Tips on Making a Long Distance Relationship Work
Long-distance relationships are rapidly increasing due to circumstances in society, including the growth of technology and social media. It can be challenging and overwhelming to navigate, taking an emotional, psychological, and physical toll on each partner. Conversely, it can also provide a stronger foundation and deeper growth between two people. There are seemingly infinite methods of communication making it easier for couples to have a functioning and healthy relationship across great distances. Whether you prefer text messages, IMs, emails, telephone calls, or video chatting, keeping in touch is the most important thing you can do in a long-distance relationship. Without the benefits of in-person time together, daily communication is a must. Smart phone apps allow long-distance couples to share photos, videos, send voice messages and more. Don’t forget good old-fashioned mail; a cute hand-written letter or card can be a small unexpected gift that goes a long way to making your partner feel loved, special and appreciated!
The following can secure a successful long-distance relationship:
Communication – The biggest breakdown in many traditional relationships is unhealthy communication. Long-distance relationships are critically reliant on the fine art of communicating effectively. Without the benefit of physical touch and intimacy, the ability to communicate clearly and effectively is essential. Communicate your way through doubts, uncertainties and fear together as a couple. Talk about your feelings of fears, insecurity, jealousy, apathy, etc. Don’t isolate or internalize thoughts. Don’t fight by text. Don’t assume the other partner is in-tune with your emotions. Remember that 90% of communication is body language; long distance relationships don’t always have this luxury.
Be committed – A couple cannot succeed without a strong commitment; knowing that your partner is there thru thick-and-thin, just like in a traditional setting, is vital to working thru issues. Set some ground rules for your levels of commitment. Are you exclusive? Is it alright to date others? Identify your commitment level; it’s better to be open and honest about these things sooner rather than later.
Be honest with each other – Hiding things from your partner will eventually swallow you up from the inside. Be open and honest always.
Create Trust – Trust doesn’t ‘just happen’; instill trust by being open and available. If you put trust into your relationship, it will connect you with your partner and make them more comfortable. If you already know that going out with a group of friends after work will cause concerns for your partner, you should decide if it is worth it in the end
Be involved in something together – Sharing something common during the day, whether it is talking about news, the weather where you are, what you had for lunch, or how work went, are all simple but complex topics that bring all couples together.
Establish expectations – Create a dialogue about the future. “How long are we going to be apart?”, “What about our future?”, or “Where do you see this relationship going?”. Ask the hard questions and be prepared for the answers.
Know each other’s schedules - Be mindful of each other’s schedules or time-zone changes; having a strong understanding of daily activity, including sleeping and eating schedules, can provide a familiar foundation between you that will help avoid frustration, misunderstandings, and undue stress.
Dealing with conflict - How do you and your partner handle crisis together? One of the traits of a highly successful and enduring relationship is the couple’s ability to stand together in the face of external challenges. A true test of a relationship is whether two people have each other’s back when times are tough.
Opportunity Knocks – View the relationship as a journey, not as a burden. As the saying goes, “Real gold does not fear the test of fire”. Instead of thinking that your long-distance relationship is pulling you apart, you should believe that you will be bound stronger by it.
Intimacy – Establish a personal and intimate connection. Sexual tension is undoubtedly one of the most important things for many couples. Sexual desire is like a glue that keeps both parties from drifting apart. Not only is intimacy a biological need, it is an emotional one as well. Keep the flame burning by sending each other teasing texts….
Visit each other – Personal visits are the highlight of every long-distance relationship. After all the waiting, yearning, and abstinence, you finally get to fulfill all the little things like kissing, holding hands etc. Traditional couples take these for granted, but long-distance lovers see them as very special and extra intimate for couples. It is like fireworks, glitter bombs, confetti, rainbows and butterflies everywhere.
Personal gifts or mementos – Gift a personal object for the other person to hold on to, like a small pendant, a ring, a key chain, framed photo, or even a song or video. There is power in a memento and the meaning behind it. Send flowers for no reason or any little surprise ‘care package’.
The truth is, no couple can be in a long-distance relationship forever. Eventually we all need to settle down. It is important to have the same goals since you may not be living in the same space or time zone. Long-distance relationships require sacrifice. Celebrate and embrace your love with the blessings your relationship brings to your life. Take few deep breaths through out the day and really appreciate one another. Enjoy the process of reaching the goal of being together. You need to constantly inject positive energy into a long-distance relationship to keep it alive. Yes, the waiting can be painful, and you can sometimes feel lonely, but remind yourself that the fruits at the end will be sweet as heaven. Love is the strongest force in the world, as it penetrates blocks, zip codes, miles, state lines, and even the borders of countries.