No one really plans to be in a long distance relationship. In most cases, they are inevitable and happen as a result of various life circumstances. Maybe one of you has to study or work in a different country or town. Or could be you met while one of you was away from home, got into a relationship and you both would like it to go on because you see a future in it. Admittedly, long distance relationships are not ideal. Everyone wants his or her sweetheart close by especially during a festive season or holiday such as Easter. However, there are several ways to cope and make a relationship work when away from one another.
Trust one another
Trust is an important component of any relationship. In a long distance relationship, it takes a new level of importance. By agreeing to carry on a long distance relationship, you are also agreeing to trust your partner to remain fully committed to you. Don’t hold this over each other’s head or keep trying to find out if he has met someone else or why he didn’t call back or reply to your message right away. Lack of trust will only cause insecurity and tension between you and lessen the chances of your relationship working.
Communicate frequently, daily or more than once a day, if possible. It’s important to establish and maintain an emotional connection when away from one another. Be in each other’s lives as much as possible. Text, call, email, or use video chat calls to communicate. However, limit your calls to once or twice a day, otherwise you will find yourself running out of things to talk about. When writing emails or letters to one another, let your messages be substantive and detailed. Tell one another about your days and the triumphs and tragedies involved in them. Ask for advice.
If you are in different time zones, find a time that works for both of you. It helps to set reminders to communicate with your partner. Whenever one of you gets busy, it’s also important to let the other person know that it won’t be possible to communicate as much, so as to avoid feelings of disappointment.
Find things to do together
This is still somewhat possible even in a long-distance relationship. It definitely won’t be the same as when you are both in the same physical space but it is vital as it offers you another form of interaction and is good for variety, away from the usual phone call or email which sometimes get dull. Find creative ways to connect. Pursue common interests, even when apart. Watch a movie or TV show simultaneously or read a book together and discuss it. You can find many more ideas of things to do with your long distance partner online.
If you can, meet or visit
If you happen to be in the same country but different towns, make a point of planning visits or even meeting halfway and doing something together.
Talk about your future
Assuming that you both see a future in the relationship and possibly hope to spend your lives together, talk about how you’re going to get to that point. Talk about what you both plan to do when you’re reunited. Plan activities and make goals. These actions suggest that your relationship is headed somewhere and will help keep both your hopes up.
Important as it is to be involved in each other’s lives, it’s necessary to allow each other space to live individual lives. Avoid the temptation to be controlling or taking up all of your partner’s time on calls or any other form of communication. Have a social life and allow your partner to do the same. Pursue your own individual interests as well. You will miss one another dearly but spending time obsessing over it is not helpful. Keep yourselves positively occupied.
Avoid putting unreasonable expectations on one another, regarding visits, communication or future plans. Though not impossible, long distance relationships are a difficult commitment to honour. It’s very important that you want the same things. Talk about your hopes, fears and dreams regarding the relationship. Sadly, sometimes long distance relationships don’t go as planned and one or both partners may feel that it’s too much of an effort. It’s important to be aware of this harsh reality when deciding to have a long distance relationship.
Published in March 2013