Are you about to part with your dear partner? Long distance relationships can be tough, but you can make it work with the right know-how. Even if it’s scary, love is worth it.
I remember the first time I had to endure months apart from a lover. Although it was hard, we adapted and made it through. It brought us closer, and so did the other times we had to repeat it. Once you learn how to keep long distance relationships healthy, they can be fairly easy and even enjoyable sometimes. Let’s look at how to do it.
Can Long Distance Relationships Be Good?
People tend to fear long distance relationships and get pessimistic. It may not be easy, but it’s worth it if you love someone. And you can make it bearable or enjoyable if you do it right. Staying positive and hopeful is important. Although it may be tough at times, making it through can have lasting benefits. In the long run, it can deepen your bond and improve communication. Also, you’ll get to know yourself better. Remember, it’s a temporary state, and a means to an end. When you’re together again, you’ll be happy you didn’t give up.
Why Long Distance Relationships Require Maintenance
When you’re together, everyday life involves many shared activities and moments of intimacy without much effort. Long distance relationships take those things out of the mix. Therefore, it takes more conscious effort to maintain the relationship.
How To Make Long Distance Relationships Work
There are three key aspects you must keep alive: communication, trust, and romance. We’ll give you some useful tips for each of these. Combining them all will strengthen your relationship and help you survive the time apart.
Maintain Healthy Communication
When you’re far apart, communication is all you have. Therefore, it’s important to ensure good communication. You may even find that distance improves your verbal communication. Mundane talk no longer dominates the stage, and longing can make you more expressive. Regardless, a conscious effort is essential. When you’re not physically present, words require more care.
If your time zones allow it, talking in the morning and before going to bed each day is a good way to stay close. If your breaks at work line up, this is another great opportunity. However, excessive chatting can be a pitfall. Making up for the distance by talking all day doesn’t work, and it can make things worse. Short, rapid-fire messages are like a petri dish for misunderstandings. They can disturb daily routines and other things that require focus. Alone time and space are still important. Let’s look at some better ways to communicate.
Have you ever had a pen pal or exchanged love letters with someone? Then you’ll know the benefits of a longer message format.
You can write in more detail about your thoughts and feelings, and you can list any questions you have. Your partner can read it at his or her own pace, reflect on things, and answer each paragraph in turn. It’s easy to go back and read things over, and you can leave and come back later. Chat services make this harder and put more pressure on you to respond as soon as possible.
To make emails more personal and immersive, you can include videos, photos, or voice messages. You can either attach or link to them.
Thanks to modern technology like Skype, you can still get the approximate feeling of hanging out when you’re apart. Looking into each others’ eyes and hearing each others’ voices makes a big difference. Furthermore, video calls allow for many different activities together.
What’s more, you can show each other part of your lives. That can help strengthen the bond and build trust. Give your partner a tour of where you live, or invite your friends to partake in a video session and meet your partner.
Phone Calls And SMS
Let’s not forget the good old-fashioned phone call. The ability to exchange a few words whenever and wherever is invaluable, especially if you have a busy schedule that makes it hard to find the time. It also helps with making each other feel included. Trusting is also easier if you call each other while you’re out.
Texting is good for the times you don’t have Wi-Fi or enough data for online messaging. It’s also good to diversify your communication channels. If you’re having a serious discussion in one channel or left something on a bad note, having another for an affectionate message or casual talk is helpful.
Trust is key to all relationships, and it can be much harder when you’re apart. It’s crucial to prepare for this and accept the struggle, and not to let paranoia take over. Absence can make the heart grow fonder or go yonder. When you can’t see what your partner’s up to, you need to be able to take their word for it. Remember, this goes both ways.
Trust isn’t only about fidelity. Many factors hinge on trust, and long distance relationships tend to emphasize them. Can you trust your partner to be available when you need to talk? Do you stick to plans and times you’ve set for calls or visits? Can you trust your partner not to derail a conversation and turn it into a fight? Will you own up to problems you may cause? Long distance relationships require dependability on both sides.
- Be honest and open
- Agree on rules and expectations
- Talk about your goals
- Resist the urge to snoop
It’s normal to feel confused, clingy, and suspicious in long distance relationships. That’s not something you should suppress or berate yourself for, as this can make things go sour. There’s a healthy middle ground between saying too much and keeping things secret.
Whatever it is you feel, tell your partner or ask them what they feel. Talking things through together will clear things up and resolve difficult feelings. You’re in this together, so you must help each other.
