- 12 Bittersweet Experiences Of a Long Distance Relationship That No One But You And I Can Understand
- 1. Embrace Your Vulnerability
- 2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity
- 3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking
- Final Thoughts
- More Tips About Living Your True Self
- 12 Things You Realize In A Long-Distance Relationship
- 11. You Realize How Much You Love Surprises
- 10. You Realize How Important Your Phone Is
- 9. You Realize How Much Communication Matters
- 8. You Realize How Emotional You Can Be
- 7. You Realize The Magic Of Old Photos
- 6. You Realize The Many Different Meanings Of A Text
- 5. You Realize Your Friends Think It Won’t Work
- 4. You Realize How Annoying Time Can Be
- 3. You Realize Distance Doesn’t Matter
- 2. You Realize The Importance Of Trust
- 1. You Realize That Nothing Else Matters When You Meet Them
- Things All Happy Couples in Long-distance Relationships Do
- We cuddle and huddle
- Send “open-when” letters
- Send snail mail
- Cultivate common interests
- Make trust and forgiveness your default mode
- Stay positive
- Give each other pet names
- Make loving touch a priority
- Have fun
- 12 Tips For Your First Long-Distance Relationship
12 Bittersweet Experiences Of a Long Distance Relationship That No One But You And I Can Understand
Last Updated on April 17, 2020
We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.
When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.
In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.
Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.
If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.
According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.” Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.
No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.
When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.
Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.
1. Embrace Your Vulnerability
When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.
Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.
When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.
Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.
In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.
It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.
You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.
Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.
What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?
You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.
That’s where we all should be.
So, answer me this:
How are you, really?
And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.
Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.
Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.
Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)
Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.
It’s taking control.
2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity
You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by staying true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.
You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.
In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.
Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.
You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…
Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’ When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.
But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?
It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.
In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You
It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.
Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:
Change will happen.
Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.
You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.
And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.
You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?
That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.
You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.
When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.
There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.
3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking
Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.
In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.
If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s you rise twice.
Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.
Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable. It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved. It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.
How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?
Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.
“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.
Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.
Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.
It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.
Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,
“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”
What would you do if you felt you were enough?
By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.
So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.
By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.
Staying true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.
When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.
You will find that making decisions what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!
More Tips About Living Your True Self
Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com
12 Things You Realize In A Long-Distance Relationship
Let’s face it. Long distance relationships can be very, very annoying. You can only meet your partner very few times in the year. And when they leave again, you’re left with that empty feeling. Airports will become your most favorite and your most hated place on earth.
And there’s always that world-wide theory- Long distance relationships don’t work. But when you and your partner are determined to make it, a long distance relationship is just another obstacle to overcome.
The two of you will definitely realise these top 12 things when you decide to be in a long distance relationship!
When you’re in a long-distance relationship, you realise that every free Sunday afternoon can’t be spent with them anymore. Instead, that free time is now used for doing something that will distract you from thinking about them- a hobby! You take new classes, join a club, or learn how to make jewellery. Anything to fill that empty space in your brain which misses them too much.
11. You Realize How Much You Love Surprises
When you’re both living in different places, you choose to surprise them at the most random of times. You pack up your bag, book a ticket, and head over there to be by their side. The look on their face when they see you is worth all the travel time. And even if you can’t make it all the way there, you choose to surprise them with gifts from time to time.
10. You Realize How Important Your Phone Is
Your friends will get annoyed with you, but you’ll be on the phone with your partner almost all the time. All social media apps will be your lifeline, and the second anything happens, you’re texting them about it. You’ll keep sending pictures of yourselves back and forth, and their photo will be your most prized possession.
9. You Realize How Much Communication Matters
You and your partner will realise the importance of communication in a relationship. In a long-distance relationship, the only thing you both can do is talk, and that’s when you really connect with another person. You know they are the one when you never run topics to talk about, and the highlight of your day will be Skyping with them.
8. You Realize How Emotional You Can Be
Your emotions go on a virtual rollercoaster practically every day when you’re in a long-distance relationship. You become extremely happy and then realise they aren’t with you and you become extremely sad within seconds. It can take a toll on your health, but the important thing is to remember that nothing is permanent and you both will be back together soon!
