Long Distance Relationship Advice

Sarah and I are so lucky to live together and have beat the distance almost four years ago but for the first year and five months of being together, we were over 400 miles apart.

Long distance is fucking tough. Saying goodbye after spending an amazing week with Sarah felt like my heart broke into hundreds of pieces every single time. People always asked me if it got easier over time and it 100% got harder. You continue to learn more about your partner and fall in love with new little pieces of them only to have to leave a few days later. It’s such a rollercoaster of emotions constantly.

On the other hand, if Sarah and I weren’t long distance I genuinely don’t think we’d have the strong relationship or solid communication that we have now. We were forced to learn healthy ways to handle our feelings and get through tough spots. When you’re feeling a certain way while you’re apart, the literal only thing you can do is talk about it. This forced us to face certain things and handle them head on, together. I am really grateful for starting out our relationship so far apart, as crazy as that sounds. It built us an extremely solid ground for the relationship we have today.

I’m no professional in long distance and dating with hundreds of miles between two people isn’t for everybody. You’re alone way more than you’re with your partner and it gets really hard sometimes. I’m going to list 7 things that we did that helped us get through the tough stuff and beat the distance. I hope it helps you as much as it helped us.

1.Have your next trip to see each other planned!

fun fact: this picture is us saying goodbye for the last time before we moved in together!

What helped Sarah and I leaving each other is knowing when we’d see each other next. Saying goodbye and knowing I’d see her again in however many days gave me something to look forward to. One time, we didn’t know when we’d see each other next and spent TWO months of trying to figure it out and it was hands down the worst time in our entire long distance relationship. Having that date picked out and confirmed gives you hope, it gives you time to budget for it and it makes saying goodbye a little bit easier. Whether you go there, they come to you or you meet half way – figure it out and plan it. It saves a lot of time and pain.

2.Utilize FaceTime for dates and sleepovers!

Sarah and I have used FaceTime probably more than any other humans ever. When we first started dating, we’d stay up until 6am on FaceTime just talking and getting to know each other and always hated hanging up. Then one night, we decided we just wouldn’t hang up! We started having sleepovers with our laptops propped up on the pillow next to us and we would talk until we drifted off to sleep. As time went on, we decided we could start having dates on FaceTime!

I’d always wake up to notes from her!

We set aside time to either have a wine night over FaceTime, play games, have a movie night (we’d try and line up our movies and click play at the EXACT same time), we’d cook dinner and then sit down and eat it together. I loved this because it made us get creative and it was fun. It kept things exciting even when it was lonely. We would plan it ahead of time so that even though we facetimed each other almost every night, we had these times set aside as special nights together. It makes your relationship feel a little bit closer.

3.Take pictures and make something to keep all of your memories together in one place.

Sarah never really understood why, but when we were together I would take a million pictures and videos. When I was missing her like crazy or I was super lonely, I would look back at all of our photos or edit together a cute video of us and surprise her with it. I still have all of the pictures we’d take and now it’s so fun to look back on those times together and think about all that we’ve done and all that we’ve been through.

The first night we spent together after another 3 weeks apart!

Sarah and I printed out hundreds of photos and mailed out tons of letters to each other. I would save everything from movie tickets, receipts and stubs from anything we did together. I kept them in a bag and would go through them when we were apart. Having these tangible things when you don’t have your partner near seriously helps. Reading through letters, having photos – I highly suggest keeping any memory you can and going through it when the distance seems too much. It helps remind you that you love them far more than you miss them.

4.Communication!

This is one of the most important parts of keeping long distance successful. When you’re apart and something is going on between you and your partner, the only option to fix it is to talk about it. At first, Sarah and I would run into issues because we would brush stuff under the rug or would ignore each other instead of laying out our feelings on the table. This obviously was super unhealthy to ourselves and each other. Once we learned that just communicating issues with each other and laying them out on the table would help keep the distance less painful and us way happier, it made our lives so much easier. And we still do this today! It’s kept our relationship so healthy.

One thing we made sure to do, is not to blame each other or point fingers. Instead of getting angry and being petty with Sarah when I felt like we weren’t on the same page, I would just text her or call her and say “I feel far from you and I want to fix it.” Because you’re so far apart, you can’t always see exactly how your partner is feeling and it’s easy to assume things are okay when your partner could feel so differently! Constantly check in with each other, make sure you’re on the same page and talk about your feelings. You’re on the same team, remember that.

one of our last lunch dates before we had to say goodbye again!

