How to Make Your Long Distance Relationship Work (Even When You Think It Can’t)

Long-distance is no “walk in the park.” In fact it often includes sleepless nights, plane rides across the country, working overtime, and always questioning what’s next. But don’t let that fool you! Being in a relationship that requires independence, strength, and hard work is nothing a BAUCE woman can’t handle!

Conversations surrounding the idea of a “long-distance relationship” generally have negative connotations. People will ask you, “Isn’t that difficult? How will that ever work out? Are you sure that’s what you want? Shouldn’t you be saving to buy a home?” Despite requiring extra effort, a relationship that withstands the miles can be extremely rewarding. As a self-motivated woman, I find that my current long-distance relationship has allowed me to flourish personally and as a partner. The time away from my partner gives me the ability to work on all aspects of my life: my career, physical and mental health, time management, money management, and personal relationships. But it certainly is not easy. Here are a few tips on how to make a long-distance relationship work for a BAUCE:

1) Communicate


Sounds simple enough, right? In all relationships people will tell you, “communication is key.” In a long-distance relationship, it is the key. Long-distance lovers rely on many types of communication to make up for the inability to be physically together. Luckily with smartphones, the internet, and cameras, there are multiple ways to connect with the people you love. With that being said, it is necessary to maintain consistent communication with your partner! Sending a picture of your sunset and comparing it to theirs, setting up a time to talk about your days, or video-chatting at a convenient time for the two of you makes the distance a lot less dull.

2) Don’t Stop Your Hustle


Following your passions and working hard should never be compromised due to your relationship. Especially with added distance, there is a lot of time for you to focus your energy on what you love. In a successful long-distance partnership, both people chasing their dreams will inspire one another. It’s exciting to be doing your own thing! Your hustle will get you through each day and allow you to save for future travels. Not only does pursuing a career act as a distraction from being away from your partner, but it also makes you feel good about yourself. It’s important for you to continue being a BAUCE (because in reality, that’s why they fell in love with you in the first place)!

3) Plan Ahead


Whether the distance between you and your partner is a few hundred or thousands of miles, you both must plan ahead. For a BAUCE woman this includes strategically scheduling time off and saving up for any travel expenses. Discuss mutually convenient times to travel with your partner and share the work. While one partner plans to travel, the other should anticipate their partner’s needs upon arrival. My partner and I do this by planning a date, meeting each other at the airport, providing a meal or place to stay, making one another feel like nothing has changed, setting up a comfortable workspace, etc. A relationship is never a one-way street. It makes the visit easier when the person waiting for their partner to arrive has already done some of the work.

4) Trade Off


It’s important to alternate who visits whom. It gives both people something to look forward to and lessens the burden on a sole partner. Knowing when you’re going to see each other makes the time in between less scary. Trading off gives each person a sense of adventure! When going to your partners living space you learn a lot about them and vice versa. If there is any reason why your partner cannot come visit you (visa issues, financial struggles, lack of support, etc.), make sure you communicate about how to solve this hardship in the future. One person cannot rely on the other to carry the relationship.

5) Talk It Out


Arguments are bound to happen in any strong relationship. Misunderstandings can weigh heavy when you pile on the stress caused by time differences and physical separation. Don’t let the small stuff build up. Resolving minor or major issues is a must. If you are feeling some type of way, make sure you are being honest with your partner but also thoughtful and mindful of the other person’s feelings. You are a team! And like a team, you must discuss how to navigate the strengths and weaknesses of both players.

6) Mushy Is Okay!


It makes up for the lack of physical intimacy. Saying “I love you,” “Have a great day,” “I miss you,” “Good Morning,” and “Goodnight,” should be easy things to say regularly to your far-away partner. Expressing these simple sentiments by text or email creates a sense of familiarity. Send your partner a photo of you and your friends and have them send one back! Remind them they are sexy and how much you appreciate them. If you are feeling creative, write a surprise letter to your partner. Don’t shy away from ego-boosters and lovey-dovey notes. These small efforts will keep your love strong, your self-esteem high, and your relationship fun!

7) Stay True


This means staying honest and loyal. Healthy relationships truly adopt honesty as the best policy. While obsession over the other person’s whereabouts is unhealthy and unnecessary, it is helpful to let your partner know your daily activities and how you’re feeling. If I know I am going to be busy for a long period of time, I like to let my partner know in advance so that he is not concerned. Due to our trust in one another and our ability to talk things out, I do not worry about when my partner goes out with friends or hasn’t messaged me for a day. We have a good idea of each other’s schedules and leave room for having responsible fun. If there is a lack of trust, there is probably something wrong with the relationship.

8) Check In

A photo by María Victoria Heredia Reyes.

Maintaining a positive long-distance relationship is caring while not going overboard. You do not need to be glued to your phone and messaging one another at every moment, but it is important to stay up to date. Check in with your partner! Ask them about their day and how they’re feeling both physically and mentally. Let them know what exciting new projects you are working on and about your health. Checking in and being supportive are essential ways to stay afloat during your everyday grind.

9) Surround Yourself With A Good Support System


You will need other people to support you and your relationship goals with your long-distance lover. And no, I don’t mean with hashtags on cute photos of you and your partner such as #relationshipgoals. I mean real support from family and friends. The physical distance between partners can obscure the importance of a relationship. While your relationship does not need to be the center of all conversations, it is important for those around you to realize that your partner is an immense part of your life. It is also critical to have outlets of support in addition to your partner. The people you surround yourself with are crucial to helping you get through rough patches so that you can stay strong and on two feet! If you are questioning whether your relationship is a healthy one, these communities of support will be an additional asset.

While these tips are aimed at long-distance romantic relationships, many can apply to nearby or platonic relationships. It is also possible that these tips can get you through a temporary long-distance portion of your relationship. In the end, it’s all about mutual respect, understanding, and effort while taking care of you and your needs.

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