7. You Realize The Magic Of Old Photos
You will look over all those old photos of you together and be transported back in time to that moment. You won’t delete any photos. including the blurred ones. Each one of them will hold a special place in your heart. Your phone could have basically no memory left, but none of the selfies you took together will ever be deleted.
6. You Realize The Many Different Meanings Of A Text
You will over think each and every word of their text, trying to be a detective. A simple “I’m busy right now” can easily turn into a “He doesn’t love me anymore” real quick in your brain. At these moments, you just need to calm down and wait for his text instead of stalking his Instagram and seeing if he’s cheating on you with that cute girl he posted a photo with once.
5. You Realize Your Friends Think It Won’t Work
It is a famous theory that long-distance relationships don’t work since most relationships aren’t that strong to survive being apart for a long time.
Your friends will use this as an evidence of sorts to convince you that your relationship won’t work once one of you moves away.
But in the end, your relationship is about you and your partner, and once you decide to be in a long distance relationship, you do not listen to others and only focus on the two of you.
4. You Realize How Annoying Time Can Be
Time is the worst enemy in a long-distance relationship. A day can feel a year once your partner has moved away, but when they are visiting you for a week, it’ll only feel a day.
Time passes by before you even realize it, and it’s time to say goodbye again. You have to again face the agonizing wait until you see their faces again.
But time won’t always be the bad guy, it will pass by and you’ll both be together in the same place again soon.
3. You Realize Distance Doesn’t Matter
When it’s true love, you realise that no matter how much distance is there between the two of you, you both will always be together. Long-distance relationships give you that assurity that if you can make it work despite the distance, you can work out any obstacle in your relationship. They’re not too far away, they’re just one computer screen away.
2. You Realize The Importance Of Trust
The main problem in every long distance relationship is the absence of trust. Even couples who have been together for ten years will suddenly have jealousy issues.
You simply are convinced of the fact that his colleagues are flirting with him, and you are overcome with insecurities.
What if he realises he s them more than he s me? The only way to overcome this problem is to regularly assure each other that you both are meant for each other.
1. You Realize That Nothing Else Matters When You Meet Them
When you finally meet each other after that long wait, everything else is just background noise. All those fights just seem meaningless, and each moment is cherished.
There will be tiny different things about them a new hair cut, a new dressing style, maybe a foreign accent they picked up.
But it’s still the same person, and you want nothing more than just giving them a giant bear hug and spending each and every moment with them that you can.
Long-distance relationships aren’t easy, but if you make them work then all that’s left for you and your partner is a lifetime of happiness.
They may move away physically, but you can still hear their voice and see their face whenever you want. You may fight more, have trust issues, but keep your faith in your relationship.
If you can survive this, you and your partner are definitely meant to be!
Things All Happy Couples in Long-distance Relationships Do
Happily ever after looks easy in fairy tales. But what do Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rapunzel and their charming princes actually do to make the happily ever after work?
If you are in a healthy relationship, you won’t need to draw inspiration from Disney princesses. You're already your own fairy tale.
But what are the things that happy LDR couples do?
Despite your hectic schedule, there is always time to spare to talk to your soulmate. Being in an LDR means that we don’t get to see our special someone often or, worst case, not at all. Communicating is important.
1000 Questions for Couples is a great resource for couples who are new to long-distance relationships and those who have been waiting for years to close the gap.
Before heading to bed, spend at least 15 minutes talking on the phone and exchanging words of encouragement to each other. Hearing “I love you, sweetheart. Goodnight,” before you let exhaustion take over you will guarantee you’re smiling when you wake up.
We cuddle and huddle
During our very rare days of off days, happy couples stick at home and watch movies, always accompanied by tons of junk food. Some couples are too tired to even go out and have a date, so they have a date at home. All you need is a great horror movie and your favorite food.
Send “open-when” letters
I do this when I miss my fiancé. I write encouraging notes for when he might be feeling sad or lonely. This is the perfect pick-me-up when you guys are not together physically.
Here are a few open-when ideas to get you started: Open when you’re missing me a little. Open when you’re feeling sad. Open when you can’t sleep. Open when you’re feeling hopeful about the future.
