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3 Love Hacks to Save Your Long-Distance Relationship

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Long-distance relationships are hard! He doesn’t text you back enough, he doesn’t call you enough, he’s “busy,” he “forgets,” and it’s exhausting and painful to keep chasing after him to get the attention you deserve!

Although LDRs are more common today than ever before, it doesn’t mean they’re easy or intuitive.

Often we need an entirely new set of communication skills and relationship perspectives to find fulfillment.

If you’re ready to ditch the stress of chasing him and restore the passion and romance to your relationship (even though you can’t be in his arms), this post is for you!

Get ready to learn 3 love hacks to save your long-distance relationship!


Dear Lauren,

I want to understand my boyfriend and save my long-distance relationship. I’m not sure if I want to be with him, because sometimes I think I can’t live without him, and sometimes I don’t want to deal with his ignorant behavior. He doesn’t even text me or call me. When I ask him why he doesn’t pay attention to me, he says he’s busy and he forgets. Frankly, I don’t feel like I’m asking too much. I don’t want to run after him, I want him to go after me. How can I restore his previous passionate attitude toward me and make this long-distance relationship work?

– Dyane


 

Long-Distance Reality Check

 

You say “you can’t live without him” but you’re also sick of putting up with his Bad Boyfriend Behavior.

I get it. Sounds like the old adage: “Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.” And there’s nothing charming about the tragedy of being between a rock and hard place. This, of course, is what LONG DISTANCE often feels like for couples.

For some life-reason (work, school, family, global pandemic) you need to live in different locations; but you love each other and you want to be a couple. You can’t physically be together which leaves you with two less-than-ideal options:

 

Do You Split or Just Split the Difference?

 

Many in-love couples decide to split the difference and try for a long-distance relationship. But just because long-distance relationships are common doesn’t mean they’re easy. For most of us, they’re not. It’s do-able but it’s a real challenge.

So, in order to strengthen your willpower for the days ahead, you need to get clear: are you going to split because it’s hard or are you going to TRY to split the difference, knowing that it’s less-than-ideal and it’s not going to feel as perfect as if you lived in the same area?

If you’re ready to put your best foot forward and commit to trying this LDR thing, then I’ve got 3 Love-Hacks that are going to help rekindle the passion and make your long-distance relationship work.

 

Love-Hack #1: Enjoy the “Extra!”

 

Remember when you used to be single? Go back in time for a minute.

How did you take care of your needs then? Did you spend a lot of time with friends and family? Did you learn a new skill every month: how to crochet, play the ukulele and/or paint a sunset? Did you volunteer at your local pet rescue center?

How did you make yourself happy without a man? 

Being in love is awesome. I often describe my relationship as “pure luxury:” supporting, comfy, relaxing, fun; it’s easy to be happy around him. But the danger lies in when we become too dependent on our partners to make us happy. When that happens, nobody’s happy.

My relationship is “pure luxury” only because I make the effort to make myself happy.

That’s because when I make myself happy then my partner’s only job is to make me happy-er. So anytime he gives me a compliment or opens my car door on a date, it’s extra. I don’t EXPECT him to do that as part of our relationship “contract;” it’s extra and it feels luxurious.

This perspective is important to ALL relationships, but it’s even MORE critical to the survival of LDR’s. Make yourself happy; fill your life with people, fun, adventure, and creative expression. And then when he calls, compliments, or connects with you in any way: it’s extra.

Appreciate the extra luxury he brings to your life.

 

Love-Hack #2: Change the Communication Game

 

You want him to call and text you more often. You’re not asking much; you just want a little communication. How hard is that?

For a guy, it’s actually kinda hard. Men function on the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. Time passes quicker for him and he doesn’t feel the need for a relationship connection the way you or I do. This means it’s easy for him to go days (sometimes weeks!) without thinking about you and subsequently calling you.

This doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, it just means you’re not in-sight-in-mind.

This inherent gender difference causes the most stress for women in long-distance relationships; because he’s certainly not out of sight and out of mind for you! You think about him all the time and want to connect. He doesn’t.

Which is why he’s not calling or texting and he’s losing the communication game as it stands. This not only causes you stress, heartache, and disappointment but it also makes him feel bad, like nothing he does makes you happy anymore. When he does talk to you, you’re mad at him for his Bad Boyfriend Behavior.

Once he associates talking with you with feeling punished instead of feeling good, that’s the beginning of the end. Don’t let it end that way. Change the game.

Instead of expecting him to contact you, try texting him. Not just any run-of-the-mill text message but an FYI text: for your information only.

The purpose of an FYI text message is merely to update him on your day.

It’s not as satisfying as if he started to call you all the time and sent you text messages saying, “I’m thinking about you.” I get it. But as soon as you release yourself of those unrealistic expectations, you also let go of the accompanying disappointment and frustration.

It’s all about redefining the game to set you both up for feeling good. Let him know that these are just “updates” and that you don’t expect anything in return.

FYI text example: “Remember that guy who plays the drums on the corner? He added ‘singing’ to his repertoire! My ears almost curled up and died. You would’ve loved it. Miss you!”

Another example of an FYI text message can just be a picture of you enjoying lunch with your friends, you making yourself a stack of pancakes, you being happy, and enjoying life.

Picture him reading it and smiling. Let go of any expectation that he has to return the text in order for intimacy to be achieved. You’ve put yourself in his sight and back in his mind – you’re connecting. Don’t check your phone every five minutes to see if he responded. Live your life. Your FYI text is your connection.

IF he responds, enjoy the “extra!”

I want to make a clear distinction, by writing him you are not pursuing him, you are merely updating him.

By releasing him from the pressure of your communication needs, you also free him from the burden of your dissatisfaction. Your cheerful FYI texts make him feel like he can make you happy and helps him enjoy your relationship even more.

 

Love-Hack #3: Put a Time-Limit on It

 

For most of us, long-distance relationships are not sustainable.

Which means you need a light at the end of the tunnel in order for your love and relationship to survive the journey.

If you want to be in a relationship, you have certain relationship needs. If your partner cannot meet those needs by living far away, then there is no way the relationship will be successful – no matter how much you love each other.

Creating an end date, gives you hope for a new beginning.

I recently binge-watched the Netflix series: Unbreakable Kimmy Shmidt. In it, she holds to the optimistic mantra that anyone can do anything for 10 seconds. It’s certainly a motivating thought, isn’t it? And it can apply here to your LDR. We surprise ourselves at the inner strength we find when we put a time limit on something.

So set a date. Not just for your next visit, but for your permanent solution. Hold out for the time until you can be back in his sight and in his mind permanently.

You were always in his heart.

With love,

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