5 Ways to Rock a Long Distance Relationship

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A few key thoughts about keeping love alive across the miles, by Steve Harper. 

My partner and I have never lived in the same state. When we met almost 5 years ago, he was living in Maryland and I was living in NY. Now I’m in Los Angeles and we’re still going strong and having a terrific time.

People ask me how do we do it. The rules are simple and powerful.

Is it easy? No. It takes a certain amount of patience and ingenuity and it’s not for everyone.

And yes, we look forward to living in the same state, but it hasn’t happened yet.

The key factors here are commitment and respect. If you’re determined to sabotage a relationship, it doesn’t matter if you live in the same part of the country or the same house. This is the bottom line for all healthy relationships – long distance or not.

Here’s what we have found works:

1) Have a solid daily routine. By the time I wake up I have a “good morning” email in my inbox. We check in by phone during the day, text at the drop of a hat and Skype or FaceTime often. I end my day calling him to share a good night prayer (yes, he wakes up for the call).

2) Schedule visits regularly. We see each other in person every 30 – 40 days. More often if we can swing it with work schedules and other events. Sometimes we see each other every few weeks depending on what’s possible.

3) Create a community. We’re both members of The Mankind Project, an international men’s fellowship, and consequently we know many of the same people. We hang out with mutual, supportive friends whether we’re on his coast or mine.

4) Connect with family. We spend holidays with his relatives or mine and we have a loving web of family (and family Facebook friends). I enjoy posting photos of our adventures and seeing posts from the “in-laws”.

5) Stay honest and transparent. When we’re feeling lonely and missing each other, we talk about it. It’s important for us to be clear about what’s going on whether we’re sitting next to each other or on the other side of the country.

Long distance relationships are not for everyone. But they’re entirely possible with commitments, respect and rules grounded in love. Find a way to solidify your relationship no matter how close or far you live from one another.

 

Photo credit: MsSaraKelly/flickr

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About Steve Harper

Steve Harper is a writer, actor and creativity coach living in Los Angeles. Find our more about him at www.harpercreates.com or www.yourcreativelife.com

Comments

  1. Leandro Leite says:

    Wish it had worked for me (or at least that I was given these advices before).

  2. Wow, massive respect, that’s something I certainly couldn’t do

  3. I have been engaging in LDR’s for as long as I’ve been a reasonable age to date. Because strict parents, switching schools a lot due to weird regional location and bad teachers, and then homeschool. This resulted in a gross lack of friends…like none. Seriously. My first boyfriend was British (I’m American, btw). We were together for 5 years…We got to spend a whopping 8 weeks together (total) during our entire relationship. My 2nd and current boyfriend is German. We’ve been together for 4 years. I go to see him every 3 months for 3 months and have been doing that for about 2 years. I’ll be actually living in Germany by next year hopefully. LDR’s are normal to me, and I actually think that there are a lot of good things about LDR’s. People are so focused on the flaws, but they fail to see the ways that LDR’s are actually beneficial.

    1.) Heart grows fonder over distance,..like really fond if you know what I mean.

    2.) You are generally more attentive to your partner when they are thousands of miles away.

    3.) With the internet you can pretty much do all the activities you normally would. Play games, watch movies, even group chat with some friends..if you’re creative enough the possibilities are endless.

    4.) You get to know each other on a deeper level. You have the chemistry but its not overwhelmingly present, its just enough to feel comfortable and safe when you first start talking.

    5.) The meet ups. When you first see them after going months without being close to them..its super special. Every time. Its the meet ups that give your relationship some hope after all.

    So, basically..this article isn’t really advice,..but more telling you how a normal and healthy LDR functions…there’s no real effort needed because it happens organically on its own unless you just really hate the idea of LDRs and its keeping you from having a healthy one.

  4. I have been engaging in LDRs for as long as I’ve been a reasonable age to date. Because strict parents, switching schools a lot due to weird regional location and bad teachers, and then home-school. This resulted in a gross lack of friends…like none. Seriously. My first boyfriend was British (I’m American, btw). We were together for 5 years…We got to spend a whopping 8 weeks together (total) during our entire relationship. My 2nd and current boyfriend is German. We’ve been together for 4 years. I go to see him every 3 months for 3 months and have been doing that for about 2 years. I’ll be actually living in Germany by next year hopefully. LDRs are normal to me, and I actually think that there are a lot of good things about LDRs. People are so focused on the flaws, but they fail to see the ways that LDRs are actually beneficial.

    1.) Heart grows fonder over distance,..like really fond if you know what I mean.

    2.) You are generally more attentive to your partner when they are thousands of miles away.

    3.) With the internet you can pretty much do all the activities you normally would. Play games, watch movies, even group chat with some friends..if you’re creative enough the possibilities are endless.

    4.) You get to know each other on a deeper level. You have the chemistry but its not overwhelmingly present. Its just enough to feel comfortable and safe when you first start talking.

    5.) The meet ups. When you first see them after going months without being close to them..its super special. Every time. Its the meet ups that give your relationship some hope after all.

    So, basically..this article isn’t really advice,..but more telling you how a normal and healthy LDR functions…there’s no real effort needed because it happens organically on its own unless you just really hate the idea of LDRs and its keeping you from having a healthy one.

  5. Steve,

    Thanks for this wonderful article. I’m just starting out a long distance relationship, feeling some fear about it, and this encourages me that it can be done. Your advice reinforces what we are already doing, and really invites us to ramp it up so it can really work.

    Love is pretty awesome, and I have met someone very special who just happens to be far away. I’d rather have that than someone less special in my town. I hope we get to be together soon, but in the meantime, your advice will serve us well.

    Blessings,
    Aaron.

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