Long-distance relationships: are they worth fighting for?

Lockdown has seen many couples thrown into an unfamiliar long-distance relationship situation that they probably weren’t expecting to ever have to deal with. Truthfully, months of facetime dates would take their toll on anyone: it’s hard to find new things to talk about when the highlight of your day was that brief government-approved walk. So, if you’ve been considering giving up on the stress of maintaining a relationship through a pandemic then, you won’t have been the only one.

But how can you know if it’s worth the wait to for when life gets back to normal again, or if it’s time to take a step back? I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for going on two years now, so I hope I can offer some helpful advice on how to make the hard parts easier, the good parts even better and your mind a little clearer on whether the work of an LDR is worth it for you (and your partner).

The Bad Parts (And How To Make Them Not So Bad) 

Going from seeing each other every single day to being thrown into a lockdown, undoubtedly, you’re going to miss the little everyday things the most, even though they once seemed somewhat trivial. Losing that quality time together is really upsetting, but I’ve learned that just because you can’t have it physically, doesn’t mean you can’t have it at all. My advice is to keep up your routines as a couple the best you can: if lunch dates are your thing, plan to facetime over lunch together; if you love your movie nights, Netflix Party is a dream to be able to watch and chat at the same time. Keep up date night, too: my boyfriend and I will order the same takeaway to eat together on facetime or listen to the same album if we’re sick of video calls. Setting time aside to be ‘together’ is just as important.

How well you tend to communicate with each other is probably the make-or-break factor in a long-distance relationship; it’s easy to feel distant if you’re not checking in. It’s surprisingly hard to find a good time for this at the moment, because we’re all trying to fill our days with little things to pass the time. Still, fitting in a good catch-up between your magazine reading and Instagram scrolling will be great for both your mental health, and your relationship. Texting them constantly throughout the day might seem like the way to deal with the distance, but I’ve found that this can take the focus out of your own day and can get a bit repetitive: a longer phone call in the evening instead means you can have a quality conversation and catch up, rather than texting them ‘wyd’ 25 times. (This is advice to myself too).

The Good Parts (And How To Appreciate Them)

Lockdown has provided a much-needed chance for setting aside time for self-care, and if there’s a positive to long-distance, it’s all that extra time to focus on yourself. Take this opportunity to work on projects you’ve been putting off, read the books that have been gathering dust on your shelf, or start that journal you’ve been meaning to start: you might not get such a chance to focus on your own thing for a while after this.

I’m sure if you’re reading this article you’ve looked for advice from friends and family and are already sick of the ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder’ thing, but some space seriously does make you appreciate your partner: if you find yourself thinking of all the things you love about them, share it with them. This is a good way to keep things positive through all the, ‘I miss you’s’. 

So, Are They Worth Fighting For?

I think the question is less about whether long-distance is worth fighting through, and more about whether your relationship is worth fighting for; without sounding too cheesy, if this is the right person, some time apart is just a small bump in the road towards your future together. Remember that this pandemic is going to come to an end eventually, and if you can really see your relationship working out post-lockdown…I think that maybe a bit of long-distance could even be a good thing.

Image: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash