When you are dating someone who lives hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away from you, it can often feel like you are leading two separate lives, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Independence and identity are important building blocks to every relationship. In a way, you have a head start on other couples because you have already mastered the concept of creating a healthy amount of space between you and your partner.
Without their own activities, interests, and friend groups, people can begin to feel trapped by their relationship. It is vital to practice self-care and find things that make you happy outside of your partner.
“Self-care and personal development will make you a better person and partner — a major key to helping a long-distance relationship (and any relationship) work,” Shannon Smith, a relationship expert with the online dating service Plenty of Fish, told Business Insider.
“Enroll in a course, make your health a priority, schedule time with friends, or pick up a good book that you’ve been meaning to read,” she added.
Alternatively, it is important to share with your partner as well, so that they can celebrate your triumphs and help you weather your storms. Finding the balance between your place as a person and your place as a partner will lead you both towards long-term happiness.