Like any relationship, lesbian long-distance relationships call for commitment, communication, and trust. But long-distance does present a couple with a unique set of challenges. These challenges can be hard to navigate and add extra stress to the relationship.
I’ve been dating my girlfriend since 2015. Throughout our near six-year lesbian long-distance relationship, I’ve lived in Michigan, USA, and she’s been living in England. For those counting, that’s the separation of an ocean, a 5-hour time difference, and a pretty expensive plane ticket.
We always get asked, “How do you make it work?” So, we’ve pinpointed some of our best tips and advice to turn any lesbian LDR into lesbian long-distance relationship goals.
- Communication is Key
Communication truly is key! To lay the groundwork for a strong foundation in a lesbian long-distance relationship, it’s good to establish what to expect. Will you text every day? Will you chat on the phone a few times a week? How often will you video chat?
Talking about these things with your partner might feel unnatural and clunky. But having conversations like this helps avoid miscommunications and conflict.
Utilize Technology to Stay Connected
Technology is obviously keeping any long-distance relationship connected, but different apps can make communication easier and stronger.
My girlfriend and I stay in touch on the go with Snapchat often. When we’re out, shopping, or with friends, sending a quick picture with little or no text is a simple, quick way to keep in touch. And it doesn’t distract me too much from what I’m actually doing (like a text conversation could).
More recently, we’ve both been using an app called Coupleness. Every day, each person rates their day out of 10 and chooses emotions that capture their day.
They also add factors that influence these emotions from a list of options (such as work, family, finances, etc.). Then you can see how each other’s day went.
Coupleness comes in handy for my girlfriend and me when we are at our busiest. For a stretch of days or a week when we don’t have scheduled phone calls or video chats, it’s easy to check in on the app. Then we know when the other is having a harder time, when to be gentler, and when to prioritize time together.
Handling Conflict in Lesbian Long Distance Relationships
Conflict is always tough, but the distance in relationships can make handling it even harder. It’s so easy to miscommunicate over text messages. It’s hard not being able to kiss and make up. Without proper communication groundwork and expectations, distance can make a small argument blow up.
In my relationship, conflict happens the most due to miscommunication (or lack of communication). As hard as it may be, the best way to avoid conflict is to be direct about what you want and need from your partner.
And to be honest about what you can and cannot give back to them. Direct communication keeps everyone’s expectations on the same page and is the number one way to avoid conflict.
When a conflict is unavoidable, I find it best to handle it over the phone or video chat rather than over text. Anyone can misinterpret tone over text messages. Actually hearing the other person speak can keep a conflict grounded and quickly resolvable.
I’m sure it’s unsurprising that communication is at the top of the list. But its importance when it comes to maintaining long-distance relationships cannot be overstated.
- Lesbian Long Distance Relationships Last By Scheduling Time Together
Making time for one another is a must for lasting lesbian long-distance relationships. Life can get busy, and it’s easy to get caught up in work, school, and daily tasks. But it’s vital to schedule time for one another and stick to that plan.
It’s a good idea to treat planned video chats or phone calls with your partner as an in-person date. Making those scheduled times together a priority helps long-distance relationships stay strong through the stretches apart.
- Find Activities to do Together Over Video Chat
Lesbian long-distance relationships can handle a lot of video chatting. Especially if you’re like me and my girlfriend, who can talk and talk for hours.
But the day may come where you run out of things to talk about. Or maybe you aren’t in the mood to chat, but still want her company. That’s where activities come in handy.
Watch TV Together While Apart
My go-to is streaming a show or movie together. Different browser extensions such as Teleparty let multiple viewers watch in sync. When one person pauses the film, it pauses for the whole party.
Enjoy Hobbies Together Over Zoom
Another favorite of mine is doing hobbies together over video chat. (Of course, this depends on the hobby). Luckily, most of my hobbies are crafty, so I can easily video chat and embroider at the same time.
