Relationship Advice

Practical guide to long distance relationships


Most people looking for love wouldn’t cite a long distance relationship as their ideal situation. But we can’t help who we fall for, even if that person lives hundreds, or maybe even thousands of miles away. In fact, sometimes, just for a moment, a long distance relationship may seem romantic. Of course, then the reality of long stretches of time without seeing your other half comes back to haunt you.

But before you make a resolution to only ever date people who live five miles away at the most, we should tell you that long distance relationships can work, and they can be amazing. In fact, we even wrote an article about it. Now we present you with the practical guide to making them work – and before you ask, this was written by someone with great experience of long distance relationships so, from the heart.

1.    Trust is essential
When you’re miles apart, you need to trust your partner. If you’re prone to suspecting your other half is cheating, or lying to you, then you’ll need a serious attitude change before you get into an LDR. It’s hard if you’ve been hurt in the past but remember that unless you have a real reason to think your partner is cheating on you, if you can see they’re putting their all into your relationship too, then they deserve your trust.

2.    Both parties need to be fully on board
The other thing about a long distance relationship is that it naturally speeds up the progression of the relationship. The fact is that if you’re committing all this time and money to a relationship then you need to be really dedicated to it – otherwise one of you is going to be very disappointed. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page commitment wise before you dive head first into it.

3.    Be flexible
Chances are you’ll only be able to spend your weekends together (at most), and even then the best laid plans can go awry.  In order to spend the most amount of time together you need to be prepared to be as flexible as possible.  Maybe you’ll have to work late one day and change your plans to travel early the next morning. Or maybe you’ll have to use your precious holiday days in order just to see your other half. It’s the price you pay.

4.    Sacrifice your cash
Speaking of the price you pay, long distance relationships cost money. Planes, trains and automobiles all make a serious dent in your cash. Not to mention the extreme temptation of a long distance couple to make the absolute best of their precious time together by going to nice restaurants or fancy bars. Unless you’ve got loads of cash to splash around, things will get a lot tighter until you live in the same place.

5.    Don’t take out disappointment on your partner
Not every plan you make to spend time with your partner will work out, so you have to be prepared for disappointment. And, when that disappointment comes – “I’m sorry love, Mum’s not very well and I really should visit her this weekend” – don’t blame your partner. Your kneejerk reaction will probably be to sulk; after all, it hurts when you don’t get to see the person you love. But remember that your partner won’t like it any more than you do, and they’ll be missing you too. Don’t make them feel guilty when work or family problems come first.

6.    Don’t put too much pressure on the weekends
It’s hard, but try not to put too much pressure on those precious pockets of time you get to spend together. Sometimes you can anticipate too much and, especially when the relationship is new, nerves can get in the way. Try to relax and enjoy your time for what it is.

7.    Try to reserve time just for yourselves
It’s tempting when you’re in a long distance relationship to cram all the things you’d do in a week into a couple of days. That might be cinema trips, meeting friends or days out, but by filling your days to the seams you might find you have no time just to ‘be’. Remember, sometimes there’s nothing nicer than cuddling up on the sofa to watch a Sunday afternoon film.

8.    Have an end point in sight
The long distance aspect of your relationship needs to be finite. We’re not saying you need to have a specific date in mind right from the start, but a few months in, when you’re getting serious, you need to think about the future. It might be a case of waiting for a work contract to end, or it could even be a question of waiting until one of your kids is a certain age, but you have to have something to aim for.

9.    Talk every day
When you’re miles apart, you have to make the effort to talk every day. That doesn’t mean you have to spend hours on the phone, as that’s not practical. But drop each other a text to say good morning, or a quick call at the end of the day to see how things have gone. It’s the little things that count.

10.    Get online
Texting and calling are great ways to keep in touch, but nothing beats face to face conversation. At least once a week try to arrange an online date using internet video calling. You can pick up a webcam for less than £10 and using a programme like MSN messenger or Skype (both free) it’s the next best thing to being there.

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11 thoughts on “Practical guide to long distance relationships

  1. i like a date

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  4. I’m in a long distance relationship at the moment, and finding it increasingly difficult, but this advice is well worth a shot.

  5. I wish I had this advice before I started seeing someone long distance who I met on a dating website. My date was unable to meet 8 of these crucial points. Flexibility, consideration towards the other person about fitting into your work/family/social committments and complaining about whether the risk of forking out money for the dates is a worthwhile sacrifice is not a good start to a relationship. Unfortunately, it put me off when I went on a few other long distance dates and I doubt I would take the risk again, thank you!
    On the other hand, if two people can be flexible and understanding enough to try to make it work – it could be a wonderful, solid and rewarding committed relationship.

