One of the questions I get asked the most is how I / we handle being in a long distance relationship. Let me start by saying, it’s not always long distance! But realistically, Tony spends 200+ days of the year touring. Which means he’s not home a lot of the time.
While our “long distance” relationship is definitely a little different at times, I realized that in a lot of ways it’s very similar to other long distance relationships. Whether you’re with your high school sweetheart and going to different colleges, or living in different parts of the country for work, the same tips apply.
Long Distance Relationship Survival Guide
One of the main reasons I decided to leave my corporate job and start my own business was for our relationship. I wasn’t happy working a normal 9-5 job. When Tony’s home, sometimes it’s only for a week at a time in between tours. Being able to spend extra time with him when he’s home is really important to me. It’s definitely not a deal breaker for most couples and I know that I’m very, VERY fortunate to have that flexibility. It also gives me the flexibility to travel with him and travel on my own / visit my family up north when he’s gone. Generally, when he’s home (for shorter periods of time) I work a little less. When he’s gone, I end up working all day and into the night.
Stay Busy and Productive
Being busy is one of my biggest tips. Sitting at home all day and having a pity party on the couch will make time go by slowly, very slowly.
Like I said, I invest myself into work & projects. I like to do more DIY projects, cook new recipes, go to the gym, have dates with friends, learn new things, etc.
When Tony’s gone, I tend to focus on a lot of goals that take more of my time. For instance, I’ll edit a ton of pictures and get them ready for blog posts, so that when he’s home I have more tim.
Just like Destiny’s Child said…Depend on no-one else to give you what you want. I’m an extremely independent person. I like having my alone time and doing things on my own. Long distance relationships are definitely harder when you’re not super independent.
I like to plan trips on my own to explore and see new things. I have no problem going to eat at a restaurant or going to a movie alone. It’s actually really relaxing!
Both of us had our own lives and careers when we met, luckily they blended together really well. But because I have my own “scene”, it helps me stay positive when he’s not home.
Set A Routine
This applies to both when you’re on your own & when you visit each other.
When he’s gone, I have a pretty standard schedule and it helps time fly by. I go to the gym almost every day, run errands afterwards and then work. Routinely going to the gym and getting out of the house is really helpful and keeps me positive and productive.
When we’re apart we make an effort not to go longer than 2-3 weeks without seeing each other. I’m lucky that I am my own boss and can also work/turn travel into work. I know that that’s not realistic for all couples. But it’s important to make sure you don’t leave travel open ended. Having dates to count down to is also really motivating.
Communication is Key
This is probably my biggest piece of advice. Not only is it important to communicate, i.e. call, Face Time, text; it’s also important to be honest and open.
If you’re having a bad day or are struggling (which happens to everyone), it’s important to communicate your feelings. Bottling them up, just like in any scenario, never ends well.
We text message all day long and always talk on the phone once a day. Usually before one of us goes to bed, that way no matter what time zones we’re in, we make it happen.
Focus on the Positive
As hard as it can be having a significant other gone for long periods of time or living far away, it’s not always a bad thing. If you are in a long distance relationship and making it work, it only makes your relationship that much stronger. I always say, if he was anyone else, it wouldn’t work. It works because we have a really solid relationship and the distance doesn’t change anything, it just reminds us what we have.
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