Open when it’s the day before you get to see me again. Open when you need to know how much I love you.
Send snail mail
Mail each other postcards and handwritten love letters. Send each other gifts across the globe from time to time. Send flowers on birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine’s Day. Surprise each other with cool T-shirts and sexy underwear.
Cultivate common interests
After the passion settles down, it’s typical to realize that you have few interests in common. But don’t minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy.
If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own.
This will make you more interesting to your partner and prevent you from being too dependent.
Make trust and forgiveness your default mode
If and when you have a disagreement or argument, and if you can’t resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.
Little resentments have a way of growing up to be big, unwieldy resentments. Just let it go. Smart couples pick their battles, and more often than not, they write off small transgressions if they threaten the bigger picture.
You need to be constantly injecting positive energy into the long-distance relationship to keep it alive. Yes, the waiting can be painful, and you can sometimes feel lonesome, but you need to remind yourself that the fruits at the end will be as sweet as heaven.
One good trick to staying positive is to be grateful all the time. Be thankful that you have someone to love and someone who loves you back. Be thankful for the little things, the handmade letter that arrived safely in your mailbox the other day.
Be thankful for each other’s health and safety.
Give each other pet names
It’s cute, and it keeps the lovey-dovey feelings going. I love calling my other half “Bunny.” He has a body full of tats, and calling him something fluffy is funny.
Make loving touch a priority
People disagree over the role a happy sex life plays, but there’s no debate about the importance of regular, loving touch. Hug your partner, hold his hand or rub his feet. It doesn’t really matter. When you connect physically, you’re affirming your bond in a powerful, primal way.
Be goofy. Play pranks on each other. Invent your own silly language. Life is hard, and keeping a relationship robust and healthy takes work. But don’t take it all too seriously. The most resilient people—and couples—are those that can shrug their shoulders and laugh at life in general.
No matter how long you’ve been together, your partner will probably love being reminded about why you find him so attractive in the first place. Happy couples don’t stop courting each other just because they’re committed and settled. Notice new haircuts, compliment their clothes or just send a cheeky smile their way.
These are just a few of the things happy LDR couples do. What do you do to keep your LDR thriving?
12 Tips For Your First Long-Distance Relationship
At some point, you may find yourself in a long-distance relationship (LDR).
Of course, this can happen in many ways: you meet someone while you’re town, you meet someone in town, but then one of you moves away for something school or a job, or countless other ways you suddenly get into an LDR.
Some people learn how to make it work the hard way while others do by trial-and-error. After all, usually, few people plan to be in an LDR, so any advice on how to have a long-distance relationship helps. In any case, LDRs are definitely doable, but the more you know going in, the better.
“Long-distance relationships are seldom easy to maintain,” Dr. Suzana Flores, clinical psychologist and author of Facehooked: How Affects Our Emotions, Relationships, and Lives, tells Bustle.
“The distance between you and your partner can make your relationship complicated, but it can work out if you keep a few things in mind. Plus, remember that distance makes the heart grow fonder.
The nice part of being involved in long-distance relationships is that even the simplest things — spending time together, holding hands, or going for coffee — can be all the more meaningful when you are together.”
It's true that the little things can actually be big moments when you and your significant other are together again.
Meanwhile, when you two are apart, certain things are a given in LDRs — having good communication and trust — yet other things are not as apparent in the LDR rule book.
Below, relationship experts weigh in on things you should know before your first long-distance relationship that you may not have necessarily thought about before.
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
Miscommunication with your partner is the worst, right? Well, add some distance and not having them readily available for a face-to-face conversation to the mix, and miscommunications can get magnified even more. Therefore, Dr. Flores suggests discussing your expectations.
“Before you decide to get involved in a long-distance relationship, sit down with your partner and discuss what you expect from each other while you are apart,” she says. “Decide on the ‘rules’ within the relationship.
Will you both date other people — or will you be exclusive? Such conversations can be difficult, yet they are necessary in order to avoid being blindsided by assumptions and misunderstandings.”
