I post quite often about my experiences in my LDR, but hardly ever touch on what happens BEFORE the LDR. The decision to begin a LDR can be the hardest aspect of the entire relationship. There are a few pieces of advice that I wish someone told me when I was thinking about joining the long-distance club. Having a different mindset at the time probably would have helped me a lot in the transition from a so-called “normal” relationship into a long-distance one.
Before Jay and I became long distance, everyone kept telling me the negative aspects of long distance relationships. I wish someone had come up to me and said, “Hey, this could actually be a really awesome experience for you two.” I spent months anticipating the worst, being incredibly moody and sad when we were still together. By the time Jay left for Australia I felt angry and upset. I was a bundle of bitter despair, getting teary-eyed whenever someone mentioned him to me. For the first few weeks of our LDR I was struggling to see the positive aspects of our relationship. It felt like everything we had before was gone. All I could focus on was the separation. And then, out of nowhere, I began to accept it. I realized that living on different continents than your boyfriend can actually be incredibly fun.
Nobody will tell you is that you get to find new and creative ways to spend time “together” that people in regular relationships will likely never experience. Jay and I really enjoyed a game we created called Photo Tag. One of us takes a picture making a funny face or in a silly pose and sends it to the other. They then have to reply with a picture of themselves mimicking the pose and with a new picture in a different fun pose. We both really enjoy trying to make the other person pose in ridiculous positions or with really funny faces. It’s a great game to help you feel connected and remind you how much fun you have in the relationship.
What else do I wish people told me before embarking on my LDR journey? People don’t change just because they move somewhere else. A lot of times people assume LDRs open up the possibilities for cheating. While it may be easier to get away with cheating when you live thousands of miles apart as opposed to a 5 mile separation trustworthy partners aren’t going to suddenly become cheaters once they move away. The person you know and love won’t change simply from moving to another place. They will still care about you, trust you, and love you. So instead of focusing on the negative possibilities you should think about what makes your relationship awesome and what makes you compatible for each other.
The number one thing I wish people told me before my LDR started was that it can be successful and that it will be something I remember forever. No matter what the outcome, I truly believe any couple (with a stable relationship) faced with the option of a LDR should try it. For some couples it will end in heartbreak, but that’s true with any type of relationship. Those relationships that survive the distance will also thrive because of it. Don’t let peoples’ negative words discourage you because a LDR may be the best thing you do for your relationship and for yourself. You can learn a lot about each other while also focusing on yourself.
At the end of the day just do what makes you happy in life. But the best piece of advice for new LDRers (or anyone really) is to look on the bright side of situations. The more optimistic you are about something the more likely it is to turn out the way you want it. So best of luck with whatever you decide, but just remember that you can have a really enjoyable and successful LDR.
Inspired by this LDR Writing Prompt: Pre-LDR