One of the most agonizing and uncertain times is the lead-up before a long distance relationship starts.
While completely normal, it’s hard not to think about all the things that MIGHT happen. Or procrastinate doing what you need to do beforehand because it hurts to think about what’s coming.
However, there are things you must do before your last day together before long distance starts.
So that you’re setting yourselves up for success rather than failure! Let’s get started.
The Important Things to Do Before Going Long Distance
1. Consider the practical implications for the person left behind
If you are lucky enough to live together normally, the person traveling can find it easier to deal with the separation due to busyness and being stimulated by new surroundings. The person left behind, on the other hand, is in the same old place and with the same old routine, but with a big hole left by the traveler.
It can be a big help if you do some advance planning about how to help ease their load.
If you’re living together, what extra work is the partner left behind going to have to cope with (especially if you have kids)? Is there anything you can do to help with that or limit the load? What about finances? Does the person remaining behind have access to bank accounts, know which bills need paying, and everything else required to keep life ticking over while you’re gone?
There can be literally dozens of practical implications for the person left behind. Leave a comment and let us know what practical strategies you’ve found it helpful to think through in advance.
2. Don’t leave stuff unsaid before you go away
If there are any major issues in your relationship, distance is a sure way to make sure they bubble to the surface.
Talk early and talk deep, and get things into as healthy a place as you can before you leave so you can part from a peaceful place, knowing that the relationship is as strong as you can make it.
3. Make the last day/night together special
Do something romantic – get away, go out together, do something nice that will create a memory you can both hang on to while you’re apart and give you something to look forward to when you come back.
Involve kids in this process too if applicable, but try to make sure the couple gets time alone together somewhere in there.
4. Manage your goodbyes in ways that work for you
Every couple is different, but try not to make goodbyes a traumatic, dramatic, emotional thing.
his may seem like a grand romantic gesture but it doesn’t actually help anybody. It can create a certain dread around departures well ahead of time, and leave both parties carrying grief after the parting.
If you’re the sort of people who can hang out at the airport, have a meal together, say a gentle goodbye and leave it at that, then great. But if goodbyes invariably lead to floods of tears and great heartbreak, think about keeping it short and sweet. Catch a cab and say a quick goodbye at the front door instead, or get dropped off on the curb of the departure terminal.
What Things Will You Do Before Going Long Distance?
If you’re still running in circles, unsure about how to make the lead up to going long long distance an easier time. We recommend joining our free LDR Support Group where you can chat with other long distance couples that have had to navigate similar issues when it comes to saying goodbye and what they did to make it work.