You know how they say out of sight, out of mind?
Even though many people believe this saying, one of the most famous starting a long distance relationship quotes teaches us something completely different. It says:
‘True love doesn’t mean being inseparable. It means being separated and nothing changes’.
Well, this is exactly what you should focus on if you’re about to begin a relationship long distance.
Nevertheless, despite its romantic side, maintaining an LDR is not all sunshine and rainbows.
In fact, it is often stressful and difficult to handle.
However, that’s why we’re here; to tell you everything you need to know before starting a long distance relationship.
Buckle up, read on and arm yourself with a lot of patience! Good luck!
1. It will be different from all of your other relationships
I won’t lie to you; being in a long distance relationship is nowhere similar to being in a ‘regular’ relationship.
Therefore, you might have had a bunch of boyfriends or girlfriends before but trust me, in this relationship, it will feel like you’re doing everything for the first time ever.
I’m not saying that you should magically forget all about your previous experiences when it comes to romance.
However, just prepare yourself that this time, things will be different.
First of all, be aware of the fact that this journey won’t be easy. I’m not saying this to scare you off.
Instead, I just want you to be one hundred percent ready for what comes next.
Making a decision to start a long distance relationship is a tough choice and it brings about numerous responsibilities.
Nevertheless, keeping it successful and healthy at the same time is even more difficult.
Both you and your significant other will have to make many sacrifices to make your long distance relationship work the right way.
In many situations, you’ll feel like a little, lost child without anyone to guide you.
However, all of this doesn’t mean that long distance relationships aren’t worth it.
Yes, this will bring you a lot of trouble, there is no doubt about that.
However, if the love is real and if what you two have is meant to last, I promise you that you’ll succeed in preserving your romance.
This means that you’ll have to decide whether this is something you’re ready for.
I’m not saying that you can guarantee that you’ll spend the rest of your life with this person. After all, you can never know what the future brings.
However, you have to think things through and decide whether this person is worthy of all the hardships which will inevitably arise.
Most importantly, you have to figure out whether this is someone you want to start this journey with.
Don’t worry, you won’t be the bad guy if you give up now.
After all, it’s better to be honest and back out in time than to lead on both of you for a half of a year just to realize that this type of romance is not for you.
2. Sometimes you’ll feel alone
You’ve come to the number one thing you should know before starting a long distance relationship.
It means that, despite all of the obstacles, you’ve come to terms with yourself and your loved one.
You’ve both clearly made a decision to give your story a shot.
Well, if that is the case, the first thing you need to know is that there will be times when you’ll feel alone, especially during hard times.
When you’re in a relationship with someone who lives in the same city as you do or in an hour’s drive away, this person is constantly physically present in your life.
You go out on date nights and you spend a lot of your free time together.
On average, these types of couples see each other a few times a week.
However, things won’t go that way once you start a long distance relationship in which you and your partner live in different cities.
In fact, you two will spend more time apart than together.
When you’re in a ‘regular’ relationship, your partner is usually a short drive away from you.
You can call them to come over whenever you’re feeling down, you can go by their house to see them just for a few moments when you miss them and they can run to you whenever you want them around.
However, when you’re in a long-term relationship, you won’t have your significant other next to you when you need them the most; at least, not physically.
Also, be aware that you’ll spend many of the important dates by yourself.
You probably won’t manage to arrange a get-together every birthday, Valentine’s Day or anniversary and you’ll be going without your plus-one to some weddings and other important events.
Even though you’re taken and in a committed relationship, sometimes you’ll feel more single than ever.
Besides, there is no spontaneity here. At least, not the one average couples get used to.
Your partner can’t appear in front of your window just to see you, they can’t surprise you for a quick lunch on your break from work and you can’t go out for a night drive which will last half an hour to clear your thoughts when you’re both busy.
You and your long-distance boyfriend or girlfriend will have to see each other according to a strict schedule so you’ll have to plan your date nights in advance.
3. 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.
4. Communication is key
Communication is crucial for every relationship, especially romantic ones.
However, when it comes to long distance love, it is the number one factor on which its success depends.
You see, couples like this don’t have the ‘regular’ things everyone else in love has. In fact, they only depend on the talking part and if that doesn’t work, nothing else will either.
First and foremost, you have to become an excellent listener, even though you might have not been one before.
