Seven tips for a happy long-distance relationship!

Today, Johnny and I are celebrating seven years of being together. How time flies. We met at CiCi’s Pizza and he was actually there because he was interested in another girl. Long story short, Johnny walked away more interested in me and hustled to find out how to contact me. After our first few conversations, we knew we were perfect for each other. Since Day 1… or maybe 30, Johnny knew my dreams of being a network reporter and I knew Johnny is an entrepreneur by blood. We have been a long-distance relationship about five of our seven years together. Luckily, we did go to college together after all. Hook ’em! Many of you ask about our long-distance relationship so I am sharing how we make it work. Hopefully, some of what works for us, works for you and yours.

Miss Nebraska USA Hoang-Kim Cung in a couture Sherri Hill gown by Winning Crown and her boyfriend Jonathan Van

Johnny and I put our heads together to create this list of seven things to have a happy long-distance relationship. We hope you can find pieces of gold in our list whether you live with your other half or they are halfway across the world.

  1. TRUST – We strongly believe this is the best foundation of any relationship. I never worry Johnny is with another girl, interested in another girl or anything of that sort and vice versa. I have faith in our relationship and him. With this as our base, we are confident in our relationship, our love for one another and our future together. This leaves us free to chase our dreams and live our lives even when we are far apart. This is your foundation. When you’re long distance, this needs to be taken to an extreme. Without an extreme amount of trust in one another and confidence in your relationship, the boat can sink quickly.
  2. COMMUNICATE – This is imperative whether you are long distance or not. Johnny and I do a lot of talking. Find what works for you. We use Facebook Messenger and FaceTime as our main methods of communication. Throughout the day, we will chat on Messenger whether it’s sharing news, something cute we found on Instagram, funny memes, reactions to live news, etc. Honestly anything. The point is I know he’s thinking of me. At night, we FaceTime for at least an hour. Granted, we might not be talking to each other that entire hour, but we are together, enjoying each other’s company. One day when we aren’t in a long-distance relationship, we will nix the nightly FaceTimes, but our Messenger chats will remain. It is so important to learn how to communicate properly with one another. Many of my favorite moments with Johnny were shared virtually and I wouldn’t change that. Johnny and I have maybe been in less than five fights ever. It’s because we handle conflicts when they’re tiny by talking, they diffuse before anything festers and blows up. We are both straightforward, type-A problem solvers when it comes to conflict resolution. Meaning we aren’t afraid to speak up if something discomforts either of us and criticisms aren’t personal. While we are both relatively easy-going people, how much we communicate to one another is no doubt a key to why we don’t fight.
  3. CLEAR TRAJECTORY – Know each other’s “end goals” and what you are ultimately looking for. This may sound a little dramatic, but it’s crucial to know your partner pictures you in their future. When I close my eyes, I see Johnny there as my life partner – whether I am a network TV Journalist, a stay-at-home Mom, become a full-time blogger or whatever. On the outside, being an entrepreneur is so cool right now, but there are long days and nights, uncertainty and much more struggle than easy paths to walk. We know in the future, we want to be together, we want a family together and we want to explore this world, experience new things and grow old together. This allows us to sustain and even strengthen our love while being in a long-distance relationship.
  4. ORIGIN STORIES – Let’s all admit this together, the origin movies for superheroes are almost always the best ones. Why? Because they define the character. They leave a lasting impression on why we care about this character. This is going to sound lame, but retelling how you two met to one another and your favorite memories really help solidify your long-distance relationship. These stories define your relationship and make you one entity and not two separate people. Believe it or not, Johnny and I do tell each other stories of how we met, our favorite times about once or so a week. Nostalgia is a powerful thing. Plus, it’s nice when you are in a long-distance relationship and fall asleep to one of these stories.
  5. PLANNING – Consistently and diligently make plans for the future together. These can be short term, such as a weekend trip or what you’re meal prepping for the week. Or long term such as a potentially moving for a new job or buying a house. You will trust one another so much more if you come up with plans as a team and involve your partner. Even if it is a decision you will ultimately make on your own, being inclusive and let your partner know what is going on is key. Johnny and I plan together, whether it’s that night’s dinner plans or a cross-country move for a job. Being in a long-distance relationship means planning is even more important. It’s good practice before planning gets more complex when you want to have a family of your own.
  6. NEW STORIES/EXPERIENCES – When you experience things together, it bonds you. When you tackle tough obstacles together, you realize how great of a team you are. New stories and experiences do not have to cost a fortune. They can be as simple as discovering a new trail or park in your city or picking up a new hobby together. They can also be big like skydiving or four-wheeling through the dunes of Las Vegas. Johnny and I both love to try new foods and we love to eat. We cannot always eat out, but we enjoy going grocery shopping together and cooking meals together when we are visiting one another. We’ve even shopped and cooked together over FaceTime! Once you have a new experience you both love checked off, you can now add this to your catalog of stories to tell.
  7. BIG & SMALL THINGS MATTER – Remembering important dates and being there during each other’s toughest times will keep you together. But checking in with each other throughout the day, making sure to put dirty socks in the hamper and a small token of appreciation every now and then will keep you two in love. Without fail, Johnny always shows up for the big things. But the small things, including sending me the cutest sticks and gifs or surprising me with a cookie delivery at work when I’ve  had a bad day really really make me love him even more. This is one of my favorite parts of being in a long-distance relationship – I never know what small or big thing Johnny is going to surprise me with next!

Fashion blogger Hoang-Kim wears the Nicole dress by Milly with bell sleeves His & hers outfit of the day on South Congress Ave in Austin, TX

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