Five Tips for a Long-Distance Relationship

Billy Ferguson/Fourth Estate

Advice for how to make your relationship last


Distance is not what ruins long-distance relationships. It can make some issues more difficult to resolve, but it is not what ruins long-distance relationships. Here are five tips for maintaining long-distance relationships based on my own experiences.

  1. If someone tells you they don’t feel like a priority, do not just respond with “I’m sorry”

Not prioritizing your significant other is one problem. Not trying to make them feel like they’re an important part of your life is a different problem. The aforementioned situation happened to me, and what hurt the most was that my feelings weren’t even being considered by someone who was supposed to care about me. My suggestion would be to listen when your significant other doesn’t feel important or like a priority and have the difficult discussion about it.

2. If your significant other is home, spend time with them

Obviously, you don’t have to spend all your time with your significant other. However, make sure to hang out with them when they are not a couple 100 miles away. Try planning a date or two. It isn’t rocket science. Quality time is important in every relationship, and not spending time with your significant other when you can sometimes creates difficult situations to navigate. It’s important to be open to having the discussion and talking about how both of you feel before it becomes an issue.

3. If your significant other wants to talk about communication issues they feel exist, maybe do that

Do not ignore requests to Skype or only text the bare minimum amount to get across that you’re still alive and well for months. Doing so may lead to the end of the relationship.

Constant communication should never be an expectation, but having conversations that go deeper than day-to-day surface-level topics is important to all relationships, especially romantic ones. Even if it’s been years, it’s important to find topics and ideas to discuss.

4. Communication is important

If that hasn’t been brought up enough—yeah, communicate. It seems simple, but it can’t just be “Hey?,” “How was your day?” or “What are you doing later?” There’s more to communication than simple pleasantries. And if you don’t go beyond that, you may get broken up with.

5. Make sure you still have things in common every once in a while

You may say, “Oh, of course I’ll know when I don’t have anything in common with the person I’m dating.” Well in reality, it’ll hit you one day. You’ll spend some time pondering that thought, and it’ll certainly freak you out. You may even ask your friends, who will be like “I’ve been trying to find a way to tell you that for months.” Then you’ll realize you probably shouldn’t continue dating them for any of the reasons above. And then you’ll break up with them.

You can make long-distance relationships work. It just takes time, communication and actually putting in effort.