You’ll need to learn how to understand whatever your partner is trying to tell you.
You need to allow them to speak their mind and to talk to you about their feelings, thoughts, desires and fears.
When they’re the one talking, there is no interrupting and imposing your own opinion.
Another thing you’ll have to work on is your empathic skills.
Sometimes it’s hard to fully comprehend the person sitting next to you, let alone someone you’re talking to over the phone or someone you’re texting or emailing; after all, this person is not physically present by your side.
You can’t monitor their behavior and it will take you a lot more time to truly understand their points of view regarding certain things.
Besides, to become an excellent listener overnight, you’ll also have to improve your talking skills.
Remember, this is not the type of relationship where you can make up that day or when your significant other hugs you.
Therefore, it’s time to forget about ignoring them when you’re angry. There is no ghosting and no silent treatment.
No passive-aggression or similar mind games. I know that each one of these things seem harmless at first and are sadly a part of every modern relationship.
However, in your case, not being honest and not being able to communicate healthily can be fatal for your love story.
You won’t wake up next to your partner the next morning after you ignored them last night.
If you choose not to respond to them texting you after an argument, one day, things can just remain like that and you might never reconcile.
Therefore, it’s crucial to be completely honest about your thoughts and emotions.
Remember that your partner doesn’t have the possibility to conclude anything about your feelings besides what you openly tell them.
5. Money can become an issue
Money should be the least important thing when it comes to relationships.
Where love is real, you’ll stay next to each other through the greatest wealth and the worst poverty.
However, sadly, in long distance relationships, money can become a serious problem.
To be precise, a lack of money can present a seemingly uncrossable obstacle for the future of your relationship.
Maintaining an LDR is expensive. Besides time and energy, you also need money to see your partner who might be living across the country or even on another continent.
In fact, there exist couples who spend an entire year saving enough cash for plane tickets so they can visit their loved one during the summer.
I won’t lie to you; something like this requires a lot of sacrifice.
There will be times when you’ll probably question your decision.
You might not see it now but there will come a moment when you’ll ask yourself why you needed all of this when you could have led a much easier life.
Besides, another problem which involves money is your future.
If you plan on moving in together eventually, you both need a stable source of income for this step.
However, if you both have your lives figured out in your current different cities, this becomes a little tricky.
After all, it means that one of you has to quit their job and find a new one somewhere else.
For many couples, all of this seems too much. People are not ready to go into the unknown and to become emotionally dependent on their partner until they get settled.
That is perfectly okay. It means that you’re mature enough to think about other things besides this enormous love that you two share.
After all, no matter how romantic you are, you can’t live out of love, right? Nevertheless, I want to give you hope.
If what you two have is real and meant to be, I promise you that you’ll find a way out of this problem as well.
6. You need to give each other space
Okay, so when you read the title of this section, you’ll think of it as the most unnecessary piece of advice you got here.
After all, you and your significant other live apart, hardly see each other face to face and your entire relationship is mainly phone calls and text messages.
Despite that, I’m advising you to give each other space. Sounds ridiculous, right?
Well, it’s actually not, if you look at things from a different point of view. What you need to give each other is some cyber space.
I know that you want to spend all of your free time texting your loved one, watching their face over a webcam or hearing their voice over the phone.
Nevertheless, there is a chance of you two suffocating each other even without being physically present in one another’s lives as well.
For example, don’t expect them to talk to you all the time when they’re online. Don’t push them to reduce their entire online activity to being in your relationship.
Don’t be needy and clingy. Don’t obsess over every single thing they post on social media, don’t stalk their online status and don’t create a drama when they leave you on read.
Whether you like to admit it or not, this person has a life of their own outside of your relationship.
They have a family and friends and most importantly, they should be allowed to have some personal time.
So, please don’t freak out if your partner is not in the mood to chat with you 24/7.
In that case, you’ll only chase them away from you because nobody likes to feel like they’re being too pressured to do anything.
Accept the fact that in a given moment, they might prefer to aimlessly scroll through social media or watch Netflix and chill by themselves.
On the other hand, if you feel their lack of attention, it’s something you should definitely point out.
Just try finding a balance between ignoring each other and being at one another’s throats all the time.
7. You should have a future plan
It’s one thing if your relationship is not serious. In that case, it is perfectly okay if you and your loved one don’t have any plans for settling down in the future.