  6. Hi,
    My boyfriend and I have been together off and on for 6 1/2 years. We had a fight at Xmas wasn’t sure if he want to continue the relationship but then January he started to trust me again and called me his girlfriend again everything was great. He went overseas with his dad and his step family that he doesn’t really get along with for 3 weeks. He sent emails and texts saying how much he missed me and sent a valentines day email saying how sorry he was for not being there.
    While he was overseas I moved back home 7 hrs away from the city where we both lived separately. He knew it’s only for a short while until may so I can finish my studies.
    I sent him emails asking when he arrives back but he didnt respond. Four days later I knew he had come back due to his half sister posted it on Facebook. After several calls and texts he finally wrote back saying sorry and he’ll talk to me that night he busy sorting him self out. So we spoke that night. He told me he had to vacate his rental place as soon as he got back and moved in with a friend. A friend that has cause trouble before and hates me. He knows I’m not that happy with it but he reassured me that it was just until he find his feet. He didnt come back with much money so he went back to work the next day. He said said he misses me and looking forward to seeing me but not sure when that will be as he has a lot of things to sort out. He told me to call the next night. So I did but he didn’t answer. I got worried and called several times. The next day I tried again but no answer. I apologized the next day for all the calls and asked if i could come visit on the weekend but no reply. I left it a day then I asked again bout visiting, he replied this weekend is no good sorry I’ll let u know. So I left it until Sunday I call no answer, I got him to answer by calling off a number he didn’t recognize. He said sorry straight away but I said not good enough. He went on to say I contacted him too much hes not interested and hes happy being by himself in his room. I told him how I felt then he said just give me time to find my feet and then you can come and stay but you have to give me time. I said ok as long as you text me once a week letting me know you care he said ok, You give me time and I’ll let you know what going on, I’ll send you what you want and I’ll let you know when you can come stay.
    I left it for a few days then I went crazy n texted n called he replied sorry he was in the shed painting and he’ll call soon. I should have just left it a alone here but I didn’t I texted and called the next day no reply then apologized the day after. Only to go crazy with the calls and text a couple of days later then he text I’m ok sorry for not answering. Then a week later he texted after a day of me hassling he wrote stop it I’m getting sick of you, I’m busy. Now I haven’t heard from him in a week.
    I know I hassled him and pushed him as I write this I’m disgusted in my self I don’t blame him I wouldn’t want to talk to me either.
    Is this relationship Save-able?
    Is it too late to give him space?
    Will he contact me?

  7. jus ended one long d relationship, got dumped by my gf coz she cannot commit to it.

  8. Just considering a new LDR. Fully aware of the challenges having experienced them before. I’ve tried not to get emotionally engaged with this guy but to no avail. He peppers my thoughts daily and is very relaxed about the hundreds of miles distance and the effort and commitment necessary to make it work. They say ‘love conquers all!’

  9. Long diatance love is very hard,when you only contact by email and when one of you have to pay to use the internet which is charged by the half-hour.I had a girl who was interested in me just after I was separated from my ex -wife which lasted 10 months but wasn’t prepared to pay 2/3 thirds of the cost of her coming her plus having someone who would be like a stranger in my home.
    I’ve also had many other ladies interested in me from different parts of Russia and some are nice ladies but only one ever phone and she use to email and text me. But it would never work as it was all down to money and it would be very expensive to get her here to live,
    I had over 90 letter and they were not short letters some were even 2 pages.

  10. I’ve(US)been in a LDR for 4 years now. He(UK)has been trying to move here for the past 2 years but every time he tries there is a new problem that presents itself that we have to resolve. Can anyone out there give us some advice on how he can immigrate here without any problems please?

  11. I always go long distance; I understand there are problems, and most people aren’t interested in them (I’ve had quite a lot of people turn me flat down just because of distance, even when they admit they are attracted “I just can’t do 300 miles” is something I hear/read regularly.).

    Long distance is far more fun than the mundane 5 mile away partner, unless the partner 5 miles away is somebody you delve into a relationship from a sexually tense friendship in my experience. LDR’s give you a change of scenery, a more interesting time through virtue of the partner and you desiring to cram into your weekend the very best of the experience, and I find also (and I am not bragging here) that due the fact that only a small percentage of people are genuinely interested in a long distance relationship, you have a unique and more worldly partner.

    I’m too busy with career to hold a meaningful relationship with somebody close geographically. Due the workload in which I have to engage, they would assume I’m distant, uninterested, and possibly even cheating. It’s different with a long distance relationship; the other partner is probably also professional, worldly, and quite busy with a life of their own.
    That’s much more pleasant than the partner down the road who’s upset with you because you can’t go to a Spanish film on a Wednesday afternoon.

    I live in London, and have had relationships with people in Wexford, other areas of the UK, Amsterdam, Madrid, Valencia, New York City, Lille, Paris, Lyon and Oslo (who then moved to Stavangar).

    The closest distance I’ll do is 60 miles ;) .

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