5 Tips to Make an LDR Work

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Thought it’d be useful to talk about LDRs as the first entry of my domain (OMG guys I still can’t believe I took the leap!). Here’s a little something I came up with in between work, Disney Princess parties, and wedding planning.

An LDR can drive a person crazy. It’s definitely not something everyone can deal with. In fact, I don’t think anyone would willingly choose to be in a long distance relationship. LDRs aren’t convenient, can be expensive (think of the flight fares alone), and involve a boat load of emotions.

Yet weirdly enough, as crazy as LDRs can be, people like me find ourselves smack dab in the middle of one. Life can be funny, guys. That’s all I’m trying to say.

3 years in an LDR and I'm already way past the initial “what the heck did I get myself into” stage. Like most military couples, my husband and I have learned to make the most of our situation. And so far, every month spent together has been nothing short of amazing.

Here are a few things I’ve learned in the LDR world:

5 Tips to Make an LDR Work

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1. Don’t Forget Date Night

Facetime is an amazing thing. But for people like me, who have their partner off in a ship and etcetera, Facebook and email will do. Then again, let’s be real. Military spouses can’t be picky. Facebook and email are amazing compared to handwritten letters sent via post — the latter can take forever to arrive.

Setting online dates can be as simple as having a daily or weekly catch up session. It’s the LDR version of a movie or a dinner date, where the couple just spends time with each other.

I know it isn’t as exciting as a normal date. But sometimes, that’s all it takes to get through the day/week.

2. Hustle Hard

Work hard to pay off those flight tickets. The costs at “making an LDR work” can take a toll on credit card bills. Personally, I think the total Vergs and I have spent of flights alone is already enough to pay for an entire 4 years at university. It’s downright crazy. Worth it but insane.

It’s also good to save whenever possible. Check out websites such as Skyscanner and Cheapoair. Be smart and accumulate miles when traveling. I suggest subscribing to credit card EDMs too. They usually have awesome airfare sales.

3. Set Ground Rules

Like what I’ve said in a previous entry, LDR relationships involve a lot of trust. I cannot stress this enough. Granted this tip might not work for some people, but at the very least, it clears up a few gray areas. Gray areas are the worst. Proper communication will make any relationship better.

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4. Stay Positive

This is an important mantra to live by, regardless of relationship status. Uncalled LDR comments from strangers or friends won’t always be avoided. Trust me, the saying “in one ear, out the other” comes in handy during these situations.

Having a hard time staying optimistic? Practice gratitude everyday by writing down 3 things to be thankful for. I usually jot mine down before I sleep. It helps me end the day on a more positive note.

5. Eyes on the Long Term Goal

Long term goals go beyond the next visit or trip together. It’s about knowing how to close the LDR. Let's be real here. No one wants to be in an LDR forever.

It doesn't matter how utterly romantic LDRs can appear to be. The reality is, LDRs will only end in 2 ways. Couples either separate or both individuals finally live and love in the same country.

Having a long term goal also gives a clearer path of what's to come. Vergs and I started our LDR knowing fully well that we wanted the same thing. It's what got us through the whole boyfriend-girlfriend phase. Essentially, we were both working toward something we talked about beforehand.

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In my opinion, it’s necessary for LDR couples to have a long term goal. It doesn’t have to be entirely clear, and it doesn’t mean that it can’t or won’t be changed. The main idea is to work toward something.

Whether or not you and your partner choose to stick together is all entirely up to you two. But there needs to be some sort of common ground.

If you two decide to stick it out for the long run, then you may need to prep and start talking about more serious matters. Think of things like permanent residence, potential career paths, and family discussions. Odds are, one person is giving up their “comfort zone” to move to a new country. And yes, the entire thought process can be a challenge in itself.

But don't worry. Challenging doesn’t automatically mean impossible, right?

Take things one step at a time and remind yourself that it's okay to be overwhelmed. It's all part of the process.