This way, you can continue seeing each other a few times a year without any commitment until one or both of you gets bored or finds someone closer to them.
On the other hand, if you really love each other and think that this is the real deal, I assume that you don’t want to remain long distance partners for the rest of your lives.
This is especially true if you plan on getting married and having kids.
Yes, there exist some married couples who live in different locations across the world but raising children that way is almost impossible.
Also, this kind of arrangement is incredibly expensive, hard to maintain and usually reserved for celebrities.
Therefore, if you are an average kind of long distance couple, I assume that you and your significant other have hopes of eventually living together.
Well, things like this require detailed planning and are not so easy to achieve.
Of course, nobody is telling you that you should start talking about these topics from the very first day of your relationship.
After all, you still don’t know where things are headed and how long you two will stick together.
However, once you see that your romance is getting serious, these are definitely the topics you need to start discussing as soon as possible.
I’m sure you both have some vision of arranging your relationship in the future and now is the time to reach a compromise.
In order for these dreams not to remain just empty words, it’s important to plan them in detail.
Where will you two live? Will one of you leave your current place of residence or would you find a third city?
When do you plan for all of this to happen? What is the end date by which your long distance love should have its final resolution?
Set a goal and work toward it with joint efforts if you’re really serious about this relationship.
8. Physical contact is limited
One of the first problems many long distance couples face after a couple of months of their romance is a lack of physical contact.
Even though this might not seem so important when love is real, it actually can represent a big deal if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.
I’m not talking about sleeping next to each other here. I’m talking about a lack of closeness and physical presence as well.
If you’re starting a long distance relationship, be aware that you won’t have your boyfriend or girlfriend to kiss you whenever you feel like it.
You won’t be able to find comfort in their soothing arms when you’re feeling low and you won’t have the pleasure of waking up to seeing their sleepy face every morning.
You don’t have many possibilities other couples think as normal and usually take for granted. There is no walking with each other, holding hands.
No hugging and no smelling the beautiful scent of their hair. In fact, in long distance relationships, each one of these things becomes a luxury.
It becomes something you spend weeks or even months dreaming about.
Besides, the fact that the physical contact is limited sometimes draws people apart.
At the end of the day, all of us have primal instincts and that includes the urge to be physically near our loved ones and being able to touch them.
I won’t lie to you; this is a test for all long distance couples. Some people simply can’t stand it and the part in which they miss their partner so much to the point where they decide to call it quits.
However, if you’re both strong enough, you’ll see all of this as nothing but another stepstone toward your final destination.
Being physically apart will make you grow spiritually closer and missing each other will make you appreciate your moments together even more.
Being in this type of relationship will be even harder if you two don’t share common interests.
Even though I’m not saying that opposites can’t attract and last together, not being similar to your partner will give you more hard times when you’re not together.
After all, you have little physical contact. You have no or only a few mutual friends, you don’t go together to events and you don’t share your daily routines.
So, what is there left to talk about? Well, I have a solution for this one as well.
For starters, engage in each other’s interests. If your partner is a football fan, watch a game they’re watching so you can comment on it later.
Read a book together and talk about it. Start learning a new language together or engage in a sport together (each one of you on your side of the world).
Hit the gym and become each other’s motivation to get fit. Even if you two have different tastes in music, books, movies or art, try finding common ground.
You see where I’m going with this, right? Basically, even if you’re not into the same things your partner is, show interest in them.
I’m not saying that you should lie about your preferences to have a topic to talk about with them.
Nevertheless, for the sake of your love and for the good of your relationship, engage in some things which make them happy and expect the same treatment in return.
10. You need to be creative
Among the other skills you’ll have to adopt to make your long distance relationship work, creativity is also one of them.
When you have a ‘regular’ relationship, after a while, you forget about imagination.
You stop planning all of your dates ahead and most of them turn into getting a cup of coffee at your favorite cafe or Netflix and chill.
However, when it comes to an LDR, this is no longer an option. That’s why you’ll both have to become extra creative about your dates.
If you’re at the beginning of your romance, it’s more than enough to talk on the phone with your loved one, to text them all the time and to see them over Skype video chat.
Nevertheless, whether you like to admit it or not, this can become boring after a couple of months.
