If your long distance relationship involves a big time zone difference, you might be wondering how you can possibly make it work. When your alarm goes off in the morning, their day is already winding down and once your day reaches the same stage, they’re already asleep.
But this doesn’t have to be an obstacle. With some careful planning, it can actually be an advantage for long-distance couples.
Here are four ways that out-of-sync time zones can be a good thing for your LDR.
1. It adds structure
In a regular LDR where your ‘downtime’ happens at the same time as your partner’s, it’s easy to get lazy with your plans and fall into a slump.
You said you’d call after work, but you have the whole evening, so you figure you’ll run some errands first… then before you know it it’s 10 p.m. and you still haven’t called.
A time zone difference can actually make it easier to get your schedules together. It makes you both value your time together and consider how best to use it, which can be a real advantage for busy people (such as those with their own business or a demanding job).
Sync up your calendars with Outlook, Gmail or one of these apps and make the best of the ‘sweet spots’ when you both have time.
2. It's easier to stay on top of shared plans
If the two of you are working at the same time, sleeping at the same time and seeing your friends at the same time, it’s likely you’ll also be tired at the same time.
When this is the case, it’s much easier to make excuses for not having bought plane tickets, booked the AirBNB, or whatever it is you need to do to work on your next relationship goal (such as taking a trip together).
A time zone difference makes it easier to divide up tasks and hold each other accountable for getting your shared ‘life admin’ out of the way.
3. It's easier to balance your relationship with your other commitments
A disadvantage of being long-distance means you can’t hang out with your partner whilst you’re hanging out with other people. This means you might end up saving all of your free time for catching up with your S.O. and neglect your other relationships and interests. Sometimes you try to make up for it by talking late into the night and your sleep goes down the drain as well.
A time zone difference will make it easier to maintain that balance in your life. When they’re busy, you can also be working out, seeing friends and pursuing hobbies and goals – and they can do the same when you’re busy.
4. It forces you to get creative
Variety is vital to keeping your relationship exciting. Perhaps you’ve settled into a comfortable rhythm of texting at a certain time and FaceTiming during that ‘sweet spot’ in your schedule, but it’s still likely to be true that your communication will be more of the ‘short bursts’ variety than the ‘messaging marathons at 2 a.m.’ variety.
Does this spell trouble for your relationship? Not if you use your imagination.
A few suggestions:
- Send them gifts, care packages and love letters by snail mail
- If you know you’ll be busy, use the scheduling function on your phone to send them a cute message to reach them later in the day
- Send a scrapbook or journal back and forth between your two addresses and fill it with thoughts, doodles and sweet nothings
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