How To Make A Long Distance Relationship Work As A Teen

Just because you can't see each other IRL doesn't mean you can't make things work

When you’re a teenager, it can be difficult to meet people who you have a romantic interest in. You’re too young to head out to bars and nightclubs, and if you’re in a same-sex school – forget about it.

So, on the off-chance that you do meet someone you have a connection with, you’d want them to live pretty close to you right? Well, it doesn’t always work out that way.

Maybe you met someone while at a summer camp, or on holidays, or through Instagram. You guys hit it off and now suddenly you find yourself in a long-distance relationship. Doing long distance can be hard for anyone, but when you’re a teen, it’s even harder. You don’t have the luxury of a full-time job bringing you income to spend on trips away together, and you don’t quite yet have the freedom to travel across the country (or wherever the other person may be) to visit them.

That means a certain amount of effort will need to be put into making things work. But, the good news is, it’s doable and we’ve got a checklist for you to make sure your ship’ is a success.

Schedule in time

When you’re communicating with someone long distance it can be easy to keep things casual and sporadic. But actually, you need to schedule in time to do things other than texting too.

If you were able to see one another each week, what would you do? Go to the cinema? Order in some food? Incorporate doing those things into your weekly schedule regardless of them not being IRL. Order pizza at the same time and enjoy it over FaceTime, pencil in a Friday night movie where you both watch it at the same time. Making time for one another and sticking to it is the key to making things last.

Make an effort

Show the other person that you care by doing small things to show your appreciation for them. You don’t have the luxury of showing up to their door with a box of chocolates in hand, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show your love in other ways.

Write them a poem or love letter, or even just a list of things you like about them and post it to their address. If you have a good relationship with their parents or friends you could organise for them to buy them something nice to give to them, or you could think of something nice you could both do virtually – a comedy show? Perhaps.

Support one another

Like in any relationship, you both go through ups and downs in your personal lives. You could be having a hard time at school, or maybe they can’t stop fighting with their parents. Whatever it is that’s going on, show your support for one another, chat to them, make sure they’re okay, you can’t be there to give them a cuddle in person but you can certainly make them feel loved with your words.

Be your own person too

When you’re keeping up a long distance relationship with someone it can feel like you both need to constantly chat to feel close to one another. But actually, that isn’t the case.

You can absolutely still enjoy your own time away from that person. Whether it’s spend doing things you love alone, or with friends and family, it’s important to work on other relationships you have outside of that person too, rather than giving everything you have to them.

Look to the future

It can feel like there’s no end in sight when you’re doing long distance, so give yourself a date to work towards. If it’s possible, agree on a date when you’ll see each other IRL, maybe your parents will allow them to come up for a weekend when you’re off school, or maybe you can arrange to go to a concert in a county that’s halfway between you both.

Whatever it is, mark the date in your calendar and keep it in your sights. It might feel difficult for now, but that will soon pass and if you both put in enough effort you’ll come to the day when you get to see each other all the time. But for now, celebrate the smaller wins.