How to survive a long distance relationship


Relationship/relationshit... however you look at it, chances are you will be engaged in one at some point in the near future. But does living far away (in my case, opposite ends of the country) affect relationships negatively or does absence make the heart grow fonder. I know that Al and I tend to bicker and get angry at each other so much more when we HAVEN'T seen each other, mainly because we are both frustrated at how difficult it is to spend time together some months.

I've had another long distance relationship before this (I won't go into details as the sheer realisation I boarded a Megabus once a week for someone for two years makes me feel physically ill) and I feel fairly well versed in the field.

I want to outline something: I would NOT suggest entering into a LDR (long distance relationship). After said previous disaster, I told myself 'never again' - but at the end of the day you can't help who you love and these situations can arise out of a YOLO moment to pursue happiness at whatever cost.

So here are some oh so practical tips for making the most of an LDR even when you feel frustrated and upset by all the SPACE between you and your SO (That's significant other, not smelly oddity). Hey, at least you can't hear them snore from here.

How Do I Survive Long Distance?

1. We stay in touch all the time.

This might not work for everyone and certainly wasn’t the case for other relationships I have been in, but Al and I started talking on Tinder (where we met, nope, still not embarassed about that) and we’ve just never stopped since. We text most of the day and phone each other a few times a day if our schedules allow for it, and it doesn’t need to be deep conversation or boring small talk. We just chat about whatever we are doing during the day or whatever is in the news. And then of course, there’s the incredibly important relationship glue that is…


Nope, not joking. We ALWAYS tag each other or send each other hilarious memes. But seriously, there's a message to this. Namely, keep it light. Being apart for long periods of time tends to leave thoughts to fester and then suddenly every small thing can be made into a huge deal. But no one has time for fighting when there's Classical Art Memes around.

3. The Most Overlooked Rule of All: Don't Be A Crazy Betch

Observe the 1 hour text rule to keep the sanity in long distance relationships. If they go out, text them about once an hour maximum if they aren't responding. This is a reasonable amount to check in with someone, even if they dont reply for a while. Al never bombards me with texts when he knows I'm out with friends, but I text him if I nip to the loo, and he checks in on me occasionally to ask when I'm thinking of going home so he knows whether he needs to stay up. I call him on my walk back if I'm alone and describe my route to him so he knows if anything happens to me where I am.

4. Get The Megabus Ratio Right

I briefly flirted with my almost entirely one-way endeavours on the megabus a few years back, but NEVER AGAIN. The Megabus Ratio is how often you see them vs. how often they see you. Real best friends will also make the time and effort (and financial blow, lets not forget this LDR business is PRICEY) to see you, as you will to see them. Accept that there are periods where one person can come more than the other, or one person has less free time - these are always transient phases but you have to see them coming and prepare for them mentally. Sometimes, people get busy, and you have to suck it up. You might be the busy person in a month's time, and need understanding and a person to rant to yourself.

5. You Don't Have To Have a Plan, But You Do Have To Have A Distant Vision of Future Bliss

Al and I don't have a plan. All we know is we like each other now, we would rather be with each other than anyone else, and we are willing to travel and put in the work for each other. However we also don't think 'this isn't really going anywhere' because that's a totally toxic attitude to have in terms of LDRs. If at the end of the day you can't have this really distant, calming nice thought of 'when we live together', even if you are practically nowhere near ready for that, you have to question whether the massive effort and exhausting nature of an LDR is worth it. If you do though, isn't that mental image such a nice way to get to sleep?

I hope that some of these have given you a little food for thought, if nothing else.

  • What are your tips for surviving LDRs?
  • What's the worst and best bit about LDRs?

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