Terrie Lewine, relationship and communication coach, and founder of BACK TO LIFE Urban Sanctuary, who's been in long-distance relationship for 17+ years now, also believes setting expectations is important. “Build trust with well thought-out agreements,” she tells Bustle.
“How often do you intend to talk? How often do you intend to see each other? Who travels? Who pays for what?” She also stresses that if you want to change the expectations you and your partner set up, say something.
“If you notice that you are feeling dissatisfied, immediately communicate with your partner and begin to renegotiate.
The clearer you are about what the benefits (and the struggles) are of a long-distance relationship, and honest about how to navigate them, the more ly you will enjoy the time together and the time apart. If you cannot enjoy the time apart, then reconsider having a long-distance relationship.”
Even though you know communication is vitally important in a relationship, especially one that’s long-distance, the other key is making sure it is consistent. “Consistency is very helpful in long-distance relationships,” Sameera Sullivan, Founder of Lasting Connections, tells Bustle.
“Find a time to talk that works with both of your schedules — speaking before bed is a nice time to aim for so the conversation is less rushed and recaps the whole day.” Sullivan also suggests changing things up via texting, calling, FaceTiming, voice notes, snapchatting, Google Hangouts, etc.
“Commit to keeping in touch and making it fun — none of this should feel a chore! If it does, something isn’t right and you may need to ask yourself why.”
Sullivan also advises to keep your partner updated on your schedule in order to help avoid hurt feelings and unrealistic expectations. “Let the other person know so they’re not upset or worried when they don’t hear from you,” she says. “Doing so is an opportunity to let the person you care about feel they’re part of your life, which is always a good thing.”
Though you are already inherently dealing with distance in an LDR, it doesn’t mean you need to communicate 24/7. After all, you want a healthy balance of communication — you don’t want it to burn out by talking too much. “Despite the distance, you may still need some distance,” Dr. Flores says.
“You may feel the need to compensate for the distance between you and your partner by communicating more often. However, if you’re communicating too much, at times it can make the relationship seem burdensome. It’s OK to take time to miss your partner.
Otherwise, you could both end up feeling overwhelmed and exhausted at keeping up the relationship.”
Once you ensure that you and your long-distance partner are on the same level, commitment-wise, stay committed.
Along these lines, Antonia Hall, psychologist, relationship expert, and author of the Sexy Little Guide books, also stresses that you need to trust each other and not behave in ways that may break that trust.
“You have to be able to trust the person, or it’s not going to be a happy, healthy experience,” she tells Bustle. “If you have questions, it’s better to ask than to head-trip… Behaving kindly and compassionately shows you are trustworthy and caring, and hopefully your significant other will do the same.”
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
It’s no secret that communication is key in any relationship, long-distance or not. However, regarding the latter, communicating may be more challenging, which makes it all the more important.
“Some couples in LDRs skip the everyday talk and jump to more important things,” Grant Langston, CEO of eHarmony, tells Bustle.
“However, by talking about everything in your day, you are recreating a similar situation in which most geographically close couples would be in, and you will be getting to know your partner more.
LDR couples tend to avoid conflicts in their conversations because they can’t spend the time to resolve them. However, conflict can be good in that you get to know how your partner deals with stressful situations in their lives, and you two can work on certain areas before reuniting permanently.”
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
Although this is a given, that you will have more “me” time when you are in an LDR, the idea is to use this time constructively.
“Perhaps the most important thing you should know going into a long-distance relationship is that your current relationship with yourself will become very clear, very fast,” Shannon Smith, resident dating expert at Plenty of Fish, tells Bustle.
“When you’re left with significantly more time to yourself, use it constructively! Invest in self-care and your own development! When you’re the best version of yourself, you’re a better partner — and your relationship with yourself is lifelong!”
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
As much as you look forward to seeing your long-distance partner, the reality may not always live up to the expectations, and that’s OK. Chelsea Leigh Trescott of Breakupward.com, a breakup coach, advice columnist, and the host of the podcast Thank You Heartbreak, agrees.
“Not every trip to see each other is going to live up to your expectations and dreams,” she tells Bustle. “You’ll need to cultivate a stunning degree of realism, resilience, perspective, and patience in order to withstand what could wind up feeling a letdown when it comes to parting ways again. Don’t make the mistake of buying into the all-or-nothing mentality.
