Long Distance Relationships - How Do You Work It Out?

Posted on 25. Apr, 2011 by in Europe Travel, Expat Life

What’s up with relationship advice on a travel blog, you ask? The two subjects are not as far apart as they may seem. Let me tell you a story first.

On a freezing February morning,  an innocent email flipped my life around.  “It’s on. I’m leaving Saturday. Talk to you later”.  My fiancé was crossing the pond for work, with no established return date.  It felt like an organ was taken out of my rib cage. I had no idea of when I would be able to join him, or how to survive without him - after all, we had been together for 4 years. But as I write this post, it’s only three weeks before we reunite and I thought I could share my tips on how to survive a long distance relationship when you’ve been together for, well, what seems like forever.

long distance relationships advice

-> Set goals and keep them in mind

First thing you need to do is figure out when you are going to be reunited, either temporarily or permanently. When you have something to look forward to, the wait is a lot more tolerable! And while counting the days might actually make matters worse for some,  never let the distance actually distance  you from each other.  You are together in this.

-> Don’t let the new single life let you down

Don’t get this wrong - single life isn’t bad per se. It is, however, quite hard to deal with when it’s thrown in your face with just a couple days notice, and uou have to deal with this whole new lifestyle. Dealing with a long-distance relationship that isn’t planned in advance isn’t at all different from a break-up, in reality.

You have to re-learn from scratch how to go grocery shopping for one, take the trash out, shovel the snow (at least for us Canadians), pay the bills and mostly, how to spend time alone. It’s hard, it’s frightening, but always remember that it’s only a matter of time. And whenever you really need help, ask your friends to come and help - and bring a bottle of wine along the way (not that I’m suggesting you to drink your sorrow or anything, but you know. The ends justify the means, right?).

-> Take the extra time…

Of course, when you start planning your departure, hundreds of millions of things start to fill up your to-do list. But even when you are exhausted from your day, or when you feel like you can’t take it anymore, take some time to call your other half, even if it’s just to say hi and talk about the weather. The wonders of these little chats are amazingly energizing, regardless of the time of the day. Sleeping is overrated anyway, right?

-> … and spend the extra money

As fun as these chats may be, they tend to be costly too. But as I said, their value is worthless. And if you are lucky enough to have some extra money, a thoughtful surprise gift through the mail is always a good idea, just to really let the other know you are thinking of them. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be appreciated.

And if all else fails, do yourself a favour and book a one-way ticket to where your heart is.

Have you experienced this kind of experience?  Is it worse for new couples or old ones? Got any tricks in your pockets?


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9 Responses to “Long Distance Relationships - How Do You Work It Out?”

  1. Heather

    22. Jun, 2011

    I have been in a long distance relationship for 8 months now. We are old friends who reconnected on Facebook so our relationship started out long distance & due to the fact that we both have young kids that we can’t uproot right now, it will remain long distance for the near (and not-so-near) future. The beginning was the worst because we wanted to be together all the time. Now we seem to have found “our groove” & it works for us. Trust has never been an issue with either of us & that comes from being in constant contact with each other from the time we wake up until we fall asleep at night. Just simple texts throughout the day to let the other know that we’re thinking about each other. We only get to see each other once every 6-8 weeks. For now it works for both of us. If the day comes where one of us needs more, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, I wouldn’t trade it.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      01. Jul, 2011

      Good! I’m glad you liked my post. Thanks for your comment :)

      Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      29. Nov, 2011

      I hope it all works out great in the end! Have you come up with other tips?

      Reply to this comment
  2. Adventurous Kate

    17. Jul, 2011

    Thank you for your post and sharing your experience! I’m in my first long-distance relationship right now. We met in Vietnam, he’s from England, and I’m from America, and while I have location independence, I don’t have the visa abilities to plunk myself down in England or even anywhere in Europe for awhile. Which is hard, especially since he’s pretty much rooted where he is for at least another year.

    We’ve been seeing each other every 6-8 weeks. I wish it could be better, and I’m going to spend much of September with him. But we Skype nearly every day, and we trust each other…that keeps us from going completely mad!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      18. Jul, 2011

      Transatlantic relationships are pretty hard, indeed. I hope these little tips help you out a little bit :)
      (also, OMG, you’re dating a Brit!!!! :P )

      Reply to this comment
  3. Earl Squirrelson

    26. Aug, 2011

    I have had a couple of long distance relationships and its not been easy either time.

    sometimes though a meet up half way is also a good way to spend a little time together, plus if your lucky you get to see a few new places…

    Reply to this comment
  4. Just Be

    13. Nov, 2011

    Been there. Done that. Somehow managed to survive. I’m American and lived in the UK and he was British living in the US. Oh, the irony… Skype works wonders. As do surprise flowers and cards :)

    I think the key is knowing that you are in it for the long haul and that, eventually, you will be reunited.

    It’s always nice to see other successful long distance relationship stories!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      29. Nov, 2011

      Yes, I think it’s important to keep the surprises coming when on a long-distance relationship. It doesn’t even have to be expensive!

      Reply to this comment


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