those kind of things will help along the side of your relationship. It will give you hope and you won’t feel so desperate while waiting to close the distance.
Uncertainty is something you will want to avoid. Obviously, only if you can. Sometimes you just take a risk and you just wait and see how it develops with time.
6. Communication Skills Are Very Important
Another important thing to learn from the beginning is how to communicate. This is essential to avoid stupid arguments, and even more necessary when you are trying to explain your frustration during a fight.
Sometimes you won’t be able to even talk on the phone and you will have to rely to your writing skills while you text. That is hard! Believe when I tell you that emojis will be necessary constantly. How are we going to know if you are joking and we can’t listen to the tone you said it? Just add and emoji or a simple ‘lol’ and you will avoid a stupid fight.
Things can escalate fast if we aren’t careful with what we say.
7. People Won’t Understand Your Relationship
This is for sure one of things that will annoy you the most while in a LDR. People are just nosy. They will ask insensitive questions that you might not want to answer because A, it’s not their business or B, it’s definitely not their business.
Dealing with the questions your family and friends can be stressful. Especially because they just won’t get your relationship and decisions.
8. Different Schedules Can Get In Your Way…
…and different time zones can be you worst enemy as well. This is another key information of the things you need to know before starting a long distance relationship. Are you even going to be able to talk at all? Even the most little time difference can be annoying.
Sometimes, my boyfriend and I have a two-hour difference. That’s not as bad as others have it, but they have a big impact. Especially at night when you are more available to talk.
When it’s 10 pm in the US, it’s already 12 am here in Chile. That means I’m ready for bed and that two hour difference becomes two hours of not talking.
Also, my boyfriend has a different work schedule than mine. That also interferes with the time we spend “together”. It’s hard to get used it, but there’s not much you can do about it. Just try to plan ahead if necessary.
9. Physical Contact Will Be Limited
Hugs, kisses, and playful touches won’t happen as often as we would like. They are limited to those moment you are together and you will cherish every second that you are together.
Take picture and record videos when you can. You will need those memories when things get hard.
10. Fighting Over Text Sucks
Nothing new there. Arguments can start like little misunderstandings. They escalate, and without noticing you are doubting your whole relationship and wondering if successful long distance relationships are just a myth. They are not. They exist and there are many couples to testify.
Just breath, count to ten and try to communicate respectfully what your issue is. If possible, video chat for that kind of conversations. Having the person right in front of you can be a great way to solve the problem. Sometimes the real issue is the frustration about the distance.
11. It Requires Effort
You have so many factors going against your relationship that you might feel it’s going to be impossible to maintain the relationship afloat. You will need to make sacrifices, but at the end they aren’t really big.
Long distance relationships aren’t easy and they take even more effort that common relationships. Like I have mentioned before, you can’t see your significant other whenever you want, you won’t be able to spend important dates together, your phone will be a key tool for your relationship. It’s your direct link to your boyfriend.
12. You Will Doubt Your Relationship At Some Point
Harsh. I know, but at some point you will doubt the whole relationship. Especially after a fight. Sometimes (and for different reason) you haven’t been able to connect with your boyfriend or maybe it has been days since you had a deep conversation.
There can be many reasons why you feel like both of you are drifting away. Most of the time is because of the personal issues you are going through. School might be killing you and you have been studying non stop for finals. Or maybe work has been so crazy that you only want to rest and relax during your free time.
Whatever the reason it is, you need to be honest with yourself and your partner. Those heartfelt conversations are necessary, but only when you figure out what you are really feeling. You don’t want say ‘hey, I might not love you anymore’ when you just have been feeling lonely that you want someone closer to you.
13. They Are Totally Worth It
Did I scared you with all those issues that come with starting a long distance relationship? I hope I didn’t because even though it’s important to know what are you getting yourself into, at the end of the day you are doing the whole distance because the option of being without that person is just not bearable.
Yes, it’s hard. Yes, they cost money. Yes, you will struggle here and the, but you have benefits. You need to think about the bigger picture and remind yourself why you started the process in first place
14. You need to set up some ground rules
One of the most important tips for an LDR is setting some ground rules from the very beginning of your relationship.
Of course, this applies to all other romances as well. However, something like is especially significant in relationships in which you two are not constantly present in each other’s lives.
First of all, you have to be clear about what’s acceptable for each one of you.
It is important to note that you’ll both have to have social lives outside of your relationship.
I’m not saying that you should allow your partner to control your entire existence but you have to determine what’s okay and what’s not.
For example, should you know where and with whom the other person is at all times and will you notify one another about where you spend all of your time without them or not.
This is important if you want to prevent unnecessary jealousy from becoming an issue.
I’m not saying that people in long-term relationships are more unfaithful than the rest of the world but a lack of trust in this case is much more common.
After all, you have no idea what the other person is doing in their city. As far as you’re concerned, they could have a secret life you have no clue about.
The second issue you definitely should agree on is the time and arrangement of your meetings. Who will visit whom?
How often will you two see each other? Are there some important dates throughout the year on which you want your partner to be next to you?
How often should you two talk on the phone? How will your long distance relationship work?
I know that you might think that all of these rules will kill the spontaneity; after all, it’s anything but romantic to have a scheduled goodnight Skype or Facetime video chat every evening.
However, if you want things to work, these ground rules are obligatory.
So what do you think? Is this list of things you need to know before starting a long distance relationship helpful? If you are already in a LDR, do you agree? Let me know in the comments!