Long-Distance Relationship Advice: A Guide to Surviving the Time Apart

March 18, 2015 by

Ask your mom, your friends—even your hairdresser—and they’ll all probably warn you that long-distance relationships don’t work.

So what do you do if your job, school, or other life circumstances pull you and your partner apart? If you are committed to your relationship and want to give this long distance thing a shot, there is hope. Long-distance romances certainly aren’t for the faint of heart, but they can be rewarding in their own way.

If you and your partner are currently involved in or are considering taking on long-distance love, here are some tips for keeping your relationship strong and healthy:

Daily communication is key. While you’re apart, it’s essential to establish and preserve an emotional bond through daily conversations. Even the smallest chats can help. Try to call each other every night, send detailed letters or emails, and use Skype or other web cam systems to create a visual connection.

Reassure each other. It’s normal to feel fear, self-doubt, and uncertainty during the lulls of a long-distance relationship. To calm these fears, you need reassurance that your feelings are reciprocal. That’s why it’s so important to reassure each other as constantly as possible, being as generous with the “I love you’s” and compliments as possible.

Visit each other as often as possible. A relationship can’t exist on phone calls and text messages alone, so visit your partner as often as your time and budget permits. Try to schedule regular visits at least once a month, and always discuss plans for the next visit before parting.

Keep busy. By spending too much time in idleness and isolation, you allow feelings of fear and anxiety to grow. Try to keep yourself surrounded by friends and family, and immerse yourself in activities. This is a perfect time to reconnect with friends you may have fallen out of touch with, or take a class in something you always wanted to try.

Keep a goal in mind. Figure out when you and your partner will be able to be reunited, and create a timeline that leads towards that date as an end goal. Distance can seem overwhelming at times, so it can help to know it’s only temporary.

Don’t struggle through this difficult, often harrowing experience alone—talk to a Portland relationship counselor for more long-distance relationship advice.