10 Long Distance Relationship Hacks That Will Keep You Together

Don't let the distance drive you apart.

There's no way to get around it: relationships are hard work. Add distance to that equation and it only gets harder.

The more miles between you and your paramour, the tougher the strain on you both. Even the healthiest and most durable bonds can begin to fray when you don't see each other for long stretches of time. Distance may lend enchantment to the view. But it can also make you resent the view for not texting you back.

1. Share your day.

One of the best parts of being in a relationship is that you get to share your life experiences with another person. Long distance relationships make this a lot harder. So you need to make an effort to keep your partner abreast of what's going on in your life. Send them pictures and videos of your experiences. Describe to them in colorful detail the things that have happened to you. Help them get to know the people in your life. Take a video of your morning routine and send it to them. The more they feel like a part of your life, the less the distance will come between you.

2. Take each other's temperature.

Check in regularly with your partner to see what their mood is like. This shows you care, but it also helps you tune your own behavior to theirs. 

3. Send hand-written letters.

Sure, it may sound old fashion, but that's what makes it all the more meaningful. Not only that, but a hand-written letter is something you can touch, which adds a physical dimension to it — something that is sorely lacking in a long distance relationship.

4. Manage expectations.

People handle long distance relationships different ways and have different expectations about how you should negotiate the separation. Try to manage each other's expectations about things like how many times a week you'll talk or text or Skype.

5. Acknowledge your differences.

This is related to #4. One of the things that can lead to frustration in long distance relationships is that different people deal with the separation in different ways. Maybe one person doesn't feel the need to talk on the phone every day. Or maybe one person is simply busier than the other. But just because one person might express their feelings differently doesn't mean they miss the other person any less. It helps to acknowledge this and talk about it openly, so you both know that this is a reflection of your unique personalities and not a sign that one person doesn't care.

6. Schedule Skype dates (or Hangouts or whatever).

In a normal relationship you would schedule blocks of time to hang out. But for some reason we tend not to do it as readily when we're apart. Everyone is busy, and scheduling time to chat online can feel like added work. But it doesn't feel like work when you're near each other, so this is a paradox. 

7. Surprise your partner.

You should do this anyway. But when you're apart it's a nice way to remind them that you haven't forgotten about them, that you still care. Surprises can come in many forms. Be creative. Make them an old-fashioned mix tap. Send them a recording of yourself reading poetry or singing in the shower. 

8. Communicate your needs and fears.

Distance between you and your partner has a way of magnifying your insecurities and doubts. Now is the time to share them so that your partner can understand what you need from them.

9. Trust.

Trust is key to every relationship. But it's even more important when you're apart because jealousy is more likely to rear its ugly head when you don't see each other very often. 

10. Don't judge or put too much pressure on each other.

One of the consequences of being in a long distance relationship is that when you do see each other, it feels very urgent and weighty. You might feel pressure to spend every second together, to be extra intimate, to have deep conversations and make every moment count. It's easy to fall into the trap of over-anayzing your time together and using it as a litmus test for the health of your relationship. 

This can put undue strain on you and your partner. It's better to treat your time together more like what it would be if you weren't living apart. That's not to say that you should trivialize it, just try to avoid making your time together drastically different from what you would normally do, and keep your expectations realistic. You can only do so much in a short amount of time.

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