Long Distance Relationships | They CAN Work

So you've met the man or woman of your dreams and you can't imagine life without them in it. You spend all of your free time together and feel like everything is almost perfect. Then suddenly one day, you get into that dream school you've been wanting to go to since you were 10, or one of you gets that once in a lifetime dream job that could change your life. Sounds like the perfect situation right? Right, but there's one problem...

You have to have to move out of state and leave your significant other behind.

So how is this going to work now? How can you possibly be in two different states and keep your chemistry and relationship as strong as it always has been? It seems as if the stars are aligning in different areas of space, and we just might not be meant to be together. Well, I'm here to tell you that a long distance relationship CAN work if you both are willing to put in the time and hard work to keep the sparks alive.

Did you guys know that my husband and I were in a long distance relationship for four years before we finally lived together in the same state? For the entire first two years of our relationship, we were in different cities and then two years later, he moved to New York and I was still in college in Knoxville, TN. It was tough, but since this is something I have been through, I thought I would share my top eight tips for surviving a long distance relationship with you. I hope you can take something, if even just one thing, from my experience and it helps you. :)

Video Chat/Face Time Regularly
We are so lucky to live in a time with so much access to social media and electronic devices! It makes it so easy to stay connected with loved ones, even being far away. Make it your priority to set time aside to video chat with your significant other. Use them time to be away from anyone else and just completely focus on you two. It will create more security in the relationship. Sometimes, my husband and I would eat together on face time since we couldn't eat together in person. It wasn't the same, but the next best thing!

Agree on Expectations
There is hardly anything worse than two people trying to be in a relationship, but have two different ideas on what that relationship entails. Are you exclusively dating? Friends with benefits? Only exclusive when you're together? I have heard it ALL when it comes to relationship situations. Be sure to communicate upfront what your expectations are because you don't want to have someone thinking one thing about your relationship and you're on a whole other page. Trust me, it will save you many arguments down the road, or even more so save you from heartbreaks.

Be Creative
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, but you have to be creative in your approach to keep the sparks alive when you do see each other. Send love letters, make sure to tell each other "good morning" and "good night' every day/night, try new things together when you get that special time. I remember my husband used to always plan really fun things for us to do together when I visited him in New York and I tried to do the same for him when he visited me. Create a space of anticipation so that each time you're apart, it's not "Ugh, I'm so tired of being apart", but it turns into "I can't wait until we get together again".

Do Similar Things
Find a book, movie, or TV show that you are both into and read/watch it together! You may be apart, but taking part in the same activities will make you feel closer together. During our time of being long distance, I would have to say this was when I starting my husband watching like "Dance Moms" and "Real Housewives of Atlanta" haha. Being able to sit on the phone or face time with him while watching these shows ALMOST made me feel like I was sitting on the couch with him watching. Not only that, but it created conversation opportunities for us as well.

Avoid "sticky" Situations
Okay guys and gals, if you think know your significant other will have a problem with you being out until 2am without checking in with them, then there are two ways to handle it: a) don't do it or b) tell your partner beforehand and don't let them find out about it. Reassure them and don't be careless because an insecure partner is not ideal for long distance relationships. You can do your part to keep that from happening. Y'all know what to do, I'm not even going to go deeper into this one... because y'all know! NEXT.

Fight Fair
This is a big one guys. Arguments and disagreements always seem SO MUCH MORE dramatic when you're in a long distance relationship. My husband and I used to argue about some of the craziest things all just because we missed each other. We look back on some of the arguments now and laugh because we can't believe we were so upset back then. It sucks to be in a fight with your significant other when you're away because you never feel that "resolve" like you would if you could hug and kiss and make up afterwards. However, do not run away from problems because you're afraid to rock the boat in your relationship. Holding in anger and frustrations can only build up over time and create an unhealthy dynamic in your already hard situation.

Know Each Others Schedule
This helps A LOT. If you know each others schedule, then you will know how to plan the time you communicate. This took awhile for my husband and I because with him, he was either at work or at one of his shows and with me, I was either in class or in a meeting for one of my organizations in college. It was frustrating at first because every time he would call me, I'd be busy and vice versa. Once we figured out our schedules and where the free gaps were, it made communication so much easier. Also, be willing to compromise. If you have wiggle room in your schedule to change some stuff around in order to be able to spend that time talking to your partner, do it. It shows you're willing to make it work by any means necessary.

Communication and Trust
Both of these are major key. You have to fully trust your partner in a long distance relationship or it will not work. That goes both ways too, you have to be able to BE trusted or it will not work. How can you build trust? Open and honest communication. Don't be afraid to tell your significant other about the girl that tried to "holla" at you while you were out with your friends. Tell your man about the guy who slid in your DM's. The last thing you want to happen is for your significant other to find out these things and it becomes a huge deal when it truly was nothing, but because they didn't hear it from you, it makes them suspicious.

There are so many other things that go into ensuring a long distance relationship lasts and is healthy, but these are some basics that can get you on the right track. The main thing I wanted you to take from this is that you can do it! It truly can be done with both in the relationship willing. Don't let the opinions of negative people make you feel like your relationship doesn't stand a chance. There WILL be naysayers who tell you that you're crazy for even doing it, but as long as you're following your heart and what you want to do, you will be alright.

Thank you so much for reading! xo

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Through Jam's Eyes