Post # 1
I’m going to sum us up in a few bullets then ask you for advice:
- We’ve known each other for 6 years
- We’ve been together for three years
- Lived together for 1 and a half years
- Engaged for 7 months
- Still have 13 more to go! (Jan, 2010 wedding)
- I am going to be living on the opposite coast for 3 months (Boston, MA –> Portland, OR) – Feb through April – for work. We knew about this when we got engaged which is the reason for our long-ish engagement.
So here’s where I need advice. We’ve never not been within a 20 minute drive and we’ve been living together and so we’re both pretty nervous about these three months! I know it’s only three months, but to us, that’s an eternity! We will probably see each other once, maybe twice during the three months.
For all the bee’s out there that are currently in or have ever been in a long distance relationship, do you have any advice? Any things that help to keep your relationship strong during the times you dont see each other? Any ways of getting through the days without counting down the minutes til you get to see them again? I apologize for my sappy ways — any and all advice (including, "you’re crazy it’s only three months!") are welcome!
Post # 3
We were long distance for 2 years. If we went more than 4 weeks without seeing each other, we learned that we got seriously twitchy and unhappy, so we made it work by seeing each other at least once a month. We also bought headsets for our phones so we could just stay on the phone together in the evenings — we’d watch tv together, or sit in silence while we did dishes, or whatever. It took away the pressure to have meaningful conversation and just allowed us to "be" near each other. We would also occasionally send surprise "Hey, I miss you!" cards and CDs, which were great pick-me-ups.
It’ll be tough, but I promise that the 3 months will fly. The first couple of weeks are the hardest. I’m sure you’ll be separated again for whatever reason during your married lives, so this will be good practice!
Post # 4
I wouldn’t trade the 4 months I spent away from Boy for anything- we grew SO much as a couple. It wasn’t all fun, and there was a lot of gas money spent (4 hour drive), but it was worth the price.
One thing that really helped was having the same cell phone company. That way we could gab all we wanted without having to worry about going over our minutes.
Post # 5
I actually wrote a book about this topic, and I just married my former LDP a few weeks ago, so this is near and dear to my heart. (My book is called The Long Distance Relationship Guide: Advice for the Geographically Challenged.)
I think it’s great that you know you will only be long-distance for a finite period of time. That means there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! Try and have fun with it. Make lots of romantic gestures–send each other love letters, care packages, even romantic text messages (thinking of you, blah, blah). Up the Romeo and Juliet factor–i.e, you’re separated by circumstances and must do your best to keep the fire stoked.
Another thing to remember is to try and avoid spending the three months pining for your partner. Try and get out and explore your new city a little bit. Have a life outside of work. It’ll make your phone conversations that much more interesting and your relationship that much richer.
Post # 6
My Fiance and I have been apart for 7 months and have 6.5 to go! We met at school and dated…then he moved back to his hometown for grad school and I stayed here. (2,400 miles apart) We had practice being apart last Christmas, but it’s been tough!
We found that talking on the phone non-stop wasn’t always the answer. We didn’t always have lots of stuff to talk about, nor tons of time to talk a lot every evening.
He is incredibly busy with school, so I found that I need to get busy and stay distracted. I picked up volleyball with a rec. league, spent lots of time with family and started bunches of DIY wedding projects.
We talk on the phone 4-5 times a week, and make sure we schedule a long talk on Sunday evenings (just the time that worked best for us) We write handwritten letter a couple times a month to keep the romance alive and text throughout the day. We have a cell phoen plan together so we have free messaging and minutes. that helps.
We schedule trips to see eachother every 6-8 weeks. It’s not ideal, but the flight is not cheap, and I have very little vacation time from work.
You’ll get used to it (but never like it) and while every day may seem hard, it will go by faster than you think. I can’t believe I’m already halfway! Good luck!
Post # 7
See I knew you guys would have good advice!
We’re working on getting on the same cell plan — headsets are a good idea. We were thinking of getting webcams too, but I think it will be hard because of the three hour time change to coordinate long web chats but it will be nice to see his face. Gotta love modern technology.
I definitely don’t plan on spending the time on the couch! I will be in a new city but the first thing I am finding is a GYM! I plan to use these three months to get my body wedding ready and get into a good, no great!, fitness routine.
Thanks so much and keep it coming!
