The following is a guest post by my roommate/ best friend, Michaela
“Aww, you’re in a relationship?? Congrats! You’ve finally met that wonderful person that makes your heart sing and your soul fly!” She squeals.
She continues, “The two of you will spend lots of time together, going on casual coffee dates during the week and romantic dinner dates on the weekend. You’ll get to know each other better as you spend that quality time together on a regular basis, right?”
“Wrong.” I shake my head and sigh.
“Why is that wrong?” She tilts her head.
“Well, I’m in a long distance relationship.” I shrug casually.
“Oh…that’s nice! I’m sure he’s a really awesome guy!” She trails off, trying to sound positive because deep down she doesn’t think he and I are gonna last because of the distance. And she figures how could I really know him when I don’t get to be around him and his family all the time?? He could totally be faking me out and be completely different when I’m not around.
. . .
And that’s how that conversation tends to go. It’s rather frustrating when people doubt my long distance relationship with my boyfriend, Jon. Thankfully most people don’t, and if they do have some doubts, they don’t say anything. Usually the first question is, “How did you guys meet?” But that’s a story for another day! :)
Yeah, the distance sucks at times (actually a lot of times).
He can’t just show up at my house in the evening and take a walk. He can’t be there to comfort me when I’ve had a bad day. He can’t pop in at my work and bring me coffee.
Being in a long distance relationship (LDR) isn’t easy. It takes work. A lot of work. And a lot of dedication.
But don’t get me wrong. Being in a long distance relationship isn’t this horrible, heart-wrenching thing.
It’s actually a lot of fun! And there are quite a few perks to long distance relationships!
Jon and I have grown in ways we never expected. The distance has actually helped us get to know each other better. We’ve developed better communication skills, and we’ve learned to understand each other’s different tones of voice.
We’ve also learned to be more creative with our relationship!
Like I said earlier, being in a long distance relationship isn’t easy. However, there are several simple and creative ways to make the distance easier to deal with.
So here is a list of twelve things that help Jon and I survive our long distance relationship:
1. Texting throughout the day
This really helps the communication flow and continue throughout the day. Jon and I don’t text every second (because I work and school, and he has shift work), so don’t be afraid to have pauses or gaps in the texting convo. It’s perfectly fine. Yes, you’re in a relationship, but you both have lives outside of each other. And that’s okay!
2. Calling every day (or however often you can)
Jon and I can’t go a day without hearing each other’s voice, so talking on the phone is something we look forward to! Sometimes it’s for two hours. Other times it’s only for ten minutes. But we make time for it. If you’re in a long distance relationship, I encourage you to make time to talk on the phone however often you can.
3. SnapChat – for the goofy couples
I’m a rather reserved person, but this app has helped me release my goofy side. And Jon loves it! The crazy filters always give us a good laugh! This is a really good app to use to bond with each other on a less serious level.
4. Selfies – for him mostly :)
Since being in a long distance relationship limits your ability to see each other every day, send each other selfies (or SnapChats if you prefer). This is something your boyfriend will probably appreciate more! Just be sure to keep it appropriate and God-honoring (no nasty pics plz!). Jon loves it when I send him pictures. But I don’t do it every day, that way it’s a special surprise for him!
5. FaceTime – God’s gift to LDR survivors
Do I really need to explain this one?? LOL
But seriously! This is AMAZING when you can’t see each other on a regular basis! And it makes for a fun treat when you have the time and the appropriate Wi-Fi access (Wi-Fi does not always work for Jon and I when we want/really need it to…).
6. Cards – thoughtful sentiments
Call me old fashioned if you will, but I really like it when I get a card through snail mail! And cards last much longer than a text message! I love sending cards to Jon when he least expects it! Sending cards to each other gives a sense of suspense and waiting in the relationship. Plus, it helps you develop more patience (like we don’t have enough patience already…believe me, patience is KEY when in a long distance relationship!).
7. Monthly visits – or however much you’re able to visit
Visits take time and planning. Especially if you both work and/or go to school. If you and your S.O. (significant other) only live 1-2 or so hours away (you are blessed more than you know), weekend visits aren’t too bad to plan. Jon and I have about a 7-8 hour distance between us, so weekly visits are kinda out of the question. So we see each other once a month or every month and a half.
8. Keeping God first in your personal lives
This should be your #1 goal. You cannot maintain a God-centered relationship if your personal life is not God-centered. It’s simply not possible. It might last for a little while, but it will soon fall apart. Make sure you are seeking the Lord on your own, for yourself.
9. Keeping God at the center of the relationship
This is sooooo important!! (Please notice I used TWO “!” marks.) For real, don’t take this lightly. Make sure you keep your focus in the relationship about honoring God! Without Him, there wouldn’t be a y’all (as in a couple. Yes, I just used a very Texas/Southern phrase…and I’m not ashamed or apologizing for it either! LOL). This should be your #2 goal.
10. Being open and honest with one another
Never, ever, EVER be fake with each other. Be yourselves. And be honest and open about yourselves: your hopes and dreams, your likes and dislikes, what makes you happy, what makes you angry or annoyed. Be open and honest about the temptations and sins you each struggle with (don’t hide them because they will lead to bigger problems in marriage). This will help you both with number 11.
11. Praying for each other
I’ll be honest with you, this one isn’t always easy. Praying in general has always been a struggle for Jon and I in our personal lives, and it’s something we’re both working on. But regardless, it is incredibly important to pray for one another. Pray for work, school, church, relationships with family and friends. Pray for strength in overcoming your struggles with temptation and sin. And pray for continued growth and passion in your walks with God.
12. Praying together
When y’all are together or talking on the phone, pray together. This builds your relationship on a spiritual foundation. It connects you on a completely different level. I love spending time with Jon doing fun stuff, but reading Scripture and praying together are some of my favorite moments. The first time I ever heard him pray, I knew he was the one for me (I’ll come back to that story another time)! Praying together reinforces the concept of keeping God at the center of your relationship.
I hope you found this post helpful and encouraging, whether you’re single, contemplating starting a long distance relationship, or currently in an LDR!
However, this is not just for LDR survivors. If your significant other lives near you, I encourage you to apply these to your relationship and grow closer to each other.
I hope you enjoyed these tips as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you! If you have any questions or additional tips about long distance relationships, please leave your comments below! I’d love to chat!
Hi y’all! I’m a 21-year old college student, born and raised in the heart of Texas! I’m completely obsessed with all things having to do with weddings! On that note, I’m slowly starting my own wedding planning business (yay!).
I love all kinds of music, historical fiction books by Melanie Dickerson, Carry Grant movies (if your my age, you probably don’t know who Carry Grant is, but even so, your movie life has been gravely deprived of pure awesomeness!), “The Lord of the Rings” movies, dragons, and tiny puppies!
Above all, I love serving and following Jesus, and I can’t wait to see all the crazy, wonderful things He has planned for me on my life adventure!
More JBG posts by Michaela: The Day Death Died and Hope for When You Suffer as a Result of Abiding in Christ