I also think that Sarah and I making the conscious decision to not yell or say mean things when we’re angry but to try and talk it out and work through it together helps. A lot. We never yell at each other or swear at each other. That’s one of our rules. It ensures we don’t say things we’ll regret and that we talk it out maturely.

5.Trust

I can’t stress enough that long distance will never work if there is not trust between you and your partner. Because of the distance between you, trust and communication is literally all you have. Since we only saw each other one week a month, three weeks were spent apart. Thats a lot of nights of going out with friends and being out and about – if Sarah didn’t trust me, it would have been impossible. When we would go out, instead of blowing each other’s phone up and wondering who each other was with and what we were up to – we’d talk before going out and I would tell her to text me when she could or call me when she got home!

This allowed us both to go out and have fun and not be on our phones the entire time we were with our friends. Your long distance relationship is important, but so are your relationships with your friends. Having healthy communication in situations like this helps you stay on the same page with your partner and stay present with the people around you.

Sarah’s ex cheated on her a lot in her previous relationship and this caused a lot of ongoing trust issues for Sarah. She was always up front and honest about how she was feeling and what was making her feel that way and we worked through it together. While I never gave her a reason to feel insecure, I never blamed her for feeling funny about things or getting defensive. We would talk it out and mend those insecurities together.

Long story short – be honest, be up front and trust your partner. If something is bothering you, talk about it in a healthy way.

6.Prioritizing

One thing that we learned was that keeping your priorities in order is extremely important. It’s easy to cancel a FaceTime date if you’re out having fun with your friends but it’s so unfair. You need to carve out time for your partner and treat those dates as though they were happening in person. You’d never last minute cancel on your girlfriend it was a dinner date in the same place, don’t cancel when it’s on FaceTime either.

When we would FaceTime, Sarah would fall asleep and smile in her sleep. It was actually the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Prioritize your trips to see each other. If you’re like Sarah and I and you’re only seeing each other once a month or even less than that – saving money and making sure you can make those trips happen and enjoy your time together when you finally see each other is so important.

Also, saving money to eventually move in together. After six months of long distance, Sarah and I knew that when she graduated we’d want to live together. I started working multiple jobs because having that money to live together was at the top of my list of priorities. Making sure you can make things work and doing what you have to is so important.

7. Keep it exciting even when you’re far apart!

She surprised me with flowers at work CONSTANTLY.

It’s easy to let the distance get to you and to feel in a rut. There were times were I was so unmotivated and missed Sarah so much that I felt so blah. At those times, Sarah would surprise me with flowers at work or I’d get hand written letters from her in the mail. She’d surprise me with packages with my favorite stuff in them. We’d have cute date on FaceTime or she’d mail my friends stuff for them to give me from her at random times.

One time, she handed me tons of letters that said “Open when…” and each had a random time for me to read it. Finding creative little ways to surprise each other and help get you through the weeks apart makes things so much easier and makes those days fly by.

That’s all I’ve got! My biggest piece of advice is just to remember who you’re doing it for and why you’re doing long distance. The days in-between seeing each other seem unbearable and it’s easy to get mad at the miles between you and take it out on each other but always remember that the distance is temporary. If you fight for each other and keep the love strong, it is so worth it.

Distance is tough and testing. It pushes you to your limits. Let your love always outweigh the pain of missing your partner. I cannot stress enough how lucky I am that we made it through. The life, trust and communication we have built is the greatest gift I could have ever asked for. I’m grateful for the distance. It made us who we are today.

I love you guys! Leave some comments down below, tell me about your distance experience! I’ll be responding to all of them 🙂

Follow:

Comments

  1. Rebecca
    January 18, 2019 / 4:57 pm

    My girlfriend & I are currently doing long distance because i’m away at school. It’s funny- we do almost all the same things you guys did! Watching a movie on FaceTime, sleepovers, etc. it’s so tough being away from her, having a bad day & just wanted to dive into her arms. We aren’t “out” yet either to our friends/families & it’s been almost 2 years. (Got complicated reasons) we hope to spill it when we’ve both moved out because chances of us getting kicked out are high especially for her. i just sent this to her- this helped me so much. Thank you for you & sarah’s Story. Good luck to you guys

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:21 pm

      I wish you guys that absolute best! Always remember that your happiness is the most important thing and you two putting that first is so brave!