Post # 8
LD can be very painful at times, but can also bring you together. My fiance and I started long distance actually: we’d known each other for 4 years, I’d moved away after 3 yrs (from Seattle to Boston). We were never close friends, but kept in touch. Then I was going to Patagonia and looking for anyone who was interested to travel with me. I thought it was weird when he said he’d be interested, but alright. Then he told me he’d had a crush on me since the day we met…I decided to get over the silliness of waiting til I’d move away to tell me b/c it’s pretty cool to know that he’d followed me, literally, to the end of the earth:)
We were LD for a year until I decided to make arrangements to work remotely from Seattle and move back to be with him. In some ways, I think we got so close b/c we started out talking (often for hours) on the phone getting to know each other. It was sometimes v. difficult though. I think the most important thing is to figure out what you guys need as a couple. Some couples are fine not talking for a few days and only seeing each other occasionally. We could go relatively long stretches (2-3 weeks) without seeing each other, but we definitely needed some form of contact (at least an email but preferably a phone call) every day. I think the important thing is that you listen to yourself and your need, not what other people tell you is the "right" way to do it.
Anyway, as it turns out I may bail on him for a year a month after we get married. This was a little unplanned, but it looks like our professional lives are going to work out that way. I guess we’ll be racking up the FF miles again:) I guess I was lucky b/c I had to travel a lot for work, so I had plenty of FF miles to get free tickets with.
Good luck! I think you’ll find that it’ll go by pretty easily, especially if you have the distraction of being in a new place and meeting new people. And yes, the headsets are a great idea! Also, it’s fun sometimes to take pictures of yourself if you get dressed up to go out or soemthing…it’ll give him something to be excited about seeing again soon…
Post # 9
- Wedding: August 2018 - Oakland Manor
The thing that helped my Fiance and I a ton was skype, I only had a headset for a bit, but then I got a Macbook so I had both a mic and a camera. skype is FREE and its bascially like a video chat.
We had conversations, ate together sometimes (depending on time difference), watch TV together and a bunch of little things like that that we really missed.
Post # 10
I really dont have any advice for you as far as long distance. We were long distance for 6 months and it was a 2 hour drive but we saw each other every weekend. But if your moving to Boston it helps to know people. I live there and if you would like to get together pm me.
Post # 11
Wow I could go on and on about this topic! First, long distance is DEFINITELY do-able! Second, its great that you have a specific time period, because it is easier knowing that you will be apart for a set amount of time.
I agree with MsUsUk about SKYPE. Look it up– its a free service online. You can make free phone calls through your computer. If you can afford it, I REALLY recommend getting little webcams (cheap ones?) to hook up to your computer and use through Skype. The service is free, so you’d only need to pay for the device.
One thing that really helped my boyfriend-at-the-time (now FI) and me while we were long distance was phone conversation. We ended up having tons of little phone conversations throughout the day. They weren’t long- sometimes five minutes, sometimes just one minute, sometimes 10. But we’d call each other when we were driving somewhere, or headed out somewhere or just sitting on the couch. We knew that these were quick little phone calls, so neither of us expected long conversations. But it REALLY helped keep up with each other’s day. And then, in the evenings, we didn’t have to have the whole "What did you do today?" conversation and re-cap our day. instead we could just TALK to each other like normal couples. People used to tease us because sometimes we’d talk 10 times in a day. But it really helped us. Plus, on the occasional evening when we weren’t able to talk for a while, it was ok, because we had chatted throughout the day.
Post # 12
Thanks!!! It’s so great to hear from those who have "been there done that" or "been there doing that"! For those of you who are doing it for an extended period of time I’m impressed! I think we’ll be the type to talk every day at least once a day — we use google talk now throughout the day while we’re at work anyway even though we’re coming home to each other at night, so I bet that will continue.
Thanks for the skype info — I’ve heard that is a great tool, Google talk just came out with video talk too, so hopefully we’ll just be able to use our exisiting free accounts with that too — we dont have the web cams yet but we’ll try both when we get them.
Emily Brooke – thanks so much for the offer — we actually live in Boston now and I will be in Portland for the three months. I’d love to meet up with you in Boston at some point though!! Does anyone in Portland want to be my friend? 🙂
Post # 13
There is already a ton of good advice that the previous ladies have given, but I’ll give my 2 cents, too. I did long-distance with my boyfriend (now fiance) for over 2 years while I was finishing school. In the beginning, it was the hardest thing ever. Long distance is HARD, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But, it will strengthen your relationship more than anything. Three months may seem like an eternity, but you can’t dwell on it. Here are a few things I learned:
-Communication is KEY. So cliche, but so true. It was weird to talk only once a day, but he worked 8-5 so we really had no other choice. When it came time to talk, my mind would go blank and I wouldn’t have anything to say. Make little notes throughout the day of stuff you want to talk about.