In fact, the years of lesbian long-distance video chatting had me realize that keeping my hands busy through conversation helps me stay engaged. Even if my girlfriend and I are just chatting, I still like to work on an embroidery hoop or crochet project.
It’s also fun to learn new hobbies together! Whether that’s a new crafty project, picking out a new language on Duolingo, or something else entirely. Learning how to do something new together can be a great way to spend time while apart.
Read a Book
Another cute video chat idea is reading. Reading a book together over Zoom seems simple, but it’s great to enjoy your partner’s company in peaceful silence.
To crank up the gay factor in your lesbian long-distance relationship, you could read to each other. My girlfriend and I both bought the same book once, and we decided to take turns reading chapters out loud to each other over Skype.
Looking for book inspiration? Check our list with the best lesbian books and novels!
- Play Lesbian Long-Distance Games Together
Games can technically be part of the activities tip, but there are so many options for lesbian long-distance relationship games that it deserves its own category.
For a long time, my girlfriend and I played Farmville together. Yes, that’s right. Farmville. Don’t knock it until you try it. Getting obsessed about growing the state-prized sunflowers was my pastime in college. With in-game co-ops and the ability to trade items, playing Farmville was fun! And we also competed to see who could reach higher levels faster.
You can also play a lot of game apps on your phone together over video chat. Simple games like Candy Crush and Mario Kart can be fun and competitive activities to do together.
For more of a classic spin, you can even play some of your favorite board games online. Check if some of your favorites have free online versions that you can play together, like Codenames.
Some games you might even be able to play without a web host. A few times that my family played Scattergories (a family favorite), my girlfriend joined us for a few rounds over video chat. She doesn’t need to be physically present to play and enjoy the game with us!
- Plan Your Next Long-Distance Trip
The hardest part about long-distance relationships is obviously spending time apart. Planning the next time you see each other helps the time pass a little quicker.
I’ve always had the hardest times in my lesbian long-distance relationship when our next trip wasn’t in sight yet. As you could imagine, the locked borders in 2020 and 2021 provided plenty of heartache.
Once you get those flights or train tickets booked, you have that to look forward to. Nothing makes the time pass like planning dates you take each other on once you are together again.
Choose the Cheapest Traveling Options
The sad reality is that long-distance relationships aren’t cheap. Travel is costly, and the expense alone can make it impossible to see each other as much as a couple wants to. So traveling for cheap is a necessity for many. It certainly is for me.
If you have to fly, make sure to try out all the hacks for cheaper flights. Clear your browsing history when shopping for flights. Use comparison tools like Skyscanner and Jack’s Flight Club.
Check the price difference between nearby airports and see if it’s worth driving further. My girlfriend and I always save hundreds of dollars by choosing to fly in and out of O’Hare in Chicago (a five-hour drive) rather than going to Detroit (where I live).
When you travel together or travel to a meeting point and need lodging, follow the same routine. Explore your cheap options. My girlfriend and I almost always book Airbnb stays for really cheap to save money.
- Write a Long Hand Letter For Your Lesbian Long-Distance Relationship
Technology certainly makes lesbian long-distance relationships possible, but there’s something special about getting a letter in the post.
I remember the first letter my girlfriend ever sent me. Spritzed with her perfume, penned in blue ink, loopy handwriting filling pages and pages of notebook paper. It was the first thing I had that she had physically touched.
Letters are romantic, there’s no denying it. Slipping a little love letter in the mail for the price of a stamp is an adorable (and almost vintage?) way of reminding your partner you’re thinking about them when you’re apart.
Plus, you can send more than just a letter. Slip in a recent picture you took, stickers, a bookmark, a doodle. I once saved up all the paper tassel wrappers from Hershey Kisses (you know, the part that says “kiss”) and put kisses in the envelope like confetti. There’s no end to snail mail creativity.
- Sent Your Lover a Gift
Love letters are adorable surprises, but surprise gifts take it a step further. From simple to creative, here are some lesbian long-distance relationship gift ideas.
