A long-distance relationship is hard work; little wonder many people just can’t be bothered with the stress of maintaining one. There are many relationships where the partners agreed to break it up because of distance.
While this is a valid concern, long-distance relationships are not doomed from the start; it can work.
In fact, some people will say it is just like any other relationship; there have been successes and there have been failures. Even for the other relationships, if work is not put into it, it will likely head for the rocks.
Having said that, it will be unrealistic to say long-distance relationships do not take more work but all it takes is to know the tips and apply them.
So what are the tips to keep your long-distance relationship working?
Keep a positive mindset
The first thing you need to remember is to keep a positive mindset about your relationship. Long-distance relationships are not doomed from the start, they work. They only need a little extra work. So, if you keep up a negative attitude towards the relationship, the relationship is already doomed because you are already defeated in your mind. Stay positive and put in your best and even if it doesn’t, you know you have no regrets. But don’t give up before you start.
Communication is very important in every relationship but even more so, for a long-distance relationship. You cannot see each other physically, so you have to rely on your words to communicate. This is not the time to use silent treatment or expect them to guess what is going on in your head – and this isn’t even healthy for any relationship, in fact. Talk about any and everything and communicate whatever you are feeling politely and effectively.
Don’t be too clingy
It is very normal to want to be in constant communication with your partner every hour because you want to make up for the fact that they are not there physically. While this is understandable, it is not healthy for the relationship. You still have to let the other person miss you and you still have to have a life outside of your relationship.
Every healthy relationship needs boundaries. What this means is that you and your partner should know lines that are not to be crossed. Know each other’s schedules and respect it.
Have realistic expectations
Similar to the above point, you need to understand the dynamics that distance has created for you and not have unrealistic expectations. Your partner might not be able to fly in for your birthday or they might not be able to call at a particular time, understand it – if it is reasonable. Of course, you should be upset if they just couldn’t be bothered or they are flaky but if it is for good reasons, don’t put unrealistic expectations on them.
Don’t be too busy for them
On the other hand, make time for your partner. Try not to abuse the distance by making them feel neglected or like they are not a priority. Make an effort to show them that they are a big deal to you and you care about making time to talk to them or engage in activities with them.
Use the time apart wisely
Don’t spend the time apart moping around and just wishing your partner was within the same geographical location as you as though your case is life and death. It is not a life and death situation. Spend the time improving yourself; further, your education like you have always wanted, work to get that promotion at your office. Get busy improving your life instead of waiting around for when you will be with your partner.
Travel as often as you can
Plan visits and travel as often as both of you can. Seeing each other physically is still very important, so don’t underestimate it. Also, make sure the travel is not one-sided; you both should make efforts to see each other, except the case is unique and there is a very understandable why one person can travel. If not, then you should alternate the travelling.
Trust each other
There will definitely be situations that will arouse suspicions. If there is any suspicious issue that you need clarity on, please don’t hesitate to ask for clarity. However, ask politely and not accusatory. Any relationship, especially long-distance cannot work without trust. So, you are going to have to either trust your partner or not bother.
Don’t keep secrets
Under no circumstance, should you keep secrets if you want your relationship to work; you cannot afford it. Secrets fester and destroy relationships faster than anything. Even if it is something that would hurt them, it is better that they hear it from you so you both can discuss it and move on from it.
Long-distance doesn’t change the fact that you can romantic. There are so many things you can do in a long-distance relationship to spice up your relationships. Go online to find different creative ideas you can keep each other thinking about each other while there is the distance between both of you.
Use the time you spend together judiciously
The little time you get together, really spend time with each other and create great memories that will count and last for the time you will be apart again. If it is possible, the host should get a leave, if they are under employed or clear their schedule so you can spend all the time together. But if there are important things that cannot be cleared, make sure to spend every free minute together doing things you both love.
Settle conflicts in person or via phone call
The problem with settling conflicts via text is that we can’t communicate feelings and thus, texts are easily misunderstood. If you cannot wait till you meet because you really don’t want to keep waiting for some issues to fester, use a phone call so you can hear the feelings in each other’s voice and not misunderstand issues that will escalate the conflict.
Send each other “thinking of you” and “I want you to think of me” gift once in a while. Technology makes it easy to order something online and have it delivered to them. It doesn’t have to be expensive also; you can get creative with it and give something with sentimental value.
Avoid controversial positions
There are so many positions you can put yourself in, albeit innocently, that could raise red flags; avoid them as much as you can. For instance, hanging out with that hot person from work that would definitely make your partner insecure is unnecessary; no matter how innocent you think it is. However, if for whatever reason it does happen, make sure to tell them immediately.
You might be around people who are in long-distance relationships and be tempted to do your relationship the same way they are doing yours and you might just be setting yourself for failure. One thing is you and your partner are different from them; you have different personalities and different realities, so don’t be afraid to have your own culture that works for both of you. Others might not understand it but it doesn’t matter as far as you are both happy, so don’t let them get into your head that there is something wrong with your relationship because it is different from theirs.
Don’t compare your relationship with those that are not in a long-distance relationship
Comparison, in the first place, is not healthy but be fair to your relationship and not compare it to the other relationships that are not long-distance. There are some things that they will have and enjoy that you cannot have for now. You can always wish it but don’t get bitter over it and start acting out due to it. You can even discuss how you feel with your partner but remember to address as a wish and not make them feel you are comparing to the partners’ of your friends.
Do fun activities together
There are so many ideas online on different activities you can do with a partner in a long-distance relationship. For instance, you can take a course together online, read a book or see a movie/TV show and discuss it when you talk.
Appreciate the time with family and friends
You don’t have to be lonely because your partner is not around; spend time with people who love you, so you don’t spend too much feeling all miserable like you are alone in the world. Have fun with family and friends, do a lot of fun things even on your own. A long-distance relationship is not a disease; you don’t have to treat it as one.
Plan towards ending the distance
As much as long-distance relationships are doable, you have to plan to get together as soon as possible. If you are working towards something solid, then there has to be a clear plan on when you both will close the distance and be together.
In conclusion, remember that long-distance relationships work; they need extra work but they work. And if you are just starting your long distance relationship, then this complete guide to long distance might help you