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Relationships are hard and require a lot of work. They are even harder when you live long distance from the other party. As someone who has lived it and survived it and relationship is still going strong here's the top tips for making a long distance relationship last:
It's cliche I know, but trust is a much needed thing in any relationsip but especially in a long distance one. From states apart, to different time-zones all the way into different countries you won't be texting or facetiming your partner every second of the day. They, or you, will have plans with friends or work and have to go it alone. If you can't trust your partner you'll never get a decent night sleep, you'll drive yourself crazy and you will never trust them even when you are finally together. Trust is key.
2) Treat it like a real relationship and don't let people tell you it won't last.
You might be long distance but that doesn't make it any less of a relationship. Treat your partner the same as you would if they were right there next to you. Engage with them, ask how their day was, try and cheer them up when they've had a rough day. Do silly dinner dates, even if it means one of you is having breakfast and the other dinner. Most importantly, don't let people feed negativity in about your relationship. Don't fall into the belief that it won't last and isn't worth it because there isn't any physical contact. It can and will if you both treat your relationship like one.
3) You live your life and let them live theirs.
You cannot put your life on hold until you're finally together and they can't put theirs on hold for you. Go out and see your friends, do things you love and enjoy doing. Go and see that movie. Just because they aren't there doesn't mean you can't have a life. Save certain things for when you are together but be sure to go out and have fun as well.
4) Make time for each other.
Skype. Facebook messenger call. Facetime. There are so many ways for us to keep in contact with each other these days, see each other over a screen that it shouldn't be difficult to make time to see each other. Set a time everyday where you are both free and talk, spend virtual time together. Make every effort to keep the time and not miss it, show them how much they mean to you that even as busy as your life might be, you can make an hour for them.
Like with virtual time together through Facetime/Skype there are loads of apps that allow you to communicate for free all over the world. I used Viber, but Whatsapp is the newest and by far better app. Text each other throughout the day, check-in and see how their day is going.
6) Plan visits.
There is nothing more exciting than the countdown for when your partner will be there. It gives you both something to be excited for and look forward too. It gives you the excuse to take time off from work and spend as much time together as possible.
7) Be honest.
Set rules from the start, explain what you both want from the relationship and where you hope it will eventually lead too, what you want in the future. There's nothing worse than being in a long distant relationship to not have the same end goal. If things change make sure you express that.
8) Set a date.
Once your relationship is stable enough and you both know what the other wants set the end date for when you plan to be together. Long distance is hard but it's even harder when there is no end in sight. Determine who will move to where, or if you both with move and stick with it.
9) Breathe and be patient.
It will be hard. It will be long. But when it's right it is worth it all.