-Try to not get frustrated. My Fiance and I got into tons of stupid fights in the beginning because we were frustrated with our situation. Luckily, you only have three months so don’t let the little things get to you.
-Set events to look forward to. The weeks went fast because I looked forward to seeing him on the weekends. The months went fast because I looked forward to school breaks/vacations/holidays/birthdays/anniversaries/etc. If you can say to yourself "OK, only 10 more days until ____" the time will go a little quicker.
Hope some of this helps. Oh, and "you’re crazy it’s only three months!!!" Your words, not mine
Post # 14
I travel 100% for work, so although I am home every weekend, I don’t get to see my fiance during the week. What helps us, is that we stay on google talk while we’re both at work during the day. We have anywhere from 2-10 mini conversations online during the work day, and that really helps us stay connected. It also helps to ease the pressure on our evening phone calls. Before, it felt like a HUGE deal if we missed a call or two, but now since we’re in touch all day long, it’s not as critical.
Post # 15
i’ve been in a ldr for almost 4 years with my bf, though we’ve been long distance since the beginning [and the longest we went between visits was an agonizing 8 months but we’re both still early in our careers so the money is not so flush at the moment and air travel is expensive!]. what i found is that even with the distance we have a very strong relationship based firmly on trust, respect and communication. plus we really got to know each other without getting distracted by the physcial aspect of the relationship because we were forced to communicate, no handy "look over there!" funny business when one of us were upset at the other. bonus points.
this is what works for us:
1) we just so happened to be on the same cell phone plan so we have unlimited mobile to mobile minutes so we can talk for however long whenever we want. admittedly we don’t talk as often as we did at the very beginning but we do call and leave messages with each other during the day and after almost 4 years that works perfectly well with me. just means i can sleep through the night! lol.
2) we invested in webcams and signed up for skype to do webchats. we’re also a west/east coast arrangement so trying to coordinate a good time is kind of tricky but it helps that he keeps late hours anyway so we just work with what’s reasonable on my end [i’m on the west coast]. it is soooooooooooo nice being able to see his face when we’re talking. i only wish we had gotten the web cams sooner!
3) we also talk on AIM and text throughout the day, though the txting is more my thing than his but he likes to send me pictures of things he’s doing so i feel included.
4) we do make time for each other. whether by web chat or call. we’ve fallen off that as of late since i’ve been so busy with stuff but we had weekly movie dates where we’d pick a movie and watch it at the same time while on the phone or over AIM. then we can chat about what’s going on. i loved those date nights.
5) and we countdown the days until our next visit. we try to see each other at least every four months but that doesn’t always happen. but when we do have a visit scheduled, we both count down the days. it started because i keep track of stuff like that but he’s picked it up too.
6) we make plans for the future. this one helps reinforce the fact that the distance is only temporary and that we’re both in this for the long haul.
good luck to you! three months will speed by!
Post # 16
My fiance and I have been together for 4 years, and did the last 3 years long-distance. 2 out of 3 years, we saw each other every 2 weekends, switching so that we would each travel once a month. He’s recently moved closer to me so now we see each other every weekend. It definitely is hard for the first several weeks….I think it took me 1-2 months to get used to it, but we made it work by being really consciencious about dividing everything in half….traveling, initiating phone calls, emailing, etc. For us, as we put more effort into making sure one person wasn’t doing more "work", we found the distance to be less distracting.
We didn’t have to deal w/ being on opposite coasts, so I don’t have specific advice there, but as long as you share the burden equally, you will be fine over the three months. I have one friend who spent 2 out of 5 years separated from her boyfriend/fiance by a 16 hour plane ride away…he hated traveling because he had to do it for work, so she would always travel to see him. In return, he had the luxury of being able to pay for her travels, but also would put a lot of effort into cooking for her and really showing her that he appreciated her efforts.
Also, like other ppl have said, you have the advantage of being in a new place, with new people, and you can totally fill him in on all the new details to keep you two distracted from being so far away. I’m sure he’ll love to hear about the things you’re doing. Anyway, I know it will be hard, but it will definitely make your relationship stronger and you’ll appreciate each other even more when you get back home!