Many people believe that long distance relationships are never going to work out. It’s definitely hard, and no matter how much you love each other, there’s probably a part of you that wonders how or if your relationship will survive the distance between you.
Nobody says it is going to be easy — the extra distance makes many things unachievable. Things could get complicated, and you could get sad and lonely at times.
However, it’s the same distance that makes the simplest things the sweetest – being able to hold the other person’s hand, eating together at the same table, feeling each other’s touch, taking a walk together- suddenly mean so much more in a long-distance relationship.
Long-distance relationships may be tough but they have their own surprises too. To keep your love alive and strong, here are a few tips to make your long-distance relationship work:
Communicate enough and well.
Research shows that long-distance couples may actually be more satisfied with their communication than geographically close couples are. This may be because they realize how precious their communication opportunities are, and they generally don’t have to waste words on day-to-day complaints.
Some couples want to feel connected every hour. Some find it tedious to talk every day. Discuss with each other what works for the general frequency and length of time you will spend texting, talking, or video chatting in a day or week.
Understand that you two don’t really have to communicate 12 hours a day to keep the relationship going. Many couples think that they need to compensate for the distance by doing more. This is not true. And it might only make things worse. It’s important to find the right balance that suits you both.
Express your love and support for your partner.
Doubts, insecurities, and jealousy can run high in long distance relationships simply because you’re spending so much time away from each other. This makes it imperative for you to express your love towards your partner at every given chance.
The next time you talk, tell your partner how much you love and appreciate your relationship. And if you’re feeling uncertain about where you stand, don’t be afraid to ask for reassurance for yourself.
Set some ground rules.
It’s extremely important to set realistic and healthy expectations, thus making way for important ground rules.
Both of you need to be clear with what you expect of each other during this long-distance relationship. Set some ground rules so that none of you will do things that will take the other party by surprise.
For instance, what is your commitment level? how often you expect to be in touch? when you’ll try to see each other (once a month? every six months?), and so on. It’s better to be open with each other about all these things.
Plan creative dates.
Planning a date or something romantic is clearly an issue when it comes to long-distance relationships. But that doesn’t mean your dates can’t be exciting. It’s all about coming up with out-of-the-box ways to keep you both engaged and connected.
Maybe you can both play games online as you both are on a video/audio call, or you can ask your partner for help buying something new as you chat and browse the web.
There are so many creative ways to take typically physical dates and turn them around so that they’re doable by phone or video.
Plan visits to each other.
Visits are the highlight of every long-distance relationship. After all the waiting, you finally get to meet each other to fulfill all the little things like kissing, holding hands, etc., which are all common to other couples but so very special and extra intimate for people in long distance relationships.
It will be like fireworks, glitter bombs, confetti, rainbows and butterflies everywhere.
You can also take time to travel somewhere together. These don’t always have to be week-long vacations across the world. Instead, you can plan shorter weekend vacations and explore a new city that’s a fair meeting point between the both of you.
Let yourself trust — and earn that trust yourself.
Trust is an important factor in making any relationship work. The work to build — and keep — trust goes both ways, with your earning it being every bit as important as having it in your partner. Trust does not come in play only during matters of infidelity, because there are many ways that breakdowns in trust can erode a relationship.
For example, is your partner there for you when you really need them? Are they there for the phone call when they said they’d be, or are you frequently shelved when something more “pressing” comes up? Do they remember what’s important to you, and listen in ways that make you feel heard and understood?
Any feelings of uncertainty can be magnified in a long-distance relationship because you just can’t do anything about the situation you’re in. So, the next time you’re feeling super secure in your relationship, take some time to write down why your partner is so great and trustworthy. Then, read what you’ve written when you’re having a meltdown or any doubts.
Being in a long-distance relationship does not and should not limit you from being your true self. It’s important to do your own thing and be your own person.
If you put all of your energy into a long-distance partner, you may be more likely to feel a sense of loneliness and isolation. Instead, sign up for something new and indulge in things you truly enjoy.
Getting out there and experiencing new things will ultimately make you—and your relationship—more balanced. And every couple, even a physically separated one, needs that.