Long-distance relationships are difficult for nearly everyone. But they don’t have to be. Here are 7 ways to keep your long-distance relationship healthy.
All relationships at some point will face a steep learning curve and obstacles which will test each partner’s investment in their relationship. That being said, relationships focused on common trust, respect and communication can not only get you through the difficult times but also strengthen your love of each other.
One of the biggest obstacles a relationship can face is long distance. While some people may enjoy the independence of such relationships both short and long-term, most have difficulty lasting only a few weeks. Regardless of where you sit, there is no doubt that a long-distance relationship carries with it more difficulties than a close-proximity relationship. So how do you keep your relationship alive and well?
Follow these 7 effective tips to build a trustworthy long-distance relationship.
1. Schedule time to talk
Talking every day may seem like a lot of work if you are not close by. And if you have nothing to say, the conversation may seem forced. However, consider how often you would talk if you lived together – Every day! Your conversations don’t need to be forced or exciting, but simply hearing your partner’s voice can help liven your mood. It helps to schedule a time to talk each day as well as send regular text messages throughout the day. Absence may help the heart grow fonder, but it also creates a lot of angst. So, as part of your communication text and email are important. Share your feelings, thoughts, and news about your day. Some couples even create a game to start off the conversation, such as “What did you have for lunch?” Or, “Name one stranger you talked to today.”
2. Tell the truth; it really matters
Telling the truth is not always easy. Being in a long-distance relationship can sometimes make it easier to lie. One of the reasons is that what we may perceive as something innocent, our partner may perceive as a threat and we want to avoid that. So, when you meet someone at the gym or work make sure that you mention that person. It also helps to reassure your partner that that person isn’t someone you’re interested in. Lying about where you’ve been or new people you’ve met may seem innocent right up until the point that a photo is taken and posted on social media.
Those are the situations that become difficult to talk yourself out of.
3. Try to look at your partner’s perspective
Don’t forget that while you are in a long-distance relationship, so is your partner. So, while you may be concerned about where your partner is, why they haven’t called yet, or who they are hanging out with, your partner has those same concerns.
Your partner will also likely share the criticisms you are challenged with. For example, if your partner needs a play-by-play of all your day’s activities and that bothers you, well, then you may want to avoid that behaviour as well.
4. Discuss misunderstandings
One of the biggest difficulties you will face in a long-distance relationship is simply not knowing the day-to-day of your partner’s actions. Considering that we now have apps which can track our partner’s smartphone, this can lead to big misunderstandings, such as, “My partner said they were going to the gym, but I see they are at a restaurant.” There are several things that may have happened such as a friend asked your partner to join them for lunch at the last minute or the app wasn’t properly tracking.
Discussing misunderstandings in a calm way without making prior judgment can be difficult, but more often than not our negative expectations are driven by fear and in the end, are entirely innocent misunderstandings.
5. Act as if you are not in a long-distance relationship
Perception plays a big role in our lives and few people manage to grasp the full scope of it. One way to help alleviate your fears and concerns is to pretend that you are not actually in a long-distance relationship. This combines much of what we’ve already talked about. If you happen to make a detour after the gym or going to lunch, casually mention it to your partner in a text. You don’t need to give a detailed description but sending a text that says, “Found this great flea market on the way home,” will actually ease your partner’s mind.
Some couples turn this into a game where they talk as if they are in the same city. “Hey hon, I’ll be home in a few minutes. Can’t wait to see you.” Then give your partner a call or video chat just to say hi.
6. Sext your way to intimacy
Intimacy from a distance may seem difficult and at times intimidating. However, the art of sexting for beginners is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, learning how to sext can liven your drive to see each other soon as well as strengthen your relationship.
- Just remember, sexting comes with the same rules as sex.
- Be aware of you and your partner’s surroundings
- No means no
- Be conscious of your partner’s comfort level
- Respectfully explore
Sexting is a great way to keep in touch while showing the affection you miss from being together.
7. Plan ahead
Don’t forget that most long-distance relationships are not meant to be permanent. So, it helps to plan out days well in advance of when you will see each other next. It may not be for months or even a year or longer, but having a date also provides each other with something to look forward to.
Spend your conversations talking about things you would like to do, people you would like to meet, and of course how nice it will be to hold your partner in your arms.
Long distance relationships may not always be fun, but with good communication, setting time aside for intimacy and planning you will be well on your way to building a trustworthy and comfortable long-distance relationship.
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