Long distance love can be extremely difficult.
You miss each other. You’re in different time zones so you’re not even on the same schedule. You’re so far apart you feel like you’re on different planets. Sometimes you may ask yourself…
Can long distance relationships even work at all?
As a relationship counsellor, I’ve worked with many couples in this situation. Let me tell you, if you follow my advice, a long distance relationship can work. Not only that, distance can make your relationship even stronger.
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” isn’t just an old saying. It’s totally true. If you two are really into each other and you both take the proper measures to make it work, you two will be better off. Count on it.
As a relationship counselor, I encounter a lot of couples struggling to make long distance relationships work.
I’ve identified four primary types of long distance relationships:
#1. Long Distance Marriage
You’re married but you live apart temporarily. It’s hard to stay strong when you don’t see your spouse every day. Isn’t that what marriage was supposed to be about? It’s okay though, you’ve come to the right place.
#2. Working Abroad
You or your partner’s job requires constant travel. This kind of LDR can be especially tough. You never know when your partner will be out the door so it’s hard to plan for the future and rely on them.
#3. Met Online
You met using the internet and you’ve never lived in the same place. You’re looking for a way to build a life together long distance before you can finally be together in person.
#4. Breakup Due To Distance
One of you moved away and you broke up. But you couldn’t stay away. Now you’re trying to give it another shot but you’re still in different cities. How can you mend the relationship at a distance?
In my line of work, I’ve seen people in every situation you can imagine and they’ll try anything to resolve the issues that arise, so I know what works and what doesn’t. Just remember:
Long distance love is possible!
So here are some proven tips that will ensure that you and your partner maintain a strong, healthy bond even though you are physically apart.
#1. Make Sure There Is an End In Sight
Unless you two want to have a cyber relationship for the rest of your lives (no offence if you’re into that sort of thing), you’re going to have to first talk about when the whole “distance thing” is going to end.
Even if it’s a long way away, figure out your end goal and keep that in mind as you move forward. Use this as your motivation. Think how good it’s going to feel once you two have weathered this tough time and can finally reunite!
Talk about this time with your partner and tell him or her how excited and happy you’ll feel once this moment comes.
#2. Trust is Key in a Long Distance Relationship
It’s pretty cliché, right? But during my time as a relationship counsellor, I’ve seen couples say they trust each other who fail to actually put that trust into practice.
Okay, first I have to say it’s natural to feel jealous. It’s okay to feel possessive. I’m possessive over my cat and my laptop computer!
And there’s nothing you can do or say to make me automatically lose that emotion. It’s what you do with that emotion that makes a difference here.
Trusting someone means giving them space when they need it. Constantly pestering each other will only cause arguments and disagreements, and I don’t have to tell you that having an argument over the phone or over e-mail can sometimes be much, much worse than having one in real life.
You want to avoid these disagreements as much as possible. Your long-distance relationship depends on it.
So the next time you feel jealous, instead of asking him or her, “What did you do last night? Were you with another girl/guy?”
…don’t. Instead, turn this emotion into something positive and tell your partner that you’ve missed them.
#3. Plan Some Long Distance Relationship Activities
Technology has come a long way. Imagine trying to have a long distance relationship with someone through the mail:
“Back in the good old days, we’d actually have to write a letter by hand and send it through snail mail. It would take months to send one letter across the ocean!”
These days you don’t have to let the distance get in the way of “hanging out.” Here are a few things you can do that will make you feel like you’re in the same place:
- Cue up a movie on Netflix and watch it together over Skype. You may not be able to share popcorn but you can still experience it together.
- Give them a tour of your city over FaceTime. Show them your favourite spots and places you’ll take them when they visit.
- Like video games? You can play together online. Even if you’re not a hardcore gamer, there are board games like Scrabble and chess that have web versions.
Most importantly, make the time to talk. And not just about how much you miss each other. Don’t be afraid to talk about mundane, day-to-day stuff. By talking about almost everything, you immerse each other in your respective lives.
#4. Schedule Relationship Building Visits
This is one of the most important steps. Make time for some visits. Now, I have no idea how far you two will be apart or how much time and money you have to make this happen, but if this person is worth it, you’ll make it work.
Physical contact is so important in a relationship, and in fact, studies show that physical contact may be the basis of attraction, so capitalize on this info!
And make these reunions mean something. Make sure your time is spent well and that these reunions are hot.
Yes, sex is extremely important during these times, so make sure you have great sex (and a lot of it!).
#5. Talk About Your Future Together
Yes, remember Step One and keep the end goal in mind! Motivation is the key to victory here, so talk about how incredible it will be once your time apart is finished.
Talk about what you two will do together. Talk about where you will go. Talk about the little things like which restaurants you’ll go to. Or talk about how amazing it will feel once you can hold each other’s hands again.
Every relationship counselor on the planet will tell you that communication is key to success when it comes to any relationship, and a long distance romance is no exception.
So, keep these 5 things in mind when coping with your long distance relationship… and don’t be afraid to send this article to your partner to read as well. Cheers!