You’ve met the man or woman of your dreams. This person is perfect in every way. Sometimes, you wonder how this person even exists. They “get” you like no one else ever has. There’s just one little problem. They live in a galaxy far, far away. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it sure feels like it, right?
Here’s how to cope and make the relationship work, regardless of how many oceans lie between you.
Fire Up Netflix
There is no greater relationship-saver than Netflix. It’s a twist on the classic movie night. Here’s how to pull it off. You can either sign into the same Netflix account or you can each sign into your own. The important thing is to synchronize the movies.
It takes a little getting used to but when you get the hang of it, it’s really fun.
When you’re first starting out, don’t watch new movies. It sounds counterintuitive, but it works. Watch older movies that you both have scene. Why? So you can both comment on them and laugh and have a good time without ruining it for the other person.
This also lets you get a good glimpse into how your significant other watches movies, what they think about them, and what they like or don’t like about them. After a few older movies, try your hand at a newer movie.
Now, with new releases or movies or T.V. shows you haven’t seen before, you probably don’t want to talk through them, so the conversation element is eliminated. This can also be useful because you can see what your significant other finds funny, what he or she finds sad, and how they react to different kinds of movies – even if you can’t see them. Just listening to them is often a decent indicator.
When synchronizing a movie to watch, it helps to be on the phone together and choose one person for the countdown. Load up the show or movie and get on the same time. With Netflix, it’s easy because they display the tracking at the bottom of the screen.
Count “3-2-1” and then “play.” And both of you will start playing at the same time. As long as the movie is already loaded and paused when you do the countdown, it’s basically like unpausing the already-started movie.
Create Milestones and Goals
For most long-distance relationships, it makes sense to create milestones or goals. For example, you’ll want to mark down when your monthiversary is and celebrate it somehow.
You’ll also want to celebrate important dates like your birthday or holidays (even if you can’t physically be with each other). And, make goals for meeting. Don’t let things just hang in the air. Make definite plans, buy plane tickets or bus tickets, and book hotel rooms or whatever you need.
Some of the best long distance relationship advice you’ll ever get is on goal-making. Without it, your relationship will stall – guaranteed.
After every meeting, you should be planning the next one. And, your relationship should be working towards an end-goal. Either you move closer to one another or you end the relationship.
It’s OK to plan this out in advance, too. Set a date out into the future, either 6 months or a year. After that time, you will both commit to moving closer to one another or ending the relationship. Leaving things in limbo will kill the relationship.
Slow Down On The Judgments
It’s often much harder to get to know people when they live far away. You don’t get to interact with them in-person. You don’t see their annoying idiosyncrasies. You don’t get to see them at their best, or at their worst.
To really know a person, you should see them in several different contexts: At work (this is realistically hard to do), with family, with friends, on vacation, in a crisis situation, and when putting their best foot forward.
The crisis situation. Why would you want to see someone under extreme stress? Because it gives you insight into how they will act under stressful situations, whether they really are level-headed or whether they’re just faking it to get you to like them.
Make Communication Optional
Make communication an optional thing in the relationship. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk openly or not at all or leave communication totally up to chance or whim. But, it does mean you need to take it easy on the planning.
If either of you feels pressured to always talk on the phone, or if your phone calls become scheduled too often or it just feels like a chore, then one of you (possibly both) will be looking for the exit.