A new long distance relationship is not easy, and can feel like it’s on hold even before it’s begun. Here’s how to grow your love from afar and feel close.
There are a lot of articles online about how to keep a long distance relationship going. And, as helpful as they are, they mostly discuss maintaining a relationship. But if you’re wondering how to grow your new long distance relationship from afar when you can’t spend too much time together, here’s something for you.
In most long-distance relationships, a couple has been together for a while before going long-distance for work or other reasons. In that case, trust has been formed and you have a bond that will help to sustain a long-distance relationship.
But, relationships do not thrive when stagnant. You don’t just want to keep a relationship going at a steady pace, you want your relationship to grow. You want to grow together.
Whether your relationship is starting off as a new long distance relationship or it became long distance before you were together for a decent length of time, this is the kind of advice you need.
As a matter of fact, while I am writing this, I am going through this too. I have been with my boyfriend for a little over six months. We don’t live more than 40 minutes apart, but we haven’t been able to see each other in more than 3 weeks. While I am navigating growing my relationship while apart, I thought I would help you by offering tips that have been helping me.
How to start growing a new long distance relationship from afar
When you are dating in person, it is easy to take steps to move your relationship forward. You can go on a weekend trip or meet your partner’s friends or family.
But when you are apart and can’t see each other for any reason, it can be hard to take steps together. You may feel like your new relationship is on hold while you’re apart and you will start growing it once you are together again.
The thing is, if you don’t grow together while apart, you will start to grow apart. You are both still living your lives and maturing but not together. So eventually, without effort, you will not fit together as well as you once did. [Read: How to Avoid a Covidivorce: Keep Your Relationship Going Strong]
The first step to take to learn how to grow your new long distance relationship from afar is to talk about it. Bring it up with your partner. Talk about how long distance will work.
Make sure you aren’t just checking in with each other and summarizing your days, but are actually sharing experiences so you are bonding. Getting on the same page is vital. Because you are not together physically, you both have to be willing to put the effort in.
How to actually grow your new long distance relationship from afar
It may seem impossible to bond and grow together in your relationship when you can’t physically be together. You can’t spend holidays together, go on drives or even run boring errands together so how are you supposed to overcome hardships and improve your relationship? [Read: How to Be Independent & Balance Seeking Help and Being Stubborn]
Thankfully, we live in the 21st century and technology has advanced so much that you can pretty much connect with your new partner during every waking hour. But, that isn’t quite necessary.
You can learn how to grow your new relationship from afar and come together stronger than ever before.
#1 Plan date nights as if you aren’t apart. This is something that can seem like a big effort that isn’t necessary, but it can make a big impact. Think about how when you’re sick and you get dressed you feel that much better, this is like that.
If when you’re together, you would go out to eat once a week and get dressed up, do the same thing now. Plan a date night for a specific time. Get ready in a cute outfit and style your hair. You can even play soft music in the background and light candles.
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This will show you are still excited to see each other. You want to impress one another and are taking time solely to share together. [Read: How to Make Your Hookup Miss You and Start Craving For You Again]
#2 Do casual things together. On the flip side, do boring things together. This is where couples that live together have a benefit. You learn a lot about each other by doing laundry or making the bed.
Instead of logging off a video chat when you have chores to do, keep it going. You don’t have to constantly be talking just as you wouldn’t be in person. Help each other with house cleaning tips and talk just when you feel like it.
When you video chat, you can feel required to always have something to say or to be clever. But in person, if you were folding laundry while your partner made the bed, you might not be talking unless they tripped or they noticed you filed socks differently than them.
That is totally okay and actually helps bond you in those casual moments so that when you are together, there aren’t awkward silences. [Read: Letting Go of People: Why It’s So Hard & the Right Way to Do It]
#3 Challenge each other. Challenging each other can seem pushy or even bossy, especially if taken the wrong way so talk to your partner about it. You want to bring out the best in each other and help one another break boundaries and step outside of their comfort zone.
Encourage your partner to apply for that job or even to start a home project. You can even create a workout competition to see who can run a mile faster. [Read: 10 Ridiculous Myths People Believe about Marriage]
#4 Don’t wait to have serious talks. A lot of new long distance couples wait to have serious conversations in-person, but what usually happens is that by the time you see each other, you are so happy you don’t want to waste those moments being serious or having an argument.
I recommend that couples who see each other regularly wait a few hours to have serious talks in person rather than texting. But when that isn’t an option, talk things out before they fester up into resentment.
Plan video chats to catch up on your feelings, not just the day’s plans. Talk about what has been bothering you. Make sure you are both aware that these talks are safe places to share more difficult topics so you can sort things out calmly and with respect. [Read: People Who Put You Down: How to Face Them and Grow from Within]
#5 Play games. Keeping things fun with light competition is so healthy for relationships. Play games like charades or Heads Up! via video chat. You can even create quizzes for each other to see how well you know each other or find some online.
This keeps the fun alive and lets you spend time together virtually without feeling like you need to necessarily make the most of it but you can just enjoy it. [Read: 12 Really Sweet Ways to Show a Girl How Much You Love Her]
#6 Have group dates. You don’t just need to spend time alone virtually. You can add in your favorite couples or even your parents. Play games or just catch up as you would if you all went out together. You can play charades or even describe a food to them without saying what it is and see who guesses first.
Double dates or group hangouts virtually can add a lot to a long-distance relationship. You don’t have to miss out just because you’re not physically there.
#7 Order dinner for each other. Since you can order dinner online from just about anywhere, do that for each other one night. Don’t ask what the other wants. You order something for them and they order something for you and you eat together. See how well the other person ordered for you.
This seems small but can be insightful and exciting. [Read: 11 Quick & Easy Morning Routines to Jumpstart a Great Day]
#8 Do something kind. When you live together, there are so many small things you can do to cheer up your partner or just make them smile throughout the day. Anything from taking out the trash to writing a sweet little love note and leaving it on the fridge. ??You can do these things from afar too. You can send each other actual snail mail. Or you can handwrite a note and send them a photo of it. I know it seems silly but these are much sweeter than just a text. Send each other flowers or something silly from Amazon.
Little gestures like this keep you both happy and knowing you are loved.
It can seem intimidating to learn how to grow your new long distance relationship from afar, but with a bit of effort and creativity, you can come together even stronger than before.