International long-distance relationships are just like any other relationship – it involves two committed individuals who are working hard to be with one another. The difference is that your partner is in another city or country and you cannot see each other as much as you would like to. Factor in time zone differences, transportation fees (i.e. bus, train, or plane), and different schedules, long-distance is definitely no easy feat.
In my own personal relationship, my partner and I have done long-distance on-and-off several times in our relationship. They have lasted as short as six weeks to five months before we reunited for a longer period of time. However, when I decided to permanently leave Hong Kong to go home last year, we knew it will take over a year before we can permanently be together without visa restrictions. I want to dedicate this article to my partner for his perseverance of one-year long distance and our first year marriage anniversary.
To celebrate this special occasion, I have asked my female travel bloggers to join me in sharing their tip of how they survived their long-distance relationship. What is the one tip that made their relationship work? They spilt the beans and made this article happen!
Co-Create Rules of Engagement
When embarking on a long distance relationship, it’s important to talk to your partner and align your “Rules of Engagement.” These are a number of important decisions regarding communication with your partner that will create the culture of your relationship. For example, you’ll want to discuss how often you’ll communicate, when is the best time for calls and what tools to use. Many couples enter a long-distance relationship with contrasting expectations and despite best intentions, end up hurting each other. By setting the foundation early on, you can avoid the common pitfalls of not meeting each other’s expectations and thrive in your relationship!
– Sam from The #LDR Activity Book
Keeping Track of Each Other’s Schedules
It is very important to keep track of your partner’s daily schedule when you are in a long distance relationship. You would not want to disturb your partner in the middle of a meeting or during a business event. If unknowingly you tend to do so, it might lead to a feeling of being neglected. To avoid such situations, you must keep yourself aware of what your partner would be doing throughout the day. Making calls or communicating at the right time would make way to a better understanding of your relationship. Sending a spontaneous message to your partner is a great way to feel connected. If you both live in different time zones, decide a particular time period that works out for both of you and communicate during that period so you can stay connected and feel involved in each other’s lives.
– Anjali from Cheerful Trails
After being in several long distance relationships, my number one tip is to keep a conversation going on a daily basis. A couple of minutes here and there in-between your day-to-day activities can make your partner feel more included in your life. Scheduling a call for only a couple of minutes makes such a difference and it will ease the pressure in the relationship. When you only talk once every couple of days, it is hard to let your partner in on all that’s happening in your life.
– Julie from Why Not Ju
When you are in a long distance relationship, technology is your best friend. With the help of Skype and Whatsapp, staying connected with someone has never been easier. We can call our partner and see his or her face live within a second; we can communicate daily with free texts and phone calls via internet and there are even apps such as “Couple” to help you stay in touch with someone far away. Long distance is hard, but if you take advantage of today’s advanced technology, it makes things a lot easier!
– Amanda from My Backpacker Life
Setting a Date Night
One thing that really helped us while we were long distance was keeping a set date night once a week. With both of your busy schedules, it’s important to make time for each other and be sure that’s a priority. Find an activity the two of you can do together on a Skype or Facetime call, so you can feel a bit closer to each other. Whether that be you cooking together, working on a fun art project where you need both of your pieces to complete or watching a show together, each activity can help your relationship grow. The main idea is to do activities as if you were both actually together.
– Sara from Our Kind of Crazy
My biggest tip for being in a long distance relationship is to be considerate and attentive. Things don’t often translate the same way online as they do in person, so it’s good to be extra kind to your significant other. My boyfriend and I make sure not to go to bed angry at each other, which forces us to look at the big picture and to stop arguing.
– Anya from Unexpected Occurrence
Visiting One Another
It is very important to make time for your partner and to visit one another as much as you can. As a full-time blogger, I sometimes have to travel for months and leave my partner behind as he has a corporate job in the city. To make sure that we stay excited about our relationship, we plan and book tickets to see each other as often as we can. Since we know that we would see each other halfway through the trip, it makes our solo adventures a little easier. We also spend our time talking about the things we would do and places we would visit when we meet which keeps us looking forward to our next trip together.
– Priyanka from On My Canvas
Sending Snail Mail
We live in a digital-first world and slower living has become almost obsolete. I used to talk to my husband on Skype almost every day, even if it was just to say hi or goodnight. But he went above and beyond by sending me hand-written letters. I remember getting so excited every time I received one. Not being able to see him in person was difficult and these letters gave me something to look forward to. When I read them, I could feel the effort he put in to not only writing them but going to the post office and mailing them. I would send him back letters, dousing them with my perfume. I even remember when the season changed to autumn I included a bright red maple leaf. It all felt very romantic and made our relationship a lot stronger. (P.S. That’s us below)!
– Natasha from And Then I Met Yoko
I’m a person who loves counting down to events because it makes me look forward to something bigger and better that is coming. I always countdown the number of days or months to my next trip, and when I’m going to see my partner next! I think as humans, it is important to be grateful and to stay positive, and thinking about the next best thing keeps me on my toes. Although I am halfway around the world away from my partner at the moment, setting little goals and seeing them accomplished reminds me how strong we are as a couple and that we will be able to make anything work in the future.
– Charmaine, the writer of this blog, The Canadian Wanderer
Remember the End Goal
Lastly, it is important to keep your long-term goals in sight. Being in a long distance relationship is very hard because you are separated from your partner. The one thing that keeps me going strong is thinking that we won’t always be apart forever. Being able to see the benefit of the short term separation, in planning a future together further down the line, gives me something to focus on. It makes me feel one step closer to the end goal and being together permanently. If a relationship is strong enough, then you will find a way to make it work and if you have to suffer some separation at first, know it won’t last forever and will be worth it in the end.
– Sam from Honest Explorer
Thank you to my amazing girlfriends to have shared their tips in surviving their long-distance relationships. I can relate to each one of them and hope that it has helped you as well. The common trait between all these tips is communication, staying positive and working hard towards the future. It is important to see the end of the tunnel and to count your blessings – even if you are temporarily apart.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: Four Challenges When You Fall In Love Abroad.
PIN IT AND SHARE BELOW!