9 helpful long-distance relationship tips anyone with a partner overseas needs to know

December 15, 2018 Updated: December 15, 2018

So, work just let you know that they’re transferring you to their Japan offices for the next three months, but you’re in a loving, committed relationship—what do you do? If you’re anything like most, it’s hard to put your career on hold, so you’ll likely accept the offer and try your hardest to explain it to your significant other.

The conversation likely won’t go well, and there’s going to be a ton of questions that need answering. If you’re lucky enough to make it through with your relationship still intact, we’ve got some tips for maintaining your relationship once you arrive at your new worksite.

Communication schedule

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Communication is the cornerstone of any relationship. A relationship without some form of communication is one that’s doomed for failure. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but what they fail to mention is how quickly that fondness can soon turn to resentment. Plan a schedule for calls and FaceTimes and make sure that it’s always your number one priority.

Patience

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You’re both going through a massive adjustment. Tempers will flare, and it’s so easy to hang the phone up and ignore calls and texts, but we all know that doesn’t solve anything. Even if every fiber of your being yearns just to shut your significant other out, it’s important to exercise patience and talk about what’s going through your mind.

Face-to-face visits

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Planning visits is an absolute must. There have been stories of couples going years without seeing one another, but the odds of any relationship taking that much strain are so incredibly low. Physical contact is necessary. Plan trips as often as you can, because your future as a couple depends on it.

Date nights

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Long-distance date nights? You might be thinking that this sounds like an oxymoron, but it is doable. Something, anything, to keep that spark from fizzling out is wholly necessary, so get some candles, download your favorite song, cook something, and then hop onto your favorite video messenger. It’ll never match the real thing, but it’s an excellent substitute for the time being.

Get out of the house

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A lot of couples’ first instinct will be to always stay at home, attached to the phone, texting their lover incessantly. This is a dangerous pattern to fall into because it’ll lead to isolation, which, if left unchecked, can lead to a freefall into full-blown depression. Maintaining contact with the outside world is essential. Your partner is gone, so now is the perfect time to catch up with your friends and family! Have that cup of coffee you took a raincheck on months ago.

Get a battery pack

Illustration – Shutterstock | Jinning Li

If you weren’t an avid phone user before your partner left the state or country, you are now. Get a battery pack, preferably one that has 10,000 milliamp hours (mAhs) or higher. Those will get you at least three to four charges before needing to charge to pack itself.

A handsfree phone case

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Speaking of phone equipment, a phone case that allows for a comfortable grip, or can stand on its own, is an absolute must. Holding it will tire your hands, and you’re going to be carrying it a lot. Something with a kickstand, or something similar, will pay for itself in no time at all.

Trust

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If communication is the cornerstone of any relationship, then trust is the foundation. Without trust, a relationship will not succeed, and this is doubly true when discussing long-distance relationships. It’s so easy to overthink why someone didn’t respond to a text or why they took as long as they did to call back. To stifle those thoughts, all you need is a bit of trust and patience. Chances are, things aren’t what your mind’s frantically made them out to be.

Never underestimate the power of postcard

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Phones and messages are nice and feed our ever-growing instant-gratification demons, but a letter is doubly nice. They’re relatively inexpensive to buy and send, and they will show your partner that you’ve taken a little extra time out of your day to send them something special.

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