Long Distance Relationship Struggles: An LDR Guide

by Personality Growth

Long Distance Relationship Problems

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It is no secret that being in a long distance relationship (LDR) can be extremely challenging. Being one half of a proximity challenged pair has its own unique struggles that the average relationship doesn’t. Just because there are struggles, doesn’t mean these relationships cannot be just as fulfilling (if not more so) than close vicinity couples. In this article we will explore the many unique issues that LDRs face, and the ways in which you can overcome them.

People Discourage It

The truth is anyone who is in a long distance relationship has dealt with their family and friends questioning their choice. To them, your relationship seems like a huge mistake. You’ve probably heard “it will never work” a million and one times. They’ve heard the statistics, and you probably have as well; 40% of couples in long distance relationships don’t make it. But the fact is, not every relationship is made for the long haul, whether it is long distance or not. The distance makes it different, but it doesn’t mean that it is doomed.

This is your decision, this is your relationship and you have to respectfully ignore those concerns if you want to make it work for real. Try and understand where they are coming from. They care about you and they are worried, but that doesn’t make them right. Sometimes that concern can cloud people’s judgements, they are only seeing the bad and missing out on the good.

Why a Long Distance Relationship Is Actually Better

When you are in a long distance relationship, you appreciate things that average relationships might lose sight of. When you are together, even the simplest things are wonderful. Being able to hug, or hold hands, is actually a big deal and is exciting for you. The opportunity to enjoy a meal together, or even sleeping next to one another, is not taken for granted. You relish in the smallest moments, ones that ordinary couples can sometimes lack appreciation for.

Don’t Take Pointless Risks

It’s true that the lifestyle you have chosen can be very lonely. Sometimes you just want to be around other people and enjoy your friends company. Being around your friends is great, and maintaining those relationships is a big part in keeping your romantic relationship alive. The only problem is you don’t want to carelessly make your partner jealous. Is it entirely necessary to go clubbing with your single friends? Do you really need to be alone with that person from work who clearly has a crush on you? If you would be upset with your boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancé doing it, then simply DO NOT do it yourself. Refrain from making decisions that could cause unwanted tension, decisions that you will probably regret later on. You need to make your partner feel secure because long distance requires an immense amount of trust.

Building Trust Creates a Stronger Bond

Once you have built this solid groundwork of trust, there isn’t much that you cannot survive as a couple. The fact that you are so far away, means that you have to trust one another. Trust is key to the survival of any relationship, not just long distance. The fact that you must build this faith in one another early on, is excellent for the long run. When you are honest with each other, you won’t feel insecure and you won’t apply unnecessary stress on each other. You will certainly be challenged throughout your relationship, but if you work together you can come out stronger for it. We all know that the things in life that are worth having, do not come easily.

Set Clear Expectations

Assess what you need to get out of this relationship. Don’t set ridiculous requirements for your loved one; makes sure to figure out what is most important to you, and what you can do without. Being in a long distance relationship is hard enough, without putting added pressure onto one another. You need to come to a conclusion about what you require from them, and what you can compromise on. Setting clear expectations with one another will help prevent future disagreements, and make it easier to fulfill each other’s needs.

Communicate, Don’t Smother

Communicating openly with one another is very important. You have to remember to be honest with your partner and to share important aspects of your life with them. Keep them posted about important moments and how your family and friends are doing. Make sure that they feel connected to you and how you are spending your time away from them. A “good morning” and “goodnight” message goes a very long way. If you share parts of your day with them they will feel appreciated and realize that you are thinking of them.

You must also remember that your partner has a life that they must continue living whether you are near them or not. They may not have time for you every second of the day and smothering them isn’t going to help your relationship. Constantly texting or talking isn’t necessarily communicating. You don’t need to spam one another, it’s pointless and exhausting. This sort of behavior will become tiresome for the both of you. It is good to learn when to give space, and if you trust one another that will be perfectly fine.

Master the Art of the Selfie

Sending each other pictures is a wonderful way to feel connected. Sending short videos once in a while on exciting moments in your day will also be greatly appreciated. Get creative with your selfies, the same exact pose every single time is going to become boring. Try and put thought into what kind of pictures you are taking, so you can help to remind them why they miss you so much.

Video Chat As Often As Possible

Sometimes seeing one another through video chat, helps you remember why you care for your partner so much. Seeing the mannerisms that you miss and adore, even the littlest things, will help a lot. It is important to make time to video chat often or else you can feel alienated from each other.

Setting special “skype dates” is nice as well. Plan a day to get dressed up and watch a show or movie while you video chat. You can share that experience, and although it’s not in person, you are still enjoying an activity together.

Get A Little Dirty

The truth is that the sexual tension can be one of the most challenging struggles in a long distance relationship. Instead of trying to bury that desire, it might be best to feed the fire. Send each other spicy text messages reminding your partner how much you miss them.  😉

Don’t Feel Ashamed to Talk About Your Relationship with Your Loved Ones

It’s important to have someone you can vent to about your struggles. Sharing the parts that stress you out is important, but also sharing the positive. Most people talk about their relationships with friends and family, and if you feel the need to share don’t feel ashamed to do so. It’s OK that your relationship is different than what others may be used to, if they care about you, they will listen. Tell them what makes you happy about being with this person, and why you appreciate them. Sometimes just expressing it verbally to someone else, can help to remind you why you are in this relationship.

Make Plans to Visit

It’s not always easy to take time away, but it is extremely important. Making plans to see one another and following through with those plans keeps you feeling positive. You may not be together constantly, but at least you know that you WILL see one another as much as you can. These moments of being together will give you hope that this relationship can truly survive. For couples in long distance relationships, seeing each other after some time has passed is especially exciting, it definitely keeps the spark alive. The ongoing countdown in your head, will make the actual arrival of your time together very rewarding.  

Set Long Term Goals

Have some sort of end goal in mind. Talk about how often you want to visit one another and what your future plans are. Sometimes long distance relationships need to come to conclusions about the future much sooner than other relationships do. The fact is, it is important to think about the future when you live far away from each other. As much as a relationship can survive being apart, you have to settle down eventually so that you can build a life with someone. As challenging as it may be, you need to have some sort of goal in mind.

 Be Positive, But Be Honest

Maintain a positive attitude as best as you can. Of course being away from one another is tough, but relish in the fact that you care enough to miss each other. You want to be near each other, and that is actually a good thing. Remind yourself that they are thinking about you, they are missing you, and they are excited to see you again. Remember all the good things about being together, and all the reasons you chose this person in spite of the distance.

Even though staying positive is important, that doesn’t mean you should be in denial. Be honest with one another when you are struggling with the distance. Make sure they understand that the distance isn’t giving you doubts, it’s just making you sad. It’s important to share this with one another, or you will feel too much pressure to pretend everything is much easier than it actually is.

Be Kind, Be Considerate, Be There For Each Other

The title pretty much sums it up. Don’t forget to be supportive of one another, and lend an ear when they need you. You can be there for them even though you are miles apart. Sometimes all they need is to hear your voice and remember that you care.

Try to avoid harshness when you fight, being so far away can make the disagreements much harder. You aren’t physically there to hug each other when the squabble is over, and sometimes that can make your words hurt even more. Just keep trying to show each other that you truly care, and that they are important to you, even when things are tough.

A long distance relationship can be just as strong, maybe even stronger, than any other relationship. If you work together to build a sturdy bond, you can be truly happy. If you can survive these struggles as a couple, there is nothing you can’t withstand together. Remember, they picked you- not because you just happened to be there, but because you were special enough that they wanted to be with you, in spite of the distance.

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