5 best tips to keep your long distance relationship alive
If you are in love with a foreigner, you probably had to go (or are going) through the overwhelming experience of long distance relationships. The pandemic only made things worse and forced thousands of binational couples to live their love apart.
How to keep hope when you haven’t seen your loved one for months? What are some of the guidelines to make your long distance relationship work?
I’ve asked these questions to Jasmin, an LDR expert who helps many couples thrive despite the distance. Her blog, Jazz Up Your Wanderlust, is a bible for any LDR couple, where she gives advice on all aspects of long distance relationships. You can also find her on Instagram at @jazzupyourwanderlust.
Jasmin is from the US and met her Finnish husband, Tuomas, at the end of 2015, in an online gaming league. They were friends and played together for a year before he asked her out.
Their commitment and true love helped them survive their time apart. They have now successfully closed the distance and live together in Finland since October 2020.
We had an insightful conversation where Jasmin shared valuable tips to help you cope with the distance.
Let’s start with her first tip!
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1) Find time for romantic date nights
According to Jasmin, date nights are the vessel for communication:
“It’s a time when couples can come together and learn something new about each other, and understand why each other thinks the way they do. It’s how you are able to build emotional intimacy.”
Jasmin is an expert when it comes to romantic dates and she offers amazing ideas for your long distance dates. These are the first steps to consider for your romantic date night:
- Find the time: one barrier people have to having dates with their partner is they feel like they don’t have enough time to plan something romantic with their partner.
- Start with a mini date: it can be only 15 minutes. Go into a bathroom, shut the door, light some candles, and turn off the lights, you’ll instantly have a romantic atmosphere.
- Do something with your partner that is engaging: take or retake a personality test, talk about your results. Ask each other deep questions so you can develop more emotional intimacy for each other.
“Date nights are what develop intimacy, that leads to heat and passion in other areas. Once you stop focusing on how you can be more intimate with your partner you lose out on deepening your connection to each other.”
When you’re in a long distance relationship, your date nights can easily start to feel boring and repetitive. I fell in love with her products because they are the best way to break the routine and feel closer to your foreign half in just one date.
*This is an affiliate link to a special product that I found perfect for your long distance relationship. This means when you purchase using my link I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
2) Know how to handle arguments
And even with the best date nights, you will sometimes have to overcome some challenges, just like any couple. That’s why learning how to handle arguments despite the distance is essential.
These are Jasmin’s best tips:
- Jump on a video call: when you find yourself getting angry through text or even on a phone call, you need to take a moment and ask your partner to start a video call. If you are unable to hop on a video call right away then send your partner a video message.
- Read body language: once you can see each other, it is so much easier to read body language and visibly see that your partner is upset.
- It’s always you and your partner vs the problem: after y’all’ve gotten on the video call, talk about what is really causing the issue. It sounds easy but sometimes that means you have to look within yourself and understand your actions and why you think the way that you think.
3) Work on your personal development
When your partner is far away, you can’t have the same couple life and identity as a regular couple. According to Jasmin, this is why personal development should be at the top your priority list:
- Don’t become emotionally dependent on your partner: the main warning sign is not having enough space for your own self-care. You really have to work on your own personal development and growth in order to last the distance.
- Get comfortable with who you are as a person: your partner isn’t there so unlike other couples whose identities tend to blend at the beginning of a relationship LDR couples have to face a different identity crisis of sorts.
- Become a power couple: LDR couples have to be able to be confident and independent in their relationship. When you think of power couples I imagine LDR couples. Both badass people working on them and coming together to create something great.
“This is especially important in an International LDR because now you are dealing with different cultural upbringings as well as language barriers. If you aren’t able to work on your own personal growth and developing an understanding for each other then your relationship will have a harder time of succeeding.”
Are you still following? The best is yet to come!
Once you’ve worked on these 3 first aspects of your relationship, you are ready to start thinking about the next steps: joining your loved one and learning from this incredible experience.
4) Plan your future together
Jasmin successfully moved to Finland last year and learnt a lot from her experience of closing the distance.
“It’s essentially a relationship milestone. If you were to translate an LDR into a regular relationship then you would see CTD as moving in together. It’s hard to think about a future together with a person if you aren’t actively planning for that future together.”
She shared the steps that lead them to live together for good:
- Do your research: in 2017 we began researching what needed to be done for both of us to move to the other’s country. While I always wanted to live in Finland we felt that it was important to look at both immigration processes.
- Work on your financial plan: once we looked at what was needed for both we created a financial plan that would help us get ready for CTD. In that financial plan, we included the cost of living, immigration, plane tickets, and a ton of other factors. After we determined our budget we put a plan in place to save up as much money as possible.
- Prepare this new step of your relationship: financial planning is just one side of CTD, we also had to work on our relationship more, so that meant for us to have longer meet-ups to see how we would do living together.
- Manage your stress and emotions: Fast forward to the month before CTD we both were excited and nervous. The amount of stress was unreal. I mean you’re packing your entire life into 3 suitcases and saying goodbye to everything you know. Self-care is essential but you also have to think about the ones around you that want to see you before you go, and making sure your relationship is still okay.
“Closing the distance should be a process that is celebrated, not one that you are constantly stressing out over.”
Are you feeling overwhelmed about closing the distance? Jasmin also created the ultimate guide to help you with each step of the process.
I’m really impressed by how Jasmin managed to put all essential information in one place with her Closing the Distance Binder Set.
It will help you:
- Have a financial guide and planner
- Learn what important documents you will need
- Stop worrying about what to pack
- Work on your self-care and reduce stress
- Feel relaxed as you and your partner are about to start your new lives together
*This is an affiliate link to a product that I found perfect to help you close the distance. This means when you purchase using my link I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
5) Learn from the LDR experience
I really love the way Jasmin always highlights the positive aspects of long distance relationships and help you reframe a difficult situation.
To conclude this article, it felt important to show you how you can reflect on this experience and learn from it.
After more than 3 years in a LDR, Jasmin believes she learnt both about herself and what she wanted out of her relationship:
- Learn about yourself: being in an LDR has taught me so much about who I am as a person. That’s what I loved about LDRs it gives you so much time to focus on yourself and who you are as an individual while coming together in different parts of the year.
- Learn about your relationship: LDRs give you time to reflect and understand what it is you want for your future and the future of your relationship.
- Learn from your community: the good news is that you are not alone! So many international couples are going through the same hurdles as you. Connect with them on Instagram, look for blogs to support you, share your experience with others.
“LDR couples spend so much time apart working on themselves, following their dreams, pursuing their passions, then coming together to celebrate all that they have worked hard towards. I just feel like that’s not something you can get from a regular relationship.”
I hope these inspiring tips from Jasmin will comfort you as you are going through this complicated time of your relationship.
For more advice to thrive in your intercultural couple, you can check these two articles: