I’ve been in a long distance relationship for 7 years and I can tell you one serious truth about long distance relationships: When you’re still going through it they are awful and almost not worth it. Yep, I said it.
Like most couples who have closed the distance, I can say that being long distance feels so far away now and I don’t regret waiting for my life with my boyfriend begin -finally. It’s worth it once it’s over, but the rest of the time it’s a total, heart-wrenching nightmare.
Nobody does long distance willingly or just because it’s a cool experience to have. Most of us are thrust into a long distance relationship because our partner works in another country or because we go to different colleges. So it goes without saying that sometimes we get into a real funk and we have moments where we feel like we’re stuck in a long distance relationship with no quick way out.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you’re not stuck, that it’s only in your mind or some other crap like that. You ARE stuck. Who actually WANTS to be in a long distance relationship? I don’t. Not again, anyway.
It’s not all bad though. We have good days and we have bad days and we have days where we want to rip our hearts out and stomp on them so that we can stop feeling and just break up with them and end the distance already. Oh, just me? Sorry.
Anyway, when you’re having those days when the reality of being stuck in a situation that isn’t ideal hits you like a ton of bricks, maybe some of these tips can help you to get through it the way they helped me. After all, I did survive 7 years of it.
Stop comparing where you are to where you want to be.
Its okay to miss your SO or want to be near them. We all do it. But don’t let it become the all consuming thing that brings you down everyday. Realize that life isn’t “perfect” and things almost never go smoothly but you will get there when you get there in the end. Distance can’t go on forever (we only live so long anyway.)
Remember that distance is really just the passing of time.
You may feel stuck, but you’re moving forward right now even without doing anything. Distance is just a passing of time. It’s not permanent and whether you’re standing still, working out, or skyping together, time is always passing and you’re always moving closer to being together. Embrace it and have patience.
Take time to celebrate each little accomplishment.
There’s 2 types of people in this world: Half-full & Half-empties. Which are you? It’s easy to get so stuck looking at the big picture (how you aren’t together) that you forget to notice all the little achievements you and your SO are actually making -both apart and together. Don’t let the biggest obstacle make you ignore the smaller ones. That’s a good way to get yourself down. Celebrate every bit of good, because each accomplishment leads you to one final destination.
Read the news for a reality check.
Think being apart from your SO is the worst thing in the world? It may feel like it, but the reality is it actually isn’t. I’m not saying this to diminish your feelings or make you feel guilty. Not at all. But watching the news is kind of a reality check. Things could be so much worse. Knowing that is enough to lift anyone’s spirits.
Read about other successful couples.
Did you know there are couples out there who met online, didn’t meet in person for years, were from different continents and who survived 10 or even 12 years of distance? And they have kids now!? Talk about inspiring! If they can do it in the face of so many obstacles (probably way more than us), what exactly is there to be worried about? You can so do this!
Make a list of 3 good things about your LDR every day.
Okay, so maybe that news “reality check” thing wasn’t quite enough for you. Some days are rough and that’s just not enough. Force your brain to think about good things instead of focusing on the bad. On those days when you feel stuck and awful and sad, write down 3 things about your relationship that make you happy. Keep it with you as you go through the day so you can glance at it as needed. It works.
Take a break from social media.
It’s hard dealing with seeing how your friends or family have made successes of their lives while you’re still waiting just to kiss your SO. When does MY life start, you might think. I’ve been there and because everytime I browsed Facebook I’d get terribly depressed or sad, I did the unthinkable: I stopped checking my facebook. Or, more honestly, I check it every 2 or 3 months as opposed to every week and it made a world of difference for me.
Listen To This Advice.
If you’re anything like me, you read through LDR advice articles, nod your head and forget to actually LISTEN to it. Don’t do that this time. If you really are feeling stuck, give yourself a break and do what you can so that you DON’T feel like that ANYMORE. Distance is worth it, but feeling stuck is not.