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Long-Distance Relationships: A Survival Guide

Long-Distance Relationships: A Survival Guide

The concept of the long distance relationship is ever evolving, thanks to an increased reliance on handheld technology and social media. Because of this, the notion of distance and separation is intended to be simpler – but it usually isn’t.

If you’re a rider who competes a lot, or if you or your person are often out of town for work, carving out time to maintain a relationship can drop on the priority list. If you’re looking at the possibility of a long distance relationship – no matter the period of time – there are several things to take into account.

Under Promise, Over Deliver

As much of a schedule control freak as you may be, those rules need to be more flexible with a distance relationship. The minute you “schedule” a FaceTime session at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Life happens. When you’re separated, more often than not it’s easy to be a bit more sensitive.

Avoid situations where one of you might be disappointed for an insignificant reason, such as being late to a FaceTime session, and instead leave some wiggle room. Maybe try for a “good morning and good night” rule, where you at least try to check in to say hello at the start and end of your respective days. This is more flexible than setting a rigid time. It may take a few tries to get right, but it’s adjustable according to what works for both of you.

“But do me a favor: don’t try to decide whether or not you should start trying for a baby or whether or not to refinance the house while you’re gone at a show or traveling for work.”

The key here is realism. Remember that it’s still just the two of you – just a bit farther apart! And really, you’re both most likely used to funky schedules if one of you is involved with horses – let’s be honest. In this situation, one of the best things you can do is to make it a priority to talk with your partner. Don’t sweep that call or text aside because you’re “too busy”.

You Don’t Have to Save the World

Distance creates a strain on even the most solid of relationships. Life typically doesn’t care that you and your partner aren’t getting a lot of face time – so don’t feel like you need to solve every issue as it happens.

One of the biggest lessons I learned in my long distance endeavors is not to try to have important discussions when we were apart, if we could help it. I’m all for grabbing the metaphorical bull by the horns and dealing with things as they arise, but some conversations are simply better had in person. Barring that, a phone conversation will usually go better than a text message conversation.

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But do me a favor: don’t try to decide whether or not you should start trying for a baby or whether or not to refinance the house while you’re gone at a show or traveling for work. Save those big, important conversations for a time when you can both fully focus. Even if it ends up as a phone conversation due to your circumstances, at least carve out a significant block of time where you won’t have outside distractions. Your relationship deserves your undivided attention, too.

Stop With the #MCM and #WCW Posts, Please

Yes, we know you love each other. It’s perfectly clear with all of the selfies and #MCM posts that pepper your Instagram page.

But rather than spending time editing your happy couple photo or professing your love on social media, why not dedicate that time to telling that person how much you love and care about them? If you’re experiencing particularly strong feels, plan a fun date night or send them a thoughtful gift. Trust me, that gesture will go much further than 37 likes on Instagram.

Those little gestures of thought are so much more than just the words or the item – it’s a simple, subconscious way of solidifying the bond and relationship you have with your partner. That is where your solidarity will come from, and where you should be focusing your time and energy. Don’t worry so much about making sure the world knows you love each other – instead, spend the energy making sure they know you love them.

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