How do you nurture long-distance relationship? How do you keep a friendship or romantic relationship strong and supportive when you’re in different time zones?
A few years ago, my best friend of 20 years moved in New Mexico (RUDE) and we’ve done our best to keep our relationship strong. We’ll take trips together, chat on the phone, and send each other memes and photos.
Long distance relationships are difficult to maintain, and it’s easy to let them fall by the wayside. As a naval brat, I’ve had many people come and go in my life… some friendships have lasted a lifetime, while others were fleeting.
While the internet and cell phones have made keeping in touch easier, as we meet new people it becomes easier to let those far away fall away. Most recently, I watched my best friend, lover, partner, and sometimes foe move from Bloomington to Denver.
Keep track of the lovely and wonderful things you say to one another
This way you have written reminders of your affection for one another and can recall them any time you’re feeling alone or missing them. I keep mine in a moleskin that travels with me, and I write down and date the sweet text messages and phone messages that come my way!
Try and extend the same sentiments you would in person from afar– if your best friend breaks up with their partner, and you can’t be there to buy her drinks, hold her head while she cries, try sending her flowers to work or over night mailing a box of her favorite cookies.
Make plans together and keep to them. This goes beyond making plans to visit one another!
The fella and I, while separated by 1200 miles, regularly make plans with one another. We plan for movie and tv dates, adventures in-state and overseas, trips to visit with one another.
We’ve got a list of cities and countries we’re going to and budgets to help us get there. Making plans together ensures that you’re both thinking about the longevity of your relationships.
Creating intimacy is necessary when you’re so far away from one another
Whether it’s a regular phone date with your best girl pal to discuss work problems and your latest sex exploits or sharing dirty phone calls with your lover, you’ve got to push intimacy, even if it feels awkward and strange.
Think about what things of your relationships make you and the other parties intimate– is it your love of inside jokes, a way you greet one another, or a physical way you interact with each other, plot ways you can share that through the ether. I love to do this by sending one word texts like “Glomp!” or “Pounce!” to share an affectionate physical state with the fella.
Take your honesty, feelings, and openness up a notch
It’s easy for tone, sarcasm, and intent to get lost when you’re writing or even when talking over the phone. It’s easy to feel neglected, overlooked, or forgotten while you’re each moving along your separate ways. It’s also easy when you’re caught up in life to forget how long it’s been since you’ve talked with one another.
Make it a regular plan to email your friends every Monday or the first day of every month. Be certain to say to your partner, “we haven’t talked on the phone in two weeks!” Be clear about what you need to maintain the level of intimacy and closeness you have, and work both to provide what your loved ones need and what you need.
Say “I Love You” as often as you can
Whether close or far, it’s easy to forget how fragile human life can be. Remind those in your life that you love them as often as you can.
As we all bounce around our states, country, and the world, more long-distance relationships are happening. They’re challenging the way we interact with everyone. The great thing about them though is that it’s creating and spreading love around globally.
Have you ever had a long-distance relationship? How did you make it work? Tell us in the comments so we can benefit from your experience!
P.S. Nurturing your relationships is a habit you can develop, just like a muscle! This might help – and it’s free!