The time has come. After x months/years of living y miles away from your one true love, you finally live in the same place. No more LDR! Alls well that ends well, right? Not so fast.
When in an LDR, it’s easy, logical, and even encouraged to imagine that once you and your love live in the same city or under the same roof everything will be glitter and unicorns and “honey, don’t lift a finger; I’ll wash the dishes.” Everyone knows a relationship is a living, breathing entity so even a positive change (like lessening physical distance) will have some side effects. Here are a few things to keep in mind while adjusting to life…together:
1. Sit down for a DTR.
“Defining the relationship” talks are legit. You probably haven’t had one since you and your love interest moved from “are we just friends?” territory into a full blown (long distance) love affair. This chat won’t be the same as before because your relationship is already defined in that it exists. What now needs to be defined is how to make sure your relationship withstands this new reality.
It’s important to set aside time early on, in between “I’m just so happy we’re finally *together*” gushing sessions, to lay ground rules and manage expectations. You’ll be glad you laid a solid foundation and voiced not your fears and hopes, but also your expectations. You may need to have a few chats and that’s okay. Bumps along the way are inevitable but will certainly be more manageable post-DTR.
2. Be mindful of giving each other space.
This sounds like the antithesis of everything you think and feel, right? Remember this, though: you’ve both gotten pretty comfortable living separate lives. While it’s great that physically your lives are now joined, you still probably aren’t used to having someone in your space at their will. Even if you don’t live together, you risk smothering the other person by making yourself at home too fast and too soon. Yes, you’re both madly, deeply in love and isn’t it so cute that your love leaves a mug out for your morning coffee? Except no, because that’s not your favorite mug and you like your coffee iced. Even though you have presumably spent a good deal of time in each other’s spaces, be respectful of boundaries, don’t assume too much, and keep communication open (see above re: the DTR).
3. Stay/get creative with dates and your time together.
Simply put, you don’t need to fall into the trap of overvaluing your time together. How does that happen? Easy. You’ve been apart for either some or all of your relationship, so you are just tickled to be able to enjoy the everyday things like having breakfast, shopping for groceries, and watching Jeopardy with your boo. That’s a great upside of finally living in close proximity or together. The downside is you can quickly fall into a rut of focusing solely on the quotidian while forgetting to make time for special dates or activities. Stay vigilant lest your creativity wane. Explore your new neighborhood digs, try new restaurants or social scenes, and be adventurous. Even coming up with a hobby together will keep things exciting, while grounding your time together in a shared, but new experience. The last thing you want your partner to feel is that the only thing keeping your relationship alive was the distance between you two. Your relationship will thank you.
4. Travel together.
It sounds crazy because you’ve just spent x months/years traveling y miles so many times you know your favorite flight attendant’s schedule and she knows you like two bags of pretzels instead of one. But here’s the thing: rarely in all that time do you both get to travel together. Walking to the grocery store for more ice cream during that snowstorm from late December back in ’63 doesn’t count. Many relationships really take shape when both people are taken out of their “natural habitats” and thrown into totally new, stimulating (albeit sometimes overwhelming) experiences. You learn better the habits, likes, and dislikes of your partner, plus you get to observe more acutely how they interact in the world beyond your daily lives. It’s true that traveling may test the bonds of a relationship, but on the flip side there’s a good chance it’ll solidify things and draw you closer. Doubtful? Imagine how you’ll feel after a terrible bout of Montezuma’s Revenge wherein your partner spent all night rubbing your back and popping Imodium into your mouth. In this new light, you trust even more that as a couple, you’re ready to take on the world. Get out there together.
More like this:
- In a Long-Distance Relationship? Here’s Your Survival Kit
- The 5 Questions Everyone Asks About Your Long Distance Relationship
- The Longest-Distanced Long Distance Relationship of All Time
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