Knowing how to keep the spark in long distance relationships can be hard. I have been with my boyfriend while at university for three years now and at times, yes, this can be really difficult but ultimately I would consider us a really strong couple. It is inevitable at university that a lot of relationships are strained, both romantic and platonic, and especially when it is a new environment for both of you, it can be hard to know how to keep things good. I thought I would write up some of my top pieces of advice to keeping the spark in long distance relationships to help anybody who is either new to this situation or needs some helpful pointers!
I also spoke to a few of my friends and family in long distance relationships to get their advice which I’ll feature alongside my own tips.
Have some ground rules
This may sound a bit much but trust me, it helps. A lot of distance relationships fail because you both expect very different things. This is why it is important to make sure you are both happy to have a few ground rules in place that ensure stability and happiness. For example, make sure to drop a text to your significant other when you’re in from a night out. If you both follow this, there are no arguments about limited contact throughout the night and one person being concerned that they haven’t heard from the other for hours. You can both respect the fact that you’re having your own time but they know they’ll be updated when you’re home and safe. I think if you expect to be messaged every hour when someone is on a night out you are a) expecting a lot from the relationship b) you may need to take a step back to let the other person enjoy their own time. side note: if this works for you, however, please ignore me! It is important to remember that every relationship is different and this is merely advice I have seen work for myself and other relationships around me.
Make time for phone calls
Try and make time around both your schedules where you can sit down and have a proper chat rather than fragmented and disjointed conversations throughout the day. These type of conversations often leave at least one party feeling like they’re being ignored or undervalued so sometimes sacrificing a few texts throughout the day to have an hour phone call at night makes all the difference. Quality time over quantity! I have seen both one of my best friends and my dad follow this and it works really well. Setting aside a time that works for you every day or two days to FaceTime or call makes everyone involved feel cared for and valued.
What goes hand in hand with this is just making sure you listen. If your partner has a busy day ahead or something exciting going on, wish them luck, ask how it was.. Basically, just take an interest in their life! Forgetting these types of little things can have more of a detrimental impact than you think. Which nicely leads me on to the next point I think!
Surprise one another and show you’re thinking about them
This doesn’t have to be huge grand gestures where you turn up on the doorstep (although I did do this for Adam’s birthday one year) but rather little things here and there to brighten their day and let them know you’re thinking of them. Adam and I always send tweets and Instagram posts to each other as well as tagging one another in Facebook posts all the time. Sometimes when you’re having a bad day and you see 20 tags in cute puppies and kittens videos, you can’t help but smile! You also can’t go wrong with a few little surprise gifts here and there…
Keep it honest
Don’t pretend to be okay with each other when you’re not. If you are feeling sad, underappreciated, angry – let the other person know. It doesn’t necessarily have to be negativity towards the relationship but just any feelings in general. You’re both there to help each other work through things and it’s important to be as open as possible when it comes to discussing how you feel. Remember not to bottle things up and make sure you support one another when you can.
Enjoy your time together
Honestly, make the most of the time you do have together. Put those phones away and just enjoy each other’s company when you can. I think this is probably one of the most important points to mention. Even if that time together is just a TESCO food shop – enjoy it.
Do you have any advice for long distance relationships?