  2. January 18, 2019 / 4:59 pm

    thank you ❤️

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:22 pm

      always <3

  3. Anna
    January 18, 2019 / 7:03 pm

    I haven’t had a serious long distance relationship, but i had some not so serious. anyway, i think this was some very good advice!! i’m very sure this will help someone and i will for sure take those with me if i ever get in a long distance relationship. i love to read your blog because you are such a good writer and you write about interesting things! i really hope you continues to post more posts and maybe more often? anyway i love you and i love how you talk about such as important themes, both here and specially on instagram! and also for sharing your relationship and how is it to be gay in todays sociaty! You are truly an inspiring person and a really big rolemodel for me! i love you

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:22 pm

      I will definitely keep posting! I’m so happy I can help you! I’m sending you all of my love 🙂

  4. Kinsey
    January 19, 2019 / 1:04 am

    I love this post! You’re a huge inspiration and really helped my girlfriend and I beat the distance between us too!

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:22 pm

      OMG! I’m so happy you guys beat the distance! Isn’t it the best!!

  5. Lauren
    January 19, 2019 / 1:11 am

    Thanks for writing this! I’m always open to any and all advice that could make this sh*t easier. My gf and I have been together for around 16 months. We lived in the same city for 8 months and have since been doing long distance. She lives 1400 miles away and I see her about once every 3-6 months. Obviously we have to fly to see one another, which we can’t afford to do often. One of the hardest things right now is the fact that our schedules don’t line up. She has class until 9pm and works during the day. I have class during the day and work at night. Our free time never seems to align. It’s hard being alone so much, but whenever I’m sad, I think about my options. I can either toughen up or we can break up, and the latter is just not even a possibility. I know that one day we will be together, just like the two of you. It keeps me going. ❤️ She’s the love of my life.

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:23 pm

      Just remember that you make time for things that are important to you. Even if it’s sneaking away to the bathroom to facetime for a few seconds. I wish you guys the best <3

  6. Mana
    January 19, 2019 / 1:25 am

    This is so sweet! Ana and I would fall asleep and wake up to our computers still on. It made us feel closer! Love that she’d write notes for you to wake up with! ? And those cards to open are so sweet!

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:24 pm

      Falling asleep together was one of my absolute favorite things we could do. I loved that even though she was far, she was the last thing I would see before I fell asleep and first thing when I’d wake up.

  7. Hannah Chowning
    January 19, 2019 / 1:38 am

    My girlfriend and I are doing long distance right now and we do all of these things! We cannot wait to beat the distance. It’s couples like you and sar that give me hope. Love you girls!

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:24 pm

      Keep going cuties! It’s the best feeling in the world.

  8. Bekah
    January 19, 2019 / 1:42 am

    I’m sitting next to my girlfriend who I haven’t seen in the past three weeks because we are in a LDR. As we read this she started crying and told me it was because she pictured us and our relationship so far. We live two hours away from each other and can only see each other on weekends every 3 weeks. We have been doing this for 9 months now and have plans to move in together in June. We both follow your instagram and it has been so inspiring for the both of us.

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:25 pm

      I’m so happy I can help you. I know it seems really hard but June is SOO close. Keep holding onto that and the rest will fly by.

  9. Jimalion
    January 19, 2019 / 1:51 am

    I met my now fiancée on tumblr. We were long distance for almost two years before we closed the distance. Just as you said above, leaving each other was always the hardest thing and it never got easier. We’ve been together 4 years now, planning our wedding ceremony, and doing our research on family planning. People like to say long distance won’t or can’t work, but it takes two people willing to put forth the effort. I wish you two all the happiness and love in the world

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:27 pm

      Beating distance proves you can get through almost anything. Sending the two of you all my love! Good luck on your future family!!

  10. Tori
    January 19, 2019 / 3:13 am

    My gf and I are in a LDR. We met in Europe while on a trip and she went back to San Francisco, US and I went back to Melbourne, AUS. She left Europe 10 days before me and bought a ticket to Melbourne to see me before I even left Europe. I went to the airport with her when she left and we both shed tears only knowing each other for 5 days.
    We’ve been together for 9 mths now and have barely gone 24 hours without talking everyday even if it’s for 10 minutes to say ‘goodnight’ or ‘have a good day at work’. I went to SF at the end of 2018 and I just bought my ticket to go back in April. We have plans to live together when I finish Uni.
    I miss her so much everyday and this blog post made me cry like a baby because it’s so relatable.
    I’m so glad you’re both finally got to live together!! ❤

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:29 pm

      When you know, you know. I know it’s so tough but how fun you get to travel the world with each other, building a strong relationship and amazing memories. Sending you my best <3

    • Alex
      January 27, 2019 / 8:35 pm

      Omggggggg this is sooo relatable! My girl and I only met 3 days before I left back to Toronto, Canada and she lives in Sydney Aus! We literally haven’t stopped speaking since I left, we’ve been calling / FaceTiming everyday. Hearing your story makes me believe it works out… even tho it’s so hard for the both of us. I really want to go see her for my week break I have in feb, even tho I have enough money it’s expensive and I’ve known her for 3 weeks so I’m not 100 % sure If that’s rushing into things. Even tho I won’t be able to see her until September maybe.

