Happily ever after looks easy in fairy tales. But what do Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rapunzel and their charming princes actually do to make the happily ever after work?
If you are in a healthy relationship, you won’t need to draw inspiration from Disney princesses. You’re already your own fairy tale.
But what are the things that happy LDR couples do?
Despite your hectic schedule, there is always time to spare to talk to your soulmate. Being in an LDR means that we don’t get to see our special someone often or, worst case, not at all. Communicating is important.
1000 Questions for Couples is a great resource for couples who are new to long-distance relationships and those who have been waiting for years to close the gap.
Before heading to bed, spend at least 15 minutes talking on the phone and exchanging words of encouragement to each other. Hearing “I love you, sweetheart. Goodnight,” before you let exhaustion take over you will guarantee you’re smiling when you wake up.
We cuddle and huddle.
During our very rare days of off days, happy couples stick at home and watch movies, always accompanied by tons of junk food. Some couples are too tired to even go out and have a date, so they have a date at home. All you need is a great horror movie and your favorite food.
Send “open-when” letters.
I do this when I miss my fiancé. I write encouraging notes for when he might be feeling sad or lonely. This is the perfect pick-me-up when you guys are not together physically. Here are a few open-when ideas to get you started: Open when you’re missing me a little. Open when you’re feeling sad. Open when you can’t sleep. Open when you’re feeling hopeful about the future. Open when it’s the day before you get to see me again. Open when you need to know how much I love you.
Send snail mail.
Mail each other postcards and handwritten love letters. Send each other gifts across the globe from time to time. Send flowers on birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine’s Day. Surprise each other with cool T-shirts and sexy underwear.
Cultivate common interests.
After the passion settles down, it’s typical to realize that you have few interests in common. But don’t minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own. This will make you more interesting to your partner and prevent you from being too dependent.
Make trust and forgiveness your default mode.
If and when you have a disagreement or argument, and if you can’t resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.
Little resentments have a way of growing up to be big, unwieldy resentments. Just let it go. Smart couples pick their battles, and more often than not, they write off small transgressions if they threaten the bigger picture.
You need to be constantly injecting positive energy into the long-distance relationship to keep it alive. Yes, the waiting can be painful, and you can sometimes feel lonesome, but you need to remind yourself that the fruits at the end will be as sweet as heaven. One good trick to staying positive is to be grateful all the time. Be thankful that you have someone to love and someone who loves you back. Be thankful for the little things, like the handmade letter that arrived safely in your mailbox the other day. Be thankful for each other’s health and safety.
Give each other pet names.
It’s cute, and it keeps the lovey-dovey feelings going. I love calling my other half “Bunny.” He has a body full of tats, and calling him something fluffy is funny.
Make loving touch a priority.
People disagree over the role a happy sex life plays, but there’s no debate about the importance of regular, loving touch. Hug your partner, hold his hand or rub his feet. It doesn’t really matter. When you connect physically, you’re affirming your bond in a powerful, primal way.
Be goofy. Play pranks on each other. Invent your own silly language. Life is hard, and keeping a relationship robust and healthy takes work. But don’t take it all too seriously. The most resilient people—and couples—are those that can shrug their shoulders and laugh at life in general.
No matter how long you’ve been together, your partner will probably love being reminded about why you find him so attractive in the first place. Happy couples don’t stop courting each other just because they’re committed and settled. Notice new haircuts, compliment their clothes or just send a cheeky smile their way.
These are just a few of the things happy LDR couples do. What do you do to keep your LDR thriving?