Few things make trust as hard as not knowing if you’re on the same page. Ensure that you each know what to expect and what rules to follow. That prevents nasty surprises and unnecessary doubt and resentment. If you’ll be apart for a long time, it’s wise to discuss the topic of exclusivity and commitment. It may be hard, but a conclusion will make things easier in the long run. You should never have to wonder what’s ok with your partner or if they know what could upset you.
Going to parties or clubs may not raise any concern when you’re together, but being apart can change this. It’s important to agree on whether it’s ok, and you should let each other know before you go out and when you get home. That promotes trust and helps avoid snooping issues. Furthermore, it’s best to stay away from any friends you used to date.
Whatever rules you set, do this as soon as possible because it will save you lots of heartache and worries.
Another thing to cover as early as possible is what you want the relationship to be. What kind of relationship is it? What kind of future do you envision? Are you both open to relocating for each other? According to a 2007 study, drawn-out long-distance relationships tend to be miserable without clarity on what the end goal is.
While it may be a scary topic, it’s crucial for a healthy relationship. It’s worth discussing it again once in a while as you go on.
Regardless of how doubtful you become, playing detective is never a good idea. If you worry about something, ask about it. Refrain from mind games and trick questions and let your partner explain. Being intrusive or overly suspicious will annoy your partner and make her or him feel misunderstood and disrespected. If your partner tries to play detective, you should point it out. If you can’t trust each others’ words, that highlights a bigger problem, and it’s necessary to either simply trust or call things off.
Keeping The Spark Alive
While the practical aspects are essential to healthy long distance relationships, there’s more to it. What good is a strong plan if you can’t maintain a sense of closeness and romance and have fun together? Being apart shouldn’t mean you can’t be together in spirit. The following tips will help you maintain an active relationship from a distance.
- Shared activities
- Keep mementos
- Schedule regular visits
- Focus on your own life
- Don't be afraid of expressing desires
You can do many things together without being in the same place. For example, you can play an online game. Even physical cards or board games can work via Skype. In ages past, people used to play chess over the phone. You can make it work. Another option is to write stories or songs together via DropBox. If you have creative hobbies, work on those during a video call.
With some creative thinking, you can even have video dates. Or why not take your partner for a walk outside on Skype? You could even bring them to a friend’s house. There are endless possibilities.
For a more relaxed evening, you can watch a movie together. That can involve a video chat or a voice call as you watch. If you prefer a documentary or podcast, those work as well. Also, you can choose a book or series to follow while you don’t talk. Then, you talk after each episode or chapter before continuing.
Although digital communication helps a lot, physical reminders of your lover are at least as helpful. The classic trick of keeping a piece of your lovers clothing that smells like them is a classic for a reason. Also, memorable birthday gifts are good options. So are things you found or got during your dates or adventures because they can bring back those memories. Keep these things where you’ll see them often.
You can also surprise your partner by buying a gift online and having it delivered to them. Postcards and hand-written letters in the mail also show that you care. If these options don’t apply, you can always make a personal playlist to send your lover.
Long distance relationships are easier when they don’t feel permanent or drawn out. A brief visit once in a while goes a long way. The longing and yearning will make this time intense, special, and memorable. However, you shouldn’t put too much pressure on this time to be perfect from start to finish or fit in as much as possible. The goal is to have a good time together, so relax and be natural, and accept whatever happens. It’s all about those little moments. You’re meeting to see each other, not to check out the coolest places around or have the most spectacular dates.
If it's very far, you can meet in the middle. That also gives you ample alone time and a new place to enjoy together.
The absence of intimacy in long distance relationships is a big challenge, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about it. Romance and mental intimacy are important for healthy long distance relationships. Love letters can take on many forms depending on the characteristics of your personal bond. Stoking the flame of desire keeps the relationship from faltering and falling apart. Don’t be afraid of being cheesy or suggestive.
Exchanging pictures and videos is helpful when you’re feeling lonely. That applies to messages about what you miss doing or what you’d want to do when you meet again. You can work it into personal love songs or poems to share in a video call. As for what you should share, it depends on what you’re feeling and what you’re comfortable with. Show your love, tease your lover, and don’t be afraid to get lewd.
Enjoy A Healthy Long Distance Relationship
By following the advice above, you can keep long distance relationships enjoyable and meaningful. Being apart shouldn’t have to mean misery. If you apply these tips and share them with your partner, your relationship has much better chances of surviving. And when you’ve been through this, your bond will be stronger than before. Good luck!