Rules? I know, it sounds bad. Some people also say that instead of having long distance relationship rules you can just communicate as much as possible, try to meet each other as often as you can, and show attention whenever you have a minute. This also doesn’t always work because the “as much as possible” agreement is bound to cause misunderstandings. Keep in mind your perfect long distance relationship criteria is probably completely different from what your partner would have in their mind.
If you want to avoid broken hearts, think what both of you need to feel comfortable?
For one person, it might be daily calls or deciding on the social platforms you will be using to communicate. Maybe it’s talking about the DO’s & DON’Ts when your partner is not around?
This will be good for the initial stage, but it will take some time for both of you to understand what your actual needs are. And that’s okay as long as you both decide to be open with each other and talk about EVERYTHING.
The long distance relationship rules that helped us to succeed:
Set the level of commitment as soon as you start the relationship. Tell each other what behavior is accepted and what your deal-breakers are – E.g. is going out more than once with that particular opposite sex friend acceptable? Will you go mad if you find out your sweetheart is texting someone else almost every day? Is kissing someone else fine with you, or do you prefer to be in an open relationship? Whatever it is, make sure that BOTH of you are COMFORTABLE with it and keep up to your commitments.
Communication (how often, where) — seems basic, but it might turn into a huge problem if one of your needs are not met. The amount of attention we tend give/receive in our relationship constantly changes and is never equal to our partner’s needs. Let them know what makes you feel satisfied. Would a Skype call twice a week or every day make you happy? Set the rules for which day of the week you will have a call and keep that promise. Otherwise, your partner might be thinking a call twice a month is fine for both of you. If not, you will start down the road of communicating “as much as we can”. There will always be more important duties that might come up- dinners, meetings, work assignments, friends coming over… You DO NOT want to get there 🙂
Talk about the finances. Love over miles can feel a like holiday every time you meet … and get very expensive, especially if both of you live in different countries. It might become financially unfair to one of you, even if there wasn’t that intention. For example, for the first one year of our long distance, my partner came to visit me in India so many times (yay!) … So many, that he couldn’t get a visa anymore. So, I was the only one who had to visit him in Hong Kong for the next year. It would have been impossible to afford it if I had to pay for all those plane tickets alone.
Or, maybe one of you is still studying and has more free time (but less money) than the other one. Work out a system which doesn’t hurt anyone’s wallet too much. If one of you is coming to visit, another one could cover the hotel and food costs. Alternatively, you can split the travel costs between you two every time you meet so you pay exactly same amount.
Be yourself. First dates are great. During the initial stage of the relationship, we try to impress and come across a bit better than we actually are. The “normal” relationship goes to the next level quite fast ( e.g. staying over at each other’s house, spending a lot of time together etc. makes us realize quickly if we want to spend even more time with this person). When it comes to distant relationships, it’s easy to demonstrate your positive, charming, funny face and hide the sad, angry, and vulnerable one.
Be very careful with that!
Don’t think that being vulnerable is a weakness. Get real. It’s normal to have tough times and show that. If you can’t open up to your partner, or they can’t accept who you are, then that person shouldn’t be your significant other. And if they accept you the way you are, they will sit on the other part of the world, eager to hear about all that stress you’ve been experiencing in the office, the argument you had with your best friend, or your family issues.
Love is putting up with someone’s bad qualities because they somehow complete you. ― Sarah Dessen
Have trust. It’s a tough one, I know. You might need to work on yourself until you actually feel it. You can’t make sure they do anything you wouldn’t like. It’s true, the situation you are in makes it so hard to deal with trust issues, but don’t forget, they don’t belong to you. During the two years I’ve spent in a long distance relationship I learned to stay in a “zen” state of mind – whatever has to happen, will happen. You can’t control them. So relax.
Don’t play games if you are not feeling good or talkative. It’s totally normal to be low or moody sometimes, but it’s not okay to hide it. If you try to hide your emotions, it might lead to your partner questioning you if they have done/said something to upset you. Instead, let your sweetie know that you had a bad day and save a lot of time arguing.
Just be who you want to be, not what others want to see.
Have respect for everything your partner does. The fact that you ended up in a quite uncomfortable relationship (involving lots of travelling, longing, and online communication), it doesn’t mean that you need to close yourselves from the outside world and start living a virtual life. Do not complain about activities, hobbies, friends your significant other has or even parties they go to. Respect and allow them to live just as they did before having you in their life. Balance is the key.
And of course… talk about the future. I personally believe that it is necessary. My partner and I did not have a plan for the first year of our distant relationship, and I tried telling myself that I was fine with it, but I wasn’t. Honestly, I became miserable and confused if the relationship was real or was it just a heart-shaped dream I was living in. Talk about the future, even if you are not sure it will happen. It helps to feel more secure and sure about the reasons why you are doing all this.
Do you have any rules that helped you have a satisfying long distance relationship? Let me know below!