If you’re reading this guide, chances are you’re in the early stages of a long-distance relationship; that painful moment in time when you realize you’ve signed up for all the BS of a committed relationship without the benefit of regular sex or sweet, sweet morning spoon sessions between smacks of the snooze button. It’s also highly likely that just the passing thought of spooning your significant other just now made you release a slightly melodramatic sigh that hopefully your co-workers weren’t in earshot to hear. You’re clearly putting up with the trials and tribulations of a long-distance love affair because you, like it or not, are in love with a selfish monster who insists on living inconveniently far away… I kid!
But there are definitely going to be moments when you’re going to feel that way along the road. Never fear, though, as you and your romance can survive the time and space gap by following a simple but important guide of long-distance relationship dos and don’ts…
Do: Start with an end-date in mind
So your partner’s just going to move across the country for a job and you’ll just figure out where things end up going, right? Dumbest idea ever, unless suffocating under the weight of mounting resentments sounds masochistically pleasurable to you. Decide who’s moving where and around when. It can be tentative, but you need the idea of an actual in-person future together in order to build one apart.
Don’t: Ration visits like a Communist overlord
You know what the best sex of your life is going to be? Well, in Thailand there’s this… I kid! Of course, the best sex of your life is going to be on Day 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on the trips you and your significant other take to visit one another. If it means taking the terrifying overnight bus to New York with its random half-hour stop in Albany (been there, done that) or trusting strangers you met on Craigslist Rideshare to drive you safely between Montreal and Toronto every two weeks for a year (hey, I did it once upon a time, so you can too), make the effort and time to see your partner whenever you can – and by all means find the most budget-friendly ways to do it so you can visit again. Think of all the weird naked Skype sessions and awkward sexting conversations you’ve had leading up to the moment you actually get to do, in person, all the things autocorrect decided you totally didn’t mean… but of course, you meant them, you dirty thing. Now represent!
Do: Reinvent the idea of sending letters
It’s 2014, so you’ve got no excuse for not keeping in touch on the regular – but you should also inject your communications with a little creativity. Sending packages is great, but you don’t have to get all Kanye West on your partner to show you care. To make up for the fact that we missed out on casual daily conversation, a long-distance ex and I used to send each other a short daily email detailing a memory from our life from any moment in time before we met each other. Of all the stories I told him in the seven months we were in separate cities, his favourite was about my childhood hamster Iggy who got all Hamsterbal Lecter and ended up eating her babies in what can only be described as “Hamstergeddon.” If writing isn’t your thing, make short videos of moments from your life. You’d be surprised how fascinated a person who’s madly in love with you will be to see how you’ve decorated your cubicle.
Don’t: Leave the monogamous status of your relationship undiscussed
Are you keeping it real, or getting freaky on the DL? Yes, no? No. Good. Glad you had the talk, right?
Do: Stuff together
It’s the online era. Go on Netflix at the same time, put your phone on speaker mode, and watch the last season of Breaking Bad, or go nuts and get into something kitschy together like Twin Peaks. It will be your little TV club.
Trust is critical if you’re going to pull off long-distance in the long-run. While it’s tempting to follow your beau’s every move on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the accounts of his or her friends, keep your social media interactions to a minimum. It will only drive you crazy to start imagining the lives of the people who get to occupy your partner’s time. Jealousy fueled from a distance is a dangerous thing, especially since true love is the main reason you too are trying to make such a completely inconvenient relationship work. Just knowing that should put your mind at ease… Now, time to book a flight.
How do you cope in a long distance relationship? Comment below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.