What I Learned From My Long-Distance Relationship – Upspoken

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Love + Relationships

What I Learned From My Long-Distance Relationship


Raise your hand if you’ve been in a long-distance relationship.

ME: 🙋🏿‍♀️

My boyfriend and I started dating in high school and then went to different colleges, where we would see each other 2-3 times a month. After college, we both worked in the same city, finally ending the long-distance part of our relationship… or so I thought! After a few years working in the same city, he got an exciting job opportunity across the country, and we both agreed that he had to pursue it to continue #makingmoves. So last year, he moved, and we are back in a long-distance relationship (LDR).

Man, long distance is hard! But here I am in 2019 and I can tell you we’re still thriving and in love. Here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way:

Accept it won’t be easy 💪🏿

Who wants their boo to move away or move away from their boo?! Not me. But I changed my perspective by reminding myself that we needed to be apart to achieve personal goals that would make us stronger individuals. Yes, there are days I miss him like crazy and nostalgia sets in. And yes, talking on the phone is not the same as talking in person and being able to touch. But at the same time, long-distance has made us appreciate each other even more, improve our communication, and set clear goals together.

See the bright side

Being apart also affords a ton of new opportunities to pick up a new hobby, throw yourself into a project, and reconnect with yourself. Personally, I was able to spend more time with my younger sisters and make more weekend plans with my girlfriends. I reconnected with parts of my identity I had forgotten and explored new things that made me feel inspired in new ways.

Find your preferred method of communication 🤳🏿

Take your pick: FaceTime, texting, phone calls, even sliding into their DMs 👀. Texting works best for my boyfriend and me during the day, and at night we talk on the phone or FaceTime. There are days where we have so much to say, and others where we talk about what we ate for lunch. Regardless, we make the time to talk on a daily basis. We even re-adjusted to a new time zone — we talk right after my dinner which is before his bedtime. Working through time zone differences can be tricky, but I found that getting into a routine or even setting up a FaceTime schedule ahead of time can help.

Surprise each other 💌

When you’re in an LDR it’s hard to show affection in person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it in other ways. Postmates them their favorite dessert or send a handwritten card via snail mail. It’s the little things that make a big difference – and show that you are thinking of them, even if they are miles away.

Always have a plan to see each other ✈️

It helps to know the date you’re going to see each other next. When we decided to do long-distance, we talked about how often we would be able to visit each other. Knowing the next time we will see each other gives me something to look forward to and eases my anxiety about being so far away. As the date gets closer, we make plans and get excited about the new restaurant we will try. Even going to the grocery store together is exciting all over again 😂. Traveling can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, so talking about how often you can see each other is crucial to alleviating stress ahead of time and making sure both people are on the same page.

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If you’re in an LDR, let me know in the comments below and share your tips for the rest of us in the same boat!