Long Distance Relationships: 6 Real Life Tips on How To Make Them Work.

Photo by Burke Heffner
Photo by Burke Heffner

“Dear Danger,
First I want to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. On some days when I’m down it really cheers me up and puts me in a better mood. So..I was wondering if you could make a blog about how to maintain a relationship if both partners are artists and are on the road or tour a lot…sometimes a couple of months. And I think you definitely know something about that. “

Love,
E.

Thanks for the question, E.

Between 2009 and 2011, over the course of a year and 1/2, Burke and I saw each other a full total of 5 weeks. I had a hefty touring schedule, and he was touring the world for his film work. When one of us was home in New York City, the other one was off somewhere else in the world.

Picture 5

These are the ways we dealt with it and made our connection stronger across the many miles:

♥  Hidden Notes of Treasure – Leave secret notes in your wake.

This tip I adapted from childhood. My Mom used to write me a note everyday and hide it somewhere in my lunchbox. When I was in early Elementary School, a single day seemed to last a week, and finding my Mom’s note to me during lunch would make me feel connected to home.

When Burke was leaving to go away for two months, I spent a few hours scrawling love notes, drawing pictures, writing fortunes and folding them up and sticking them different places in his suitcase when he wasn’t looking. I tucked notes in his pant pockets, the inside pockets of jackets, his soap container, inside rolls of socks, in between pages of books.

He always seemed to find the notes when he needed them the most!

If you are long distance with separate households, leave those tiny notes in hiding spaces all over their house when you visit and send them on a treasure hunt when you leave.

♥  Gift a Special Song: Music can speak the things we can’t.

On one four month tour, I had just finished a show in Germany and was about to crawl into my bunk. I saw there was an email with Burke’s name on it and in it was a iTunes gift of this song:

I fell asleep listening to it, feeling like he was beside me.

To this day, whenever I hear it, I think of that night I heard it the first time, falling asleep, missing my Love, a million miles from home, rolling along the roads of Germany.

♥  Get Creative in Expressions of Love.

On Valentine’s Day one year, I was gone on tour. Burke wrote a poem and took photos of his words all over the city. He made them into an album on Facebook and shared on my page.
Love-Note.jpg
This public display of love and the care in which he did his poem and photo project touched me so much. The full poem can be seen here.

♥ Make Your Own Holidays

I decided to make a calendar of important dates to us and have added to it over the years.  It includes:
the day we met,
the day we kissed for the first time,
the first day we had a road trip adventure together,
the day we moved in together,
the day we got our little dog Niney,
and romantic days.

I remember a friend of mine in college making fun of my calendar idea saying, “You guys are always celebrating. Even celebrating is going to get boring.”

Guess what?
Still celebrating 13 years later.
Picking special days and honoring them year after year have made our bond stronger.

♥  Keep Growing and Learning

Once when Burke was gone for two months, I found myself completely depressed and barely wanted to go out or do anything.   Spring was starting and every couple in the world was outside holding hands. I wanted to punch them all of them in the face.   But instead of doing that, I had heard that Claire de Luxe a fire performer I respect and admire, was teaching fire poi spinning classes. I forced myself to sign up, and within days, I was learning an exciting new skill that was filling up my days and killing my loneliness.

The best part? When Burke finally came back, I was able to do a half-naked fire show for him and show off my new skills. He loved it and got a new found crush on me with my wild fire spinning ways!

fire-spinning.jpg

♥ Stay Positive

Yep. I know. Some days can be really hard. But sending sad and desperate texts over and over are going to make things worse. (Trust me. I’ve done this – and we just spiraled into a stupid, gigantic depression together.) It’s fine to let someone know how much you miss them, but try to keep things positive – sending sassy pictures to each other, starting a fun countdown until the day you see each other again, making future adventure plans, or sending romantic or funny texts will remind that person every day why they fell in love with you in the first place.

Sending amour to all of you far-away lovers.

Do you have a question for me that you’d like to be featured on the blog?

Send your questions to: veronica at dangerdame with the subject “Dear Danger”, and you might be featured on an upcoming post.

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