Long distance relationships are hard. They are not impossible, but I believe that they take a certain level of commitment. Like, it’s a “you have to be all-in” type situation. At least for me it was.
I can’t say that I knew I’d marry Cent the first day we met. Or even after dating for a few weeks. But once we crossed the line into a long distance relationship and started buying plane tickets and investing in frequent flyer miles, I knew it had to be going somewhere. Sometimes you know. Sometimes you don’t.
5 Things to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work…or what seemed to work for us!
1. TALK. A lot. About everything. I’m surprised Cent didn’t get tired of listening to my voice, but I guess that’s a good thing, right? We made it a point to chat every night just to keep up with each other. Even on days when there was nothing new, exciting, or even interesting to report. But because we had that daily point of contact (beyond text messages, emails, or Facebook posts), we were always there for each other, even though we weren’t in the same state.
2. FUTURE. Have a future in sight. Where is the relationship going? I knew (or at least reflecting back now, I believe I knew) that if I was going to embark on a long distance relationship, it wasn’t going to be for kicks. This relationship had to be going somewhere. At first I wasn’t really thinking in terms of marriage necessarily (at the time, marriage seemed way off in the future), but I knew that if we were going to commit to each other, there had to be a future in sight. Would one of us move? When? What was the timeline of our relationship before we didn’t have to be apart. For us, we dated long distance for three years, and Cent proposed after dating for about 2.5 years.
3. DISCOVERY. If you weren’t together very long before you started a long distance relationship, this is the perfect opportunity to start getting to know your significant other through and through. Because you won’t see each other in person very often, you’ll have to talk (in most cases!) so this is a great chance to talk about childhood, dreams, fears, hang ups, and the future (see above!) And apparently, after six years of knowing each other you can still learning something new. Amidst all the things we talked about, I JUST learned Cent’s favorite animal. How did I miss that conversation?!
4. INDEPENDENCE. I don’t think I can stress this enough. I believe it’s 100% essential to the success of your long distance relationship to be able to have a life independent of your relationship. Now, I don’t mean leave your significant other out of your life with friends, but I think you need to have friends. Friends who are not your significant other who you can spend time with, hang out with, talk to, and carry on with when you are not with your love. Because really, otherwise, the codependence will the be the doom of your relationship. I was super thankful to have my family and friends to hang out with during times we were apart, which was, most of the time. And I was glad that he had a group of friends to hang out with as well.
5. TRUST. That’s probably a given, but trust is paramount in a long distance relationship. If there’s any doubt in your relationship, it’s probably not going to work out. I think that independence and trust go hand in hand. You have to trust your significant other when they are doing the independent thing. If you don’t trust them, it will drive you crazy wondering where they are, with who, and so on. I know there were moments when I wondered those same things, but I trusted Cent 110% so I wasn’t worried, and he trusted me.
And because posts are better with pictures, a throwback photo from 2006 (before becoming a photographer, too!), on a trip to Alcatraz, in the midst of long distancing it up.
Have you been or are you in a long distance relationship? What would you add to the list?
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