How to Build a Foundation for Your Long Distance Relationship
Long Distance Relationships…as much as they sound manageable in the “love conquers all” aspect…they are far from easy. Even in a world with today’s technology LDRs (long distance relationships) can be messy, lonely, frustrating and at times just too much to bear. LDRs are usually talked about in a more positive way, of if you truly love each other it will work out. I’m here to tell you, yes 100% it’s possible, but I believe it requires some extra TLC that a non LDR relationship requires.
I’ve been in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend for the last 10 months and let me tell you I was one completely against a relationship that required a plane ride to get to my significant other. I’m an emotional person and am all about the touchy feelys…so not being able to have that whenever I wanted was tough. But when you meet someone who just makes sense, who reminds you of how beautiful and amazing you are when all you see are your flaws…there was just no way I was letting this guy go.
But it hasn’t been all hearts and roses, we have been fortunate enough to work for an airline so hopping on a flight is easier compared to most, but there have been bumps along the way and unlike most relationships to get over them together is usually done over Facetime or texts (the latter of which is my least favorite).
So what can help make LDRs easier for you? How do you set yourself up to succeed and get to the future you both imagine? How do you deal with the lonely nights and frustrating days when all you want is your significant other next to you, but they’re miles away?
Distance is not for the fearful, it’s for the bold. It’s for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It’s for those who know a good thing when they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough.
A house must be built on solid foundations if it is to last. The same principles applies to man, otherwise he too will sink into the soft ground and becomes swallowed by the world of illusion
Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction
-Antione de Saint-Exupery
Foundation…it’s all about how you set yourself up…it’s about your foundation with yourself and your mutual foundation for the relationship itself. Hear me out…
Before you start any project, any new life chapter you always want to have a firm foundation so you’re not building things on a rocky and slipper slope. The same goes for long distance relationships…actually it’s pretty much priority if you want to make sure your relationships aren’t full of arguments and frustrations each time you’re communicating.
You can’t build a future with someone or a strong connection if each time you put down a building block your house starts to sink. Now you’re probably thinking…ok Nathaly, but how do you set a good foundation? Well let me give you some bullet points that helped me.
The number one thing that helped me was letting go of anything in my past that would set me up for failure. I had been holding onto things I didn’t realize were constantly making me rethink certain things or wonder if I deserved anything better. Girl (or guy) of course you deserve something better, but if you’re holding onto those thoughts you’ll never allow yourself to have anything good for you. I let go of old relationships that people constantly asked if I regretted, I let go of anyone that hurt me…now this was before I even stepped into a relationship…I wanted to go into the new year brand spanking new. But this is the main thing I always go back to when I think about how I’ve kept my LDR going much longer than any other relationship in my past.
The number two step that really helped me was keeping everyone…and I mean EVERYONE…out of my relationship. Have you ever noticed how we women tend to constantly go to our girlfriends about everything? In my past relationships I went to my friends when I was upset, confused, frustrated, concerned or just questioning things. I never went to the source…the person I was hoping to create a life with.Here’s the thing about that though, if you’re never talking to your significant other about all your thoughts and emotions how the heck are they ever going to change what causes them? How will you push through some of those thoughts if he (or she) doesn’t even know about them?
Girlfriends are great, I know and love them, but they aren’t living my life…they aren’t me. They don’t like all the same things I like, they don’t need the same things I need so how can they give me a non-biased opinion if all they’re seeing is my side of the story. I love love love my girlfriends, but a couple months into my relationship I realized this was actually hurting us. I was bringing people into our relationship that had no right to be there. I cut out all the “girl” talks and when I feel frustrated or concern about something I bring it up to him. We talk about it and try to find a way to avoiding those feelings and then we move on. Trust me, give yourself a month of doing this and you’ll take a weight off your shoulders and expand your relationship so much more.
The final thing that has really helped my long distance relationship and create a stable foundation was keeping a personal life. Let me explain…so many of us tend to jump so much into a relationship that we throw out our entire life so everything we do is based on our significant other. You stop doing the things you love, you stop focusing on your friends as much, you stop exercising as much. I had come to realize that in all my past relationships I had placed my boyfriends in such a pedastal that I thought my whole world had to revolve around them. I wouldn’t make plans on my days off or after work because they might call or want to go out.
I would stop exercising or caring about what I was putting into my body. I would stop all the hobbies I loved to do because my relationship would just take up so much of my time…and little by little I would start feeling the burn out. I would start questioning myself on things, I would feel lonely even though I had someone that wanted to be with me.
As I went into this new relationship I realized I couldn’t do that anymore. You might think, well of course it’s easier with a long distance relationship, he’s not around…but really it’s not. With our time difference the only way we could talk was usually when I had something planned, during the times I usually did my workouts or hobbies. By the time our convos would end I was just too tired or it was too dark to do any of them.
So I needed to come up with a plan to make sure I didn’t lose Nathaly in this equation and still made a priority for our chats. Your significant other should encourage this too! They’re dating you because of you and the things you do! They shouldn’t want you to be all about them…because honestly what fun is that anyways. In my case I realized I needed to block out time to do what I wanted to do, whether waking up early or just changing the times of our chats.
I kept my workouts, I kept my meditation time, I kept my crafting time and I still kept my boyfriend chats. Of course there are some days when you do have to make a priority for your relationship, as you would with a friendship that needs some attention. But this shouldn’t be a consistent thing, you shouldn’t feel burned out or lost in the middle of a relationship. So it’s so so important to make time for yourself, make time with your friends, make time doing the things you enjoy to do…and if this is someone that truly loves you they’ll encourage you to do all of those things and more.
Long distance relationships definitely require a bit more attention than some other relationships, but if you build the right foundation it won’t seem like such a struggle. Yes, you’ll get those lonely moments but if you’re still living your life while maintaining your relationship those moments become less and less frequent. So remember, let go of anything you may be holding on to (really spend time on this because it may things you didn’t even realize), leave your relationship for the two of you and no one else and maintain your life to still do things you love to do. Build on these and I know your LDR will get stronger as you go through your months apart.
Questions for you:
1. Have you tried some of these items and have them helped in your relationship?
2. What are some things that have helped you in your long distance relationship?
3. How do you deal with those lonely moments that may come up in your LDR?