The same way other couples fall into a rut, these text messages and phone calls will become your rut as well.
That’s why you need some innovative date ideas to make your relationship more interesting.
For example, you can go out to dinner (each one in your own city). Take your phones and put them on the table opposite you.
Pretend that you’re together and that this is a fancy dinner date. Dress up like you’re really going out for a romantic get-together with your significant other.
This can become a regular thing when it comes to concerts, clubbing or sports events. Don’t worry about people looking at you strangely.
Trust me; most of them will actually find it incredibly cute. Besides, your happiness is your number one priority. So, who cares about a few weird looks?
Also, remember those books you should read together? Well, you can arrange a book club of your own.
Set one night in the month where you’ll discuss what you’ve read. I’m sure you’ll agree that this is an awesome date idea for long distance couples.
After all, you don’t have to feel like you’re an outcast at all the events you go to without your plus-one. Take your partner with you by phone and send them a piece of atmosphere over the camera.
The same goes for physical touch. You can’t sleep or cuddle together but you can put your phone next to your pillow and listen to each other’s peaceful breathing.
11. You must argue in person
Let’s get one thing straight—all couples fight, without exception.
Those who tell you otherwise are either lying in an attempt to present their relationship as perfect as it can be or they don’t care for each other to the point where they don’t even put any extra effort into resolving their issues.
Therefore, without a doubt, you and your long distance partner will also fight.
However, what is important here is to put extra effort into leaving these fights for when you see each other in person.
I’m not saying that you should sweep things under the carpet just to maintain your relationship long distance.
Instead, work on your issues but when it comes to some serious arguments which are essential for the future of your relationship, resolve them looking at each other face to face.
Besides, you should set some ground rules when it comes to fighting as well.
There is no hanging up the phone until you discuss everything there is to be discussed.
Most importantly, there are no break ups over text messages, emails or phone calls.
If one of you wants to get out of the relationship, you’ll have to be brave enough to tell the other person that straightforwardly. After all, this is fair.
You’ll have to admit that it’s quite different talking in person.
You sense the person’s vibe, you see their nonverbal gestures and body language signs, hear the tone of their voice and you can touch them and feel whatever their feeling with more ease.
12. Jealousy can be a problem…
A certain amount of cute jealousy is perfectly natural in every romantic relationship.
When you love another person, it is normal that you can’t remain indifferent to the possibility of them being with someone else. It is reasonable that you’re scared of losing them.
However, this fear intensifies even more when you spend most of your time away from each other.
The truth is that people tend to be more unfaithful in long distance relationships.
After all, they grow spiritually apart from the person who is physically distant from them.
Besides, in these circumstances, it’s much easier to fall in love with someone new.
You miss your significant other, you miss them being gentle with you and you miss their kisses, so you run into a third person’s arms.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to justify affairs here.
If you find yourself falling out of love with your partner or if you start liking someone else, you need to come clean to them before starting a new relationship.
Nevertheless, what I’m trying to tell you is that, knowing all of this, jealousy is a common issue between long distance couples.
After all, you have no control over your boyfriend or girlfriend’s actions or behavior.
You don’t know if they are flirting with someone else or if they even have another secret relationship.
13. … but trust is essential
In fact, the only thing you do have is their word. You can’t check up on them when you suspect something and you don’t get to spend most of your partner’s free time with them.
Therefore, you simply have to rely on trusting them.
Whether you like to admit it or not, believing in your significant other’s words will have to do it and it will have to be enough. Otherwise, you’ll make your relationship a living nightmare for both of you.
After all, the last thing you want to do is spend your days doing your best to stalk your boyfriend or girlfriend.
You don’t want to make a bunch of fake Facebook or Instagram profiles where you’ll add all of his friends and check their tags, likes and photos.
You don’t want to install Tinder or other online dating apps to check whether he is faithful.
Looking at things like this, there is certainly a way to control your partner’s movement.
However, living like this won’t get you anywhere and it will only bring trouble to the both of you. Instead, the best thing to do is to relax.
There is no point in obsessing over some things that might happen.
What is meant to be will be. The only choice you have here is to trust someone you chose to be your forever person.
On the other hand, if you can’t seem to trust them, maybe it’s time to ask yourself whether you two have a future together in the first place and if starting a long distance relationship was the right choice.