Shipping off a package to your long-distance lover is a great option. My absolute favorite thing to send her are American snacks that she can’t get easily or cheaply in the UK. Her favorites are Flaming Hot Cheetos, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and Airheads.
And I, of course, love receiving the same care package. I’m big on Mr. Kipling Angel Slices, any Galaxy chocolate bar, and bacon-flavored Supernoodles.
When my partner and I have to spend a particularly long period of time apart, I like to send her an article of clothing. Sending each other a t-shirt or hoodie that we wear often is a warming reminder of the love we share. And clothing ships easily in bubble padded envelopes, making shipping costs cheaper.
Shipping gifts is fun and personal, but it’s not always the cheapest option, especially for international shipping. That’s why I sometimes order gifts from shops local to her and have them shipped directly to her house. I’ve done this with flowers, local independent shops, Etsy, and depop stores based in her country.
Although I avoid Amazon often, the website makes ordering gifts for international long-distance relationships really easy. Simply change the web address extension to your partner’s home country (so from .com to .co.uk for me). Then I ship purchases to her address without extortionate shipping fees.
My personal favorite lesbian long-distance gift idea is ordering books from Better World Books. This b-corp sells new and used books at hugely discounted prices. The best part? Free international shipping.
- Create a Comfort Box for When You Miss Each Other
Missing one another is the hardest part of lesbian long-distance relationships. I miss my partner the most at nighttime when life feels quiet and decompressing the day alone is a hard task.
Post-C0VID, going to bed alone has become an issue that keeps me from getting a full night’s sleep. It’s something I talk about with my therapist. She suggested buying a body-length pillow or going to sleep with hoodies or teddies.
When I returned from the UK for the first time back in 2016, I slept with my girlfriend’s hoodie under my pillow for several months. Between that and my therapist’s advice, I’ve created a “comfort box.” It helps soothe the ache when missing my partner feels really heavy.
Some things for the comfort box:
- Her hoodie or t-shirt
- Printed pictures of the two of you
- A soft gift from her like a teddy or a blanket
- Her perfume
- Tokens from your time together (like train tickets, receipts, etc.)
Now when I have a hard time sleeping because I miss her, I put on her hoodie and cuddle a tiger teddy from Colchester Zoo. It’s not the same, but it does help soothe the ache.
- Connect With Other Lesbians in Long-Distance Relationships
As much as long-distance relationships are worth it, they are difficult. And having friends and family who don’t quite understand the challenges of long-distance is difficult too. That’s why connecting with other lesbians in long-distance relationships can be so valuable.
Through the power of the internet, my girlfriend and I have befriended plenty of other lesbians with partners across countries and oceans. Some we’ve met in person over the years, some we keep in touch with online.
With these connections, it’s helpful to have someone to talk to about the challenges of long-distance with. They’ll understand how you feel and what you’re going through.
It’s also helpful to know lesbians who used to be in long-distance relationships. They can help you navigate what it was like to finally move in together. And, depending on location and situations, they may be able to walk you through visa processes.
- Live a Balanced Life
The start of most relationships have a honeymoon phase. So much time and energy go into this new person in your life. And long-distance relationships aren’t much different in that respect. The trouble is that the person is far away.
Getting caught up in your partner in long-distance relationships can stop you from living your life. I certainly went through a phase where I spent more time texting and video chatting with my girlfriend than I saw my own friends nearby. That tendency can be isolating.
It’s important to make time for you, your friends, your hobbies. Focusing on balancing your life and your relationship will also help take your mind off of missing her.
Lesbian long-distance relationships can be challenging. But building a deep connection with the right person is one of life’s greatest rewards.
We hope our advice and these tips help turn your lesbian LDR into lesbian long-distance relationship goals.
And let us know your experiences and questions with lesbian long-distance relationships in the comments below.
Make sure to share these tips for lesbian long-distance relationships with your friends!
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