The Five Rules for Surviving a Long Distance Relationship

My wife and I managed to make it through a two and a half year long distance relationship (London to DC). Despite many telling us it could not be done, we succeeded where many of our friends had failed.

We’ve had lots of people ask us for advice as they start long distance relationships and we have given out the same five pieces of advice so many times that I thought I would do a short blog on them so that others who I might not meet can benefit from our experience.

I would of course say that every relationship is different, but these five rules seem to hold true no matter if you are starting a long distance relationship after years of being together, or after no time at all.

1)   Never visit the other person without knowing when the next time you will see each other is.

There is nothing worse then getting on the plane/train/bus after a short visit with no firm plans of when you will see each other again. Always know when the next trip will be.

2)   Plan for a time when the long distance will end.

Open-ended long distance relationships put an intolerable strain on each side. You don’t need to go into the relationship knowing when the long distance will end, but if it is going to be serious, you do need to decide together a mutually acceptable timeframe when you can live in the same location.

3)   If you talk every day, don’t feel the need to talk for hours

In general every couple has their own way they like to communicate. We did a lot of G-chat through the day and tried to skype for at least a few minutes most days. We never felt the need to spend hours on the phone each night. This is especially true if there is a time zone challenge. Be conscious of each others schedules and don’t make the other into a social recluse by speaking for hours on end each night

4)   When you do visit, don’t only go on the holidays

Real relationships don’t just happen on down time. It’s important if you want your long distance relationship to mature, you need to see the other not just when they have all the time in the world for you, but also when they are working. It is not a wasted trip if they are working in the day and can only see you at night, rather you can see the other in their element and actually see how they are day to day.

5)   Joke about people who flirt with you

This I cannot stress enough. People will flirt with your significant other. People who are worth the time and effort to maintain a long distance thing are desirable people. The best policy is to let the other person know it happened and make a joke out of it. Facebook photos popping out of the blue with a sleazy man/women draping themselves across your beloved are easier to handle if you know the backstory. Additionally no one feels guilty about going out and having fun – and you can be pleased for the other person rather then jealous.

These are the main points that we gleaned from our experience. It was torturous, expensive and heart breaking but in the end totally worth it.

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