- Julianna Sweeney
Long Distance Relationships: Are They Worth It?
I've gotten this question quite a few times over the past few years...
Tyler and I met at college in Albany, NY. He was an upstate NY native and I'm from NJ so our entire relationship, up until now, has been on-and-off long distance. I can say, without a doubt, that for us it was worth it - but that does not mean it was easy. There were plenty of frustrating periods of time where communication was strained and we had to really work hard to make it work.
Throughout our whole time dating, the periods of distance we experienced were anywhere from two weeks all the way up to about three-four months (that was during COVID and it was not fun).
Long distance relationships are not for everyone. They require a lot of energy and can be very stressful at times. If you and your partner are serious about making it work though, making long distance work can really strengthen your bond in a beautiful way.
Below are some of the pros and cons that Tyler and I experienced that may be worth considering if you and your partner are thinking about committing to distance.
You have space to grow independently
Time zone differences (if applicable)
You appreciate the time you get together in-person even more (more excitement)
You don't necessarily know how the other person really feels unless they tell you
You tend to have more flexibility in your schedule
You can run out of things to talk about
You can really learn to build a deep trust with one another
Any kind of physical intimacy is completely missing
Technology, like FaceTime, allows you to still see your partner every once in a while
If you're not constantly communicating and/or working together, you can drift apart
Forces you to be creative
They are emotionally demanding
You get really good at taking selfies (lol)
Constant technology use can be draining
It can be hard to do activities together (dinner, dates, games, etc)
Throughout our experiences, we also learned a TON. We got creative and found lots of ways to grow with each other and spend time together, even though physically we were not. Here are some ideas and tips!
FaceTime Wine night
Movie and popcorn (Apple now allows you to SharePlay)
FaceTime and go out for ice cream
If you've been dating for a while, take a night to look through your old photos or texts
Both order or cook the same thing and eat together
Take some time to FaceTime and search for houses in random places on Zillow (that's a fun one)
The classic "walk and talk"
If you've both got iPhones, you can play GamePigeon games
Keep score of a virtual punch buggy game (anytime you see one you text the other person - NO CHEATING)
Read the same book
Watch the same TV show/sports game/etc.
Send each other funny videos on Instagram/Tik Tok that will make your partner laugh
Do a workout together
1. Challenge Each Other
One of the biggest things I appreciate about Tyler is that he is constantly challenging me to be the best version of myself. Not in a "you suck, you need to be better for me" way, but in an "I love you and I know you are a badass so I'm pushing you to be the version of yourself that you and I both know that you can be" way. We meet other where we are and we love each other for who we are, but we push each other to strive for who we are capable of becoming - it's a continuous process. "I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as I will tomorrow" (stream "darling")
2. Understand That You're Not Always Gonna Be In Sync... & That's Okay
Even when you're in person, it can be hard to stay in perfect sync all the time. When you can't physically see the other person though, it can be even more difficult - especially since you've got your own problems to deal with and life to live when you're both apart from one another. It's Okay. You're gonna have bad days, and they're gonna feel really uncomfortable, but that's all a part of it. The most important thing is to keep your communication transparent, open and ongoing. If something's bothering you, don't hold it in - tell your partner, they do not know what is wrong unless you tell them and vice versa.
3. Communication Is Key... But Give Each Other Space To Breathe
One of the biggest components that we've found in long distance (but really in any relationship) is the trust. Yes, it's important to be transparent and open about how you're feeling to your partner, but you don't need to be on the phone every single second of the day - I can tell you right now, you're going to run out of things to talk about and get burnt out really quickly.
4. Create As Much Of A Routine As Possible
As with anything, creating a routine and sticking to it is gonna be key in your long distance relationship. It will change and fluctuate depending on where life takes you, but establishing when, how and what you'll be communicating is important to ensuring that you won't burn yourselves out and you dedicate time to one another.
5. Meet Each Other Where You Are
In the wise words of the great John Mayer, "love is a verb." It's also a choice that we make each and every day. If you're dedicated to making it work, you've got to show up everyday and make that choice. It is NOT always going to be easy, but under the proper circumstances, it's always worth it.
Whether you've been in a long distance relationship in the past, are currently in one or are thinking about entering into one in the future, I hope this post helps you a bit with your discernment! As I'm writing this, I'm still a ways away from Tyler, and even though we're ending the distance once and for all in the coming weeks, I couldn't be more blessed for how close it's brought us together.
Sending love always,