It’s no secret that every relationship has its unique challenges. In long distance relationships (LDR), we often rave about the heartache, the tear filled good-byes, and how bad internet connections put a damper on communication. But one thing that’s not talked about as much is…the COST! Planes, trains, buses, boats, teleportation, however you travel to see your boo, it can all start to add up and cost a pretty penny. My boyfriend and I have been dating for 1 year and 8 months, and we have been long distant the whole time. With me working in LA, and him attending Seminary in Chicago, we’ve had to learn how to make our relationship exciting, passionate, and AFFORDABLE.
No matter where you live, every couple has to have “the talk;” that conversation, where you both lower your guards, openly discus your feelings, and attempt to define the relationship. As a long distance couple it’s very important that you are HONEST and transparent about your expectations, and what you can and can not afford. This does NOT mean you put all your business out there and just give away all your bank statements, credit card accounts, and social security number. However, it does mean that you are realistic about your finances and you both share and compromise as to what is feasible. When my boyfriend and I first had “the talk”, he said that we would see each other twice a year. In order for our relationship to work, I knew that I needed to see him more than that. We were able to agree on every three months. Fortunately for us, that goal was realistic and we’ve been able to keep it up.
DON’T BREAK YO’ WALLET!
Every relationship is different, and will have varying expectations and financial circumstances. Whatever the case, making your relationship affordable will require intentionality. Here are some simple ways to save in your LDR.
Structure and Plan Visits
No amount of time on the phone or video chatting, can beat that in-person, face-to-face time. It may be tempting to just play everything by ear and not really plan out your visits. But having some form of structure can actually save you money. Buy your transportation tickets ahead of time. Both of you should share the burden of visiting each other, (unless one of you works for an airline and can travel for free, I’ve seen that). If one person is solely investing all of the money and time to do all the traveling that may build resentment in your relationship. We don’t keep a tally chart, but we essentially take turns visiting each other.
Cost Effective Dates
My boyfriend and I LOVE Groupon. From sailboat rides, to eating in steak houses, he’s gotten us some really good deals and cool dates from utilizing it.
If you’re feeling a little fancy, Giltcity is another great site that gives good deals on fine dining, nightlife, and more.
Also, go on FREE dates. Museums, the beach, state parks, etc… fun can be free!
Search for SALES
If you travel via plane make sure you sign up to get free mileage points with an airline. Traveling in less popular months like September, can be a big money saver too. Southwest is actually have a sale right now! My boyfriend bought a one-way ticket to LA for only 71$ If you want to see each other during the Holiday season, prices rise drastically, but airlines often try to fill those seats early and offer discounts in July to buy for those months.
During the times you can’t be with each other in-person use technology to keep your emotional connection thriving. Video chat as often as you can, watch Movies or TV together via Netflix, play games online, surprise each other with e-cards, mail a physical letter, download apps where you countdown the days until you see each other. Find ways to creatively express your love.
You count the cost in a long distance relationship. The biggest cost is being separated from the person you’re falling more and more in love with. But for me, after all the time apart and dollars spent, I smile because I know our relationship is so worth it 🙂