LDR: 5 Tips On How To Help Your Relationship Survive

4/11/2017


Gone are the days of people looking down or lessening a long distance relationship (otherwise known as LDR. I'm super modern day savvy, right?). Between social media, dating apps and WhatsApp, communication is no longer something that has to be obtained in person. Hell, you can get to know someone better by solely exchanging text messages nowadays versa being with them in person. People have a tendency to open up more when hidden behind a screen. But it can be difficult to keep the rush of a LDR alive when you aren't able to surprise them with romantic dinners or fancy lingerie. I myself am currently in a relationship that is separated by the Atlantic ocean. And in fact, my first relationship of 5 years was also one of distance. I seem to find it easier to express emotions when someone is half a world away, take that as you may. Alas, over the years I have learnt a few tips and tricks that do make it easier on the heart when your second half is not at your side. I hope that this post will bring a few ideas or even just a remainder for those of you in this situation that may be forgetting to put in the effort that is required to succeed in this onward battle. You can do it. Anyone can. You just have to want to.


Scheduled Dates
This is the obvious one, but arguably the most vital. Making special time for you and your significant other doesn't just stop being a thing once you're separated by miles. It matters to arrange dates (preferably Skype or Facetime) and spend a few hours together without distractions or alerts. Silence your phone, or everything except their message thread. Close off the world. "Share" a bottle of wine, or cake, or whatever. Dates are only as romantic as you want them to be.

TV Shows
The classic idea of "watch a movie together!" still stands, but I much prefer the idea of watching a show. Partly because it's a longer dedication. Scheduling can be the bane of your existence here, but simply choose a 30 minute show if you both find it hard to get spare time. Only watch it together. Delve into the world. Even if you can only manage one episode a week, do it. Watch whilst on the phone to one another, text throughout, have a skype/facetime 10 minute session after every episode. Whatever it is that pleases you both, do it. Not only does this feel romantic, but it's winding down together after a day. It's... normal. Something you'd do if you were together in person, and I think that's the key to having a healthy LDR relationship - especially if you've been lucky enough to actually be together in person. Keep the normality of day-to-day shenanigans, but include each other in it. The things you find mundane, make it be mundane together. Heck, shower together. It's silly and a small thing, but helps you feel close.

Couple Journals
This is a hit or miss suggestion as it's highly dependant on the couple, but a good one if you're into writing, journals, or anything artistic. Me and my partner both do the Q and A a Day: 5-Year Journal and consult each other on the days question, talking about our answers and the reasoning behind them. It's just a little thing but nice to do together. If you google "Daily Journal" on Amazon, you'll be bombarded with different types such as One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book, The Daily Sketch Journal to The Happy Book: A Journal To Celebrate What Makes You Happy. So maybe take an online scroll with your love and pick one together.

Book Club
It is as it sounds - pick a book, read a chapter per night together (or a certain amount of pages) and voila! A book club that consists of only you two. It's romantic, gets you to read more which is always important, and gives you both something to discuss. If you like different genres, take turns choosing. Open your mind to the words that they like to consume and don't be a judgy reader. They'll like sharing a part of themselves with you, and you'll feel the same when you choose. Easy and effective.

Communication
If you take anything from this blog post, take this. Communication is vital to a healthy relationship. I don't care if it's just a good morning message, an update on what you've eaten, or remembering to tell your partner when a significant change happens. Here's the thing.. when you're in a "virtual" relationship, you'll see the changes take place in your partners life. You'll see when they wake up in a bad mood. When they don't feel well, you'll see the light dim a little in their eyes. But with a LDR you have to be willing to tell your other half when things aren't right. You have to tell them all the little things that you may deem insignificant, but to them, it matters.. because it's you. You have to choose to let them love you. If you're like me, that can be the hard part. But always put your mind in theirs. If they were feeling the way you're feeling, would you want to know? The answer is likely yes. When you love each other, there isn't a limit on how many words you send. Ramble, say the inner workings of your mind, tell them your fears, tell them if something makes you laugh.. Share the moments you'll remember. 
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LDR's are hard. Nothing is going to stop that. But you have to help make it easier, both of you do. In the words of Hayley James Scott: 

"You can choose to blame your circumstances on fate or bad luck or bad choices. Or you can fight back. Things aren’t always going to be fair in the real world. That’s just the way it is. But for the most part, you get what you give. Rest of your life is being shaped right now. With the dreams you chase, the choices you make, and the person you decide to be. The rest of your life is a long time. And the rest of your life starts right now."

- Anne x

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