  11. May
    January 19, 2019 / 3:23 am

    I just want to say that I love your posts, they really help me to be open, love me for who I am, and most of all show the world the beautiful person I have by my side?

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:29 pm

      This made my entire day. I’m so happy that I can play a small role in helping you shine <333

  12. Sara
    January 19, 2019 / 4:33 am

    I’m in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend too. It’s already 1 year and 5 months. And it’s going to be more. But I still believe in future and u made me believe more. I just want it to work out u know. Despite all of the problems I really wanna try to work this out… you’re amazing. I love you ?

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:30 pm

      Keep going, keep loving. It’ll be worth it, I promise <3

  13. Laura
    January 19, 2019 / 10:42 am

    You two really are an inspirational couple and happy to hear you found each other. Makes me believe that true love is out there.

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:30 pm

      It is! Never settle for less <3

  14. Kyle B
    January 19, 2019 / 4:28 pm

    As a closeted gay, I read this with a smile on my face, how comfortable you are with yourself and Sarah makes my day. My whole family, are strong Christians making coming out so much harder. But to read your story and think how happy you are with your life, pushes me closer and closer to the day I tell my parents. For me at 24 yrs old from NJ, with a big family always talking about “my future wife” and ” when I’m married my wife blah blah blah…” holds a HUGE weight over my head, making me feel as if, I should just stay closeted forever and moving away would just be easier. I smiled so hard reading your posts, it made me so happy to read how you met Sarah (she literally perfect in every way), how you found yourself and expressed it, lastly how you have a loving warming heart always helping others reach their maximum potential. You’re an inspiration to us all and most importantly… ME!!!
    I follow you on snapchat, instagram, and tumblr, you & Sarah honestly, have the cutest relationship I’ve ever seen… Seriously… your photos on Instagram are so billboard/magazine worthy. Thanks Katee! Love, Kyle

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:32 pm

      I’m not kidding, this made me cry. To be able to help you in any capacity, means more to me than you could ever possibly know. I know how hard it is to brush off your family’s comments when they don’t know how badly it can effect you mentally. Take your time and just remember that who you are is perfect. I’m always a message away! Sending you my love <3

  15. Alice Britz
    January 20, 2019 / 5:02 pm

    Hallo Kate,

    I agree 100% with you! My girlfriend and I have been in a long distance relationship for 3 and a half years. We only see each other if we’re lucky 4days a month. I work in the Middle East and she’s in South Africa. Everytime we say goodbye, we dont know when the next time will be when we will see each other, due to my schedule! This just gives ne hope and makes my heart happy to know we aren’t the only ones who goes through tough times! We’ve bought a house together and she is my forever home, can’t wait to move back and be with her everyday!

    Thank youfor this post!

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:34 pm

      I’m so happy you just bought a home! How fun! Sending you all of the love and light in the world <3

    • kateaustinn
      January 23, 2019 / 11:20 pm

      Ugh, I love you guys!

  16. Aly
    January 26, 2019 / 5:59 pm

    I met a girl in Australia, the last 3 days I was there. I was there for almost 6 months…. smh And we only met 3 days before I left back to Canada! ? They were the best 3 days of my life! We stayed up till 5 am/6am for the 2 nights we hung out and just walked and talked for what felt like 10 min, but were really hours! We both have been FaceTiming each other everyday similar to you two, we have 13 hour calls and just fall asleep to each others voice and we make it work with the 14 hour time difference. It’s been around 3.5 weeks and it feels like an eternity! We definitely both have strong feelings for each other but we haven’t defined anything besides being exclusive just bc we are so far a apart. I really love her, and this is my first real relationship I would say! She makes me so happy, and we know we are going to see eachother sometime in Aug-December, not sure yet though. Except I have a study break in February the weekend of Valentine’s Day… I was wondering i it would be crazy to spend $1000 on a round trip ticket to go surprise her and see her!? We’ve talked about it but she doesn’t think it will happen! Even though it would only be 12 days or so.. and I left around 3.5 weeks ago. I really want to do it, but it’s so spontaneous and not like me! It’s a big spend, but I think it’s worth it… idk could you give me some advice?

    Thank you,
    -Alex

  17. Aly
    January 30, 2019 / 11:41 pm

    my comments never go through…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *