General Question

mclaugh's avatar

What are some good ways to help make a long distance relationship successful?

Asked by mclaugh (1256 points ) December 28th, 2009

So, I know that right off the bat, alot of people are going to tell me that long distance relationships never work, but for this one guy I am willing to try..
I’ve known this guy for almost 8 years, we’ve always had a very honest and close relationship, but we’d never been anything more than friends until last summer. We kissed and there were definetely some strong feelings there but, I had just broken up with another guy at the time and a couple other things had happened so we just left it at that. He lives in my hometown and I am a 10 hour drive away, for college..Anyways, we’ve been hanging out, snowboarding and we’re always together(it’s my Christmas break so I’m back home) and we’ve kissed and I feel like my feelings for him are just getting stronger every day.
I really think that I could fall in love with this guy and I’m pretty sure he feels the same way, I just don’t know how to handle the whole long distance thing…any words of wisdom, tips or encouragement for me? Thanks flutherites!

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21 Answers

janbb's avatar

It’s not exactly analogous, but my son, his wife, and new grandson live in Paris right now and it is easy to feel very distant from them. The thing that helps keep us close the best are Skype visits on which we can interact and see the baby in real time. I would seriously consider investing in some webcams if you don’t have them and Skyping with some regularity. In addition to that, romantic texting could be quite effective. I say “Go for it”!

mclaugh's avatar

@janbb i hadn’t thought of skype! thanks!

john65pennington's avatar

You have eight years of friendship on your side. i normally would not advise people to continue in a long distance relationship, but there are exceptions. you two are the exception. for some time, both of you apparently have had each other on your mind. to me, this sends out a strong message for a strong relationship. i only have one problem with you being on the rebound. love has a strange way of bringing people together, that were meant to be together. a 10 hour drive is nothing in order for you two to be together. i did this for some time, myself. but, thats another story. like i said before, you two already have eight years of friendship on your side and thats a good thing. i say give it a try and see what happens. i have a feeling this was meant to be and i think you feel this way, too.

HighShaman's avatar

It isn’t that “ALL” Long Distances relationships do not work ; BUT that MOST of them do not work .

Perhaps if you can call each other at least every other day to hear each others voice….

Have a web cam where you can talk to each other and actually see each other….

E-Mail just a hello every day so you keep in touch…

AND; Pray a lot that he does not cheat on you as he prays that you don’t get too lonely and cheat on him…

Best of luck to you !!

mclaugh's avatar

@john65pennington i totally get why some people would think he could be a rebound but that’s why we just left things like they were in the summer.. i didn’t want him to be a rebound and now i feel like i’m ready for something more! thanks so much for you encouragement! :)

Open_Your_Mind's avatar

@john65pennington
I agree with you a 10 hour drive is nothing if you really want to be with someone.

andrew's avatar

You must skype. Video chat will save your sanity. Truly.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

If you are at the point where both of you are prepared to commit to each other exclusively then it is worth proceeding.

Remember a ten hour trip is only a five hour trip for each of you! Find a town halfway between you to meet as often as you can.

To make this work you must promise to be totally honest with each other, especially if either of you are struggling with keeping your relationship exclusive.

Do whatever it takes to talk to each other almost daily by phone or even Skype, with or without webcams. With is much better if you can.

E-mail every chance you get, to keep the relationship fresh and to be an ongoing part of each other’s life.

Spend extended breaks from university together, even if you have to study side by side in silence for hours at a time.

Hang out with your friends who respect and support your choice to be in a committed long-distance relationship. This way you are not isolated because your loved one is not close by.

My wife and I did this for a long time until we could arrange our lives so we could be together.

Look for ways to change what you can to continue your lives and studies in the same town. You’d be amazed what can be accomplished if you really want to.

Believe in your relationship and each other.

DrMC's avatar

Skype is awesome and free.

I did a Seattle to Chicago relationship when I was in my 20’s. Lasted about 3 months, but we had only been together 2 months before I went off to school. It’s not the same as a marriage.

Distance is generally not a good thing, and 6 months is a death sentance for many relationships. It would be interesting to find statistics for this.

You sound as though you are at a young age where your adult self is still plastic. You might be quite a different person in 4 years, as alien as that may be, and so might this other person. College can be transforming, but it pales in comparision to military service in combat or a residency. Then you lose your membership in the human race completely.

If you decide to invest 10 hours away, do so knowing that you are taking likely a greater risk than if the significant other were nearby.

hug_of_war's avatar

It will be hard. Know that, and prepare for it. Really enjoy your time actually physically in each other’s presence because that’s what gets you through the hard times. Been doing it since September 2008, and it’s hard but you have to remember why you’re doing it.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

It helps if you have some sort of plan to get you into the same geographic location. The fact that he lives in your hometown helps. Plan visits. I have a niece who went to college 800 miles away from her boyfriend, and it worked out for 3 years. She ended up turning down better jobs in NYC and Chicago so she could come home, and they could be together.

Open_Your_Mind's avatar

@hug_of_war…....you are another person stressing the importance of being together physically whenever possible. I agree.
Along with constant communication by phone to be an ongoing part of each other’s life as Dr. Lawrence stated…...........all great ideas.

Corey_D's avatar

It’s rough. Be prepared for a lot of difficulty. But if the person is worth that then go for it. Communication is very important. And trust as well. Not that those aren’t important in every relationship but even more so long distance. Doing things together over skype or the phone is helpful as well. Watch a movie together, play a game, any activity that can be done long distance. Any way that you can feel more connected with each other will be a big help.

thriftymaid's avatar

I did this for several years—he was in Europe and I was in USA. We talked times a day; we both had cheap VOIP so it was basically free. Had I not known when it would end and he would be back, I would not have even attempted it.

ucme's avatar

Get a truck driving job. Convoy!

JesusWasAJewbot's avatar

First thing is to drop the whole notion that a long distance relationship works.

lonelydragon's avatar

@john65pennington Great answer.

mclaugh, frequent communication is the key to maintaining a long distance relationship. Talk to each other on the phone as often as you can (daily phone calls are best, but I am not sure if you and your friend have gotten to that point in your relationship yet). If you can’t do that, use e-mail, instant messaging, or Skype. Also, visit each other frequently. When I was in a long distance relationship, I found that the relationship was at its healthiest when we saw each other once a month or more. While that might not be possible for you and your guy, you should still try to visit as often as possible.

Good luck to you in your relationship. It sounds like the two of you have a great rapport.

Response moderated
mclaugh's avatar

so, little update for everyone… my boyfriend and i have been dating for over a month and the long istance thing is working out great. we text eachother everyday and call eachother once a week(but we dont fix hours or “dates” so it keeps the surprise element of it..). i just broke my arm last week and mt boyfriend made the ten hour trip down here the day after so he could be with me during my time at the hospital and my surgery. he is an amazing person! i have decided to move back home in june to finish school up north(many factors came into play when i made this decision, including my boyfriend, but he wasn’t the main one so don’t be hating on me for that!)... im sure this is a lasting thing! thanks for alll of your support guys!

evil2's avatar

move closer

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

My fiancĂ© lives in England, and I am in the USA. We’ve probably talked more (via Windows Messenger Live) than many couples, and all for free.

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