The hardest part of a long distance relationship is being at a distance.
It’s during the distance you feel like you’re alone.
It’s when you start to question why you are in a long distance relationship in the first place.
On the other hand, it’s during the distance where you create the foundation of your relationship.
It’s when you learn so much more about your partner and are able to understand them on a deeper level.
It’s also during the distance where so much love is built.
The distance is such a fragile state.
It gives you so many highs and lows.
The highs are of course wonderful, it makes you feel like the relationship is worth it, you feel like it’s worth every mile apart.
Let me tell you, it’s so worth it. It was worth all the struggle, pain, and loneliness felt to be in this moment together.
During our time in an LDR there was a time where we almost broke up.
It almost happened because we stopped focusing on nurturing our love at a distance.
We were so annoyed with each other, constantly miscommunicating, and even depressed in our own lives.
Instead, we were living in the future. Clinging on to the ✨one day ✨we would be together again.
This is what people call destination happiness.
What Does Destination Happiness Look Like in a Long Distance Relationship?
Destination happiness happens when you are so fixated on the future.
You start to think to yourself, once I get there, I’ll be happy.
When you start to think like that, you’re subconsciously telling yourself that your long distance relationship can’t be happy in the present.
You’re basically saying that your LDR can only be “real” or “happy” in the future when you are together.
We all know that’s not true.
That’s why you get angry when people say LDRs don’t work.
That’s why you talk about how romantic LDRs are.
That’s why you and your partner work so hard to make sure your communication is solid.
This is also why I want to show you 4 ways to stop destination happiness from happening in your LDR.
So you and your partner can focus more on your CURRENT relationship happiness.
4 Ways You Can STOP Destination Happiness from Ruining Your Long Distance Relationship
Accept that Your Partner Isn’t Responsible for Your Happiness
There are a lot of reasons why you can be unhappy. Missing your partner is one, but let’s be honest it’s only the tip of the “unhappiness iceberg”
During the rough part of our long distance relationship I was very unhappy at my job. My job was stressful and I was experiencing a lot of burn out.
I kept telling myself I would be happy when Tuomas and I were together again. At that moment I was relying on him for my happiness.
I was expecting him to make me happy, because I was relying on him to make ME happy. I got frustrated when we were on a call and he wasn’t making me immediately happy.
That’s WAY too much responsibility to put on him, not to mention he was going through his own stuff as well.
He was frustrated with school and fear of graduating and our future together. Not to mention how draining it was for our relationship.
Tuomas was also waiting for our moment to be together, because then he felt that things would make more sense and be easier for him to focus on our relationship.
In this since we were draining each other of our happiness, in hopes of our future happiness together.
When in reality both of our situations were we just needed a break from our work lives, and the break in our work lives were affecting our relationship.
In order to find happiness during the distance you first need to look at what is causing you to be unhappy in your relationship.
Is it external factors like you work, the people surrounding you, or your own stress and fears.
Or is it something within the relationship like miscommunication or misunderstandings.
You won’t be able to find happiness in the present without understanding WHAT is making you unhappy and WHY you feel so miserable all the time.
Understand More About What Makes You Happy in Your LDR
After you’ve thought about what is making you unhappy then you can start recognizing what makes you happy in the present.
When you are constantly searching for happiness it makes it harder to see what happiness is when it is happening.
The pursuit of happiness can be also seen as a philosophical question of “what is happiness”?
Let’s just make it easy for you and say whenever your partner makes you smile really big, or when you feel yourself mentally saying “I love this person”.
That right there is happiness.
There are moments in the distance that you are happy, you just need to remind yourself of it.
For me, it was when Tuomas and I had dates that were more involved.
It required us to learn something new together, or learn more about each other’s culture as well as asking deeper questions to learn more about each other’s past.
For Tuomas it was scheduling more time for his personal growth and development.
Once we started doing that we were able to see what in our relationship makes us happy. I enjoyed learning new things about our relationship and who we are.
And, it made him happy to have support from me as he was growing into the person he wanted to be.
Take the time in your relationship to recognize the things that make you and your partner happy, talk about them with each other.
Then put those emotions and feelings into words, right them down so when you are feeling sad and lonely you can pick them up and be reminded of how happy your partner makes you in this moment.
Which brings me to my next point.
Start a Weekly Couples Gratitude Journal
I am all about weekly relationship check ins, where you talk about what’s going on in your upcoming week together and planning out the days you’ll be able to talk on.
That’s why it’s great to add in gratitude journaling to these check ins.
This was a habit we started in during the distance and we keep it up now after we’ve closed the distance.
It’s a wonderful way for you and your partner to stay connected and it shows how much you appreciate your partner and what they do for you while at a distance.
Keeping a couples gratitude journal is also a great way to practice being mindful and being more present with your thoughts.
This also keeps your relationship in the here and now, helps you to feel more closely connected with each other without stressing over the future.
Here are five journal prompts for that y’all can use:
I am thankful for how supported (your partner’s name)makes me feel when they do ______.
I feel appreciated when (your partner’s name)r gives me alone time so I can focus on _____.
I feel loved when (your partner’s name) randomly does ________ to let me know they are thinking of me.
I was happily surprised when (your partner’s name) did ________ for me
(your partner’s name) made me feel special when they said ________.
You can choose to write these prompts out during the week or sit down with each other once a week and say them outloud on a call.
The important part is for you and your partner to hear how much love and support you give each other even while being apart.
Make Your Relationship Exciting During Distance
Another way you can prevent destination happiness from interfering with your long distance relationship is by having things to look forward to at a distance.
One way to do that is by having scheduling date nights at least once a month. During these date nights try asking your partner open-ended questions like “what’s a skill or hobby you have always wanted to learn?”
Basically questions that will help you to carry a conversation with each other and help you to see another side of your partner.
In the beginning Tuomas and I had a lot of Netflix dates, or dates where we played games online together.
While those types of dates are fun, they tend to leave little room for growing conversation.
I want you to start thinking of your LDR dates in a new way. If you were living together as a couple would you want to do the same exact thing every friday night together?
No you wouldn’t so you shouldn’t let you dates be that way either.
Give your date nights some variety by taking turns planning out what to do for each other.
When you get excited for you next date night it helps you to focus on what you can do sooner with each other rather than focusing on what you’re going to do with each other months from now.
Don’t Let Destination Happiness Prevent You From Currently Being Happy in Your Long Distance Relationship
As an LDR couple there are already many odds stacked against you. Odds like the distance, time zones, passports, and everything in between.
So don’t let destination happiness be another odd keeping you and your partner from enjoying your current relationship in the distance.