6 Tips for Making Long-Distance Relationships Work
Finding that special someone is a wonderful experience, but it can also be challenging when you live far apart. Does that mean your long-distance relationship is doomed? Not at all! There are several ways to stay emotionally close, even when you’re physically far apart from each other.
You don’t have to chat on the phone day after day, but it’s important to find some way to reach out to each other on a daily basis. This will keep your relationship alive and well, especially if you don’t get to see each other in person that often. Sending heartfelt text messages or emails isn’t always necessary either. Just sharing something interesting that happened to you that day can be enough to keep you both feeling connected. Plan on talking on the phone once or twice a week, so you can at least hear each other’s voices. If you have access to a video chat service, such as Skype, that’s even better. That way, you’ll be able to actually see your significant other on a fairly regular basis.
Image: Kate Ter Haar via Flickr
Focus on Common Interests
Even if you’re not physically together, you can still enjoy sharing common interests, such as books, games or movies. Plan on reading a book at the same time and discussing it on a regular basis or watching a TV show and sharing your thoughts on it. You can even watch shows “together” by chatting on the phone or doing a video chat while they’re on. If you both like playing certain video games, you can play against each other or team up online to take down enemies. If food is your common interest, come up with new recipes for both of you to try, then compare the results.
Trust and Remain Trustworthy
One of the challenges of maintaining a long-distance relationship is the worry that your partner won’t stay faithful since you’re not together often. It also doesn’t help that it’s hard to know what your partner’s up to when they’re in a different city, state or part of the country. Trust is a key part of a healthy relationship, though, so avoid being controlling or giving in to distrust or jealousy. Otherwise, you can almost guarantee that you won’t have a stable relationship. Being pushy or overly suspicious is a definitely one way to drive your partner away emotionally.
Plan on Visiting Often
This might be easier said than done, but plan on going to visit your significant other or have your partner visit you as often as possible. Physical contact helps keep your relationship strong, and don’t underestimate the power of all those pheromones you and your partner will be giving off. When you don’t get to see each other in person that frequently, the times that you’re actually with each other will be even more exciting. Make the most of these visits, especially if you only get to be together every once in awhile.
Discuss Your Future as a Couple
If you’ve been together for awhile, start talking about where you see your relationship headed. This involves discussing commitment and your views on marriage, finances, a family, etc. Another major discussion you’ll need to have is what happens if you do get married or decide to move in together. Which one of you will relocate, or will you move to a new area together? The partner who relocates will need to think about their career as well and make sure that they’ll be able to continue pursuing their career goals in a new place.
Focus on the Positive
Long-distance relationships can be trying, but they also offer several advantages. Focus on the positive aspects of your relationship, such as having plenty of time for yourself and your friends, not getting into fights over day-to-day stresses and the excitement and anticipation of being together again as your next visit approaches. Dwelling on the good things about long-distance relationships makes it easier for you to appreciate the one you’re in, which can help keep it strong.
The author Diana Oak is a relationship consultant and co-founder of LiveLoveLaw. You can tweet Diana for free advice: @MissLoveDoc