Some of you might have noticed me mention a couple of times that I'm currently in a long-distance relationship. As my boyfriend Iain and I have now been together two years and have been doing long-distance for almost all of that time, I thought it might be nice to share a few of our tried and tested tips for managing the distance. Being in a long-distance relationship definitely has its difficulties, but we're thankful that we have only ever lived a few hours away from each other (originally four hours, then two, and now only one and a half). For us, it was worth dealing with the difficulties that are caused by the distance, especially as we were friends before we started dating and also didn't want to lose that aspect of our relationship. We both very much hope we might be able to closer in the not-too-distant future, but until then here are our top tips for coping with distance.
We try to keep in regular contact by texting, Facebook messenger and phone calls which helps us to feel connected and up to date with each other. We often send each other links to things we've found on the internet or chat about what's happened to us during the day and even though we're not talking about anything important, I miss it if we don't manage to at least check in.
We like being able to use Skype for "face to face" conversations as it means we get to see each other even if we're not together. We used to Skype around 2-3 times per month and could stay on for hours even if we haven't got much to say. For me, it feels a bit more like being in the same room than talking on the phone or by Facebook. Right now we can't Skype while I'm in my flat as I don't have internet, but we still Skype when I'm at my parents' house and I can use their wifi.
Meeting up as regularly as possible
We manage to get together around once a month if we're lucky, or once every 6-8 weeks if our individual schedules are more demanding. We try to share the travelling so it doesn't all fall to one person all the time. We try to plan our visits a while in advance if possible so we know that we can look forward to seeing each other.
Plan to do something special
When we do manage to visit each other, I prefer it if we can plan something nice to do so that we're making our time together feel special. Usually we aim to go out for dinner or drinks, catch up on some TV or a film we've been wanting to watch together, or go for a day out somewhere we wouldn't normally go.
Try not to focus on the distance
I try not to moan about living so far apart, or only bring it up in a positive way like when we're talking about not having to do long distance in the future! Being too negative about the distance makes things miserable, although we both get upset about it from time to time - it's normal.
This is one we're not so good at but we're trying to improve! Having some photos of you together is a really nice way to be able to remember fun things you've done together or just feel a bit closer to your partner when they're not around.
On a related note, we sometimes also like little souvenirs of things we've done together. I keep some sea shells that I picked up one one of our beach walks; they remind me every time I look at them of something we really enjoy doing when we get the opportunity.
That's about it for now but please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for us! Have you ever been in a long-distance relationship? Do you think you would ever try it?