If you’re in a long distance relationship, you’re not alone. Over one million college students in the U.S. have a LDR, many of whom understand that the struggle is real when it comes to maintaining one. But having a LDR doesn’t have to mean the end of your love story with bae. In fact, scientific studies show that couples in long distance relationships can be just as happy, if not more so, than those couples who live closer together.
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LDRs can be rough, but they can also be super exciting. Here are some tips on how to keep your love alive while living miles and miles apart.
1. Set Some Ground Rules
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Relationships work best when both partners are on the same page, and that’s especially true for LDRs. Set some ground rules. Are you two exclusive? Can you go out on dates with other people? Are you really super duper okay with being casual or committed? How often do you plan on seeing each other IRL? How often do you expect to talk and text with bae? These are all important questions to answer before the plane/bus/train takes off.
2. Communicate But Avoid Excessive Communication
We know you want to talk to bae basically every second of every day — especially since you can’t hold hands or kiss on a regular basis — but talking too much can actually do more damage to your relationship. How? You might end up becoming “stage 5 clingers” and get all possessive with each other, which is just yuck. Instead, mutually agree on the days and times that work for both of you to talk — with a few flirty surprise texts thrown in for good measure. Remember two things: less is more, and leave ’em wanting more.
3. Have Keepsakes of Each Other
Because you’re not physically around each other it really helps to have a little cute souvenir or physical item of your bae’s to keep with you. Maybe you wear his fave baseball tee to bed, and he keeps a bracelet of yours in his pocket. Or maybe you both have the same adorable photo of the two of you on your nightstands. Whatever it is, having something personal and physical helps you feel connected to each other.
4. Make Memories Together
Don’t let the hundreds (or millions) of miles apart ruin your Saturday date night routine. Watch a TV show together — or better yet share a Netflix account and create a list of TV series, movies, and docs you want to watch together as a couple. For something different, play an online game or Skype each other while enjoying a candlelight dinner together. The possibilities are endless — you just gotta be creative.
5. Visit Each Other
Making trips to see each other is vital in keeping your LDR alive — and is also the most fun. After all the months of texting, Snapping, and talking, you finally get to enjoy each other’s company and do all the awesome and romantic things that other couples do, like kiss, hold hands, hug, and just BE with each other. Savoring your IRL time together will do your LDR a lot of good.