” Trescott also says not to assume the relationship is doomed if the trip does not go as planned.
“If the entire trip wasn’t perfect, it doesn’t mean you must mean nothing to your partner now,” she says. “Believe in yourself and in your relationship. And remember, that one fight or one off moment together shouldn’t make or break a healthy relationship.”
As romantic as LDRs can be, they can also be costly. You may want to begin an LDR budget, whether this is a jar for spare change in your room or a bank account that you open.
Margaux Cassuto, relationship expert and matchmaker at Three Matches, who was also in a long-distance relationship with her now-husband tells Bustle it's important to have an accommodating schedule and well as money you can spend on travel.
Trescott agrees about money being another component of LDRs you may not initially think about — but should.
“When it comes to long-distance relationships, the reality that your finances will need to be in place is often an oversight,” she says.
Although she says there are many everyday costs involved with in-the-same-city relationships, Trescott says those costs trickle out over time more so than buying a plane ticket.
“For the relationship to have the best chance of lasting on a logistical level, you’ll need to not burn out your cash early on trying to appease each other with extravagant efforts,” she says.
As connected as you and your long-distance partner may feel, you will still lead separate lives, too. “Be aware that your person has a life outside of you where they live,” Laurel House, dating expert and resident sex expert for My First Blush, tells Bustle.
“Meaning, it is not living in the same city, where you can see each other all the time. Instead, they will have their own friends and family there who they spend their time with that have nothing to do with you.
” In addition, House says you may miss out on certain things in your city when you go to theirs, and vice-versa.
“LDRs can be a sacrifice,” she says. “You will also miss out on events in your own city because you are traveling to be with them, and when they travel to be with you, they will miss out on stuff, too.”
You know how you know you should break up with someone, but then you start thinking about all the good times, forgetting that you two actually have more *bad* times than good? Well, when it comes to LDRs, too, you need to stay realistic, not idealistic. “At times, some partners tend to idealize their relationship and remember it as better than it actually was,” Langston says.
“Research has shown that couples with more idealization in their relationship are more ly to break up due to an unstable relationship. This can happen when you build up your partner to be better than they actually are in your head, so the reunion between you two may get ugly.
You can feel you’re being reunited with a complete stranger rather than someone you really know and understand.”
Langston suggests an easy solution to the idealizing-your-partner issue.
“Spending quality time together and interacting in person is the best way to get to know somebody and see the reality of your relationship status,” he says.
“Research has shown that more face-to-face time with a long-distance partner will lead to a less ly chance of idealizing your partner. In turn, this will lead to a less ly chance of instability in your reunion.”
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
Catherine Silver, LCSW, a psychotherapist in NYC, not only helps clients in LDRs, but was also in one herself — with her husband for three years before they got married. “LDRs are HARD,” she tells Bustle.
“They require effort and patience and, while it can definitely be worth it, be sure that you go in with your eyes wide open. Commitment is necessary in any relationship, but this commitment will be larger. A long-distance relationship is not convenient, so both parties need to really want the relationship to work.
Find things to do together — maybe you both read the same book or watch the same show at the same time.”
While you schedule certain activities together, you also need to be flexible, she says. “Things don’t always go as planned, so it’s important to be able to go with the flow sometimes.”
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
No matter what stage of an LDR you’re in — right before it begins or several weeks or months in — it’s good to have an idea of when you will be together again, not just in the short-term, but in the longer-term.
“It’s so important that both partners discuss their game plan in the early stages of an LDR,” Amie Leadingham, Amie the Dating Coach, Master Certified Relationship Coach, tells Bustle.
“If they are or were to fall in love, what would happen next? How will the LDR become an in-person relationship in the future? In my opinion, the biggest mistake is to date someone without having a discussion about the future, because sometimes one partner fears they’ll appear needy or get rejected. It’s important to remember that your partner cannot read your mind, so it’s up to you to take the risk and clearly communicate what you want and see if they’re on the same page.”
As you can see, there are several things you should know before your first long-distance relationship. However, the above will definitely help you so you have the best LDR ever.
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