I have already explained how I feel about long distance relationships, but sometimes it is hard for me to take my own advice. I like to pretend that I am an exception to my own rules; turns out the rules still apply. Rather than rehash my recent bad decisions I am going to try and help you avoid these situations. The major issue here is how to start a successful, mature relationship when the person you want is not geographically desirable. I realize these are some pretty specific conditions but the advice is true in all early relationships.
Be honest with yourself about time.
It can be really frustrating to try and fit things into your already busy life. It can be even more frustrating when you have to plan in advance when you’re going to see someone. If anyone you’re trying to date lives more than an hours drive from you, you have to tack on at least another 2 hours to the plans. That means that in order to justify hang out time you should probably see each other for at least 3 hours… so now we are at 5 hours. Don’t get me wrong the person you want to be dating might be worth all that time, but it is a huge amount of time to dedicate to something early in a relationship. They key here is not to avoid these situations entirely but make sure you can actually fit this in, if you realize you only have 1 day a week to fit this in you may want to step back and reevaluate.
Don’t let them off the hook.
It is easy to not confront someone about things you find irritating when you are far way. It might be something as petty as them using “u” instead of “you.” Or more serious, example: they cancel on you 2 weeks in a row. Just because a person is far away doesn’t mean that you can push these issues to side and pretend that everything is all okay. It might be hard to confront them because its early in the situation but you can’t wait till you’re months in and expect them to change then. You need to be honest with yourself and with them; it’s the only way to have a functional relationship.
Don’t have unreal expectations.
They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, but I think it makes your imagination run wild. I find it very easy to imagine that things are going substantially better than they are when you are far away from someone. I might even take some comfort in them being far away, it’s easier to not mess up the relationship when they live far away. You need to keep your expectations grounded and real. If things aren’t working don’t pretend they are. You are not doing yourself any favors by acting like things are good, unless they actually are. When you are in the beginning stages of any relationship you can usually imagine how great things are going to be ten years down the road when you’re married with kids and a nice house; these dreams blind you to the reality. Take it slow and be completely real with yourself.
New relationships can be a lot of fun but they will only end up being successful if they start on the right foot. There are many things you can do to make your relationship successful, and this is by no means an exhaustive list but it’s a good starting point. The most important thing to remember is that you have to tell yourself the truth, I can’t say this enough.
By Ruthless Romantic
Check out her other mistakes and tips at http://cupidranoutofarrows.tumblr.com/