You’ve probably heard plenty of times that long distance relationships never last. There are plenty of naysayers out there ready to convince you that it’s never going to work, so you’d better give up right now and find someone closer home.
You’ll be glad to hear that those people are wrong! Mostly, people make judgments based on opinions. And opinions are based on personal experiences. What an individual may go through may not hold true for everybody.
So, are long distance relationships really a challenge? Absolutely yes! I’ve been there. I know what it’s like when your nearby friends are spending Valentine’s Day on a romantic date and you’re putting on your best clothes to meet on Skype. It’s not the same. I hear you.
But long distance relationships can and do work. It takes effort and commitment from both of you, but so long as you’re both willing to put in a little extra effort, you can absolutely have a romantic, fun, committed (and totally sizzling) long-distance relationship.
Here are 8 ways to make a long distance relationship last. Many of these made my relationship run way more smoothly (and yes, we’re still together!). We don’t suffer from the usual long distance tensions anymore, and life seems pretty sorted! Some adjustments from both the sides really helped us to reach this peaceful state.
I hope they help you and your honey, too.
So, miscommunication leads to different expectations. Maybe you expect your partner to text you throughout the day – but if you don’t tell them that, how can they know?
Or maybe they’ve been expecting a daily Skype call but didn’t tell you that either, so you don’t know why they’re upset with you.
It all comes down to one simple thing. One must communicate openly and set mutually agreeable expectations. You must keep in mind your partner’s perspective before laying down your expectations.
Set expectations with each other. How often will you have online dates? What does each of you need to feel emotionally fulfilled? What do both of you want out of your long distance relationship, and how can you make sure you get that? Get your expectations clear and it’ll be easier to have them met.
Stay In Touch
It sounds like a no brainer but … keep in touch! It is not the distance that should matter, it is the intent to keep in touch that really matters. Don’t let distance be an excuse for you to not communicate as often or not sharing your feelings openly.
It’s so easy to get caught up in work or school or other things happening around you, and forget to stay in touch with your partner. Before you know it, four days have gone by, and you still haven’t spoken.
Make a point of regularly staying in touch with your long-distance partner. You don’t have to be in touch every hour, but it’s a good idea to check in every day. Just a quick text or email will remind them that you love them, and that you’re thinking of them.
But Don’t Be Clingy
Being clingy is a surefire way to damage things. Trust me, I get how easy it is to do this. You don’t get as much of your partner as you want, so you overcompensate by being clingy with them.
You wish you could spend more actual time together, so instead you ask for Skype call after Skype call until your honey feels like they can’t go out for the night without asking you. That is NOT a place you want to be!
Set Virtual Dates
Don’t leave date night to chance – set a regular date and stick with it. Every Friday night, every Sunday afternoon … whatever works for you both.
By picking a time and sticking to it, you’re putting out the message that your relationship is a priority. You’re letting your partner know that time with them is important to you.
Find Things To Do Together
One of the hardest bits of being long distance for me was seeing my “couple” friends go out and do stuff together, while I went home every night alone.
If you’re feeling that way too, it’s time to start setting up a few things to do with each other.
Dates don’t have to be just Skyping or FaceTiming. Why not watch a movie or show together, and share your thoughts? Or use FaceTime to talk to each other while you cook dinner (why not cook the same thing, and then sit down to enjoy the meal together?) You could go for a walk to your favorite beauty spot and take your sweetie along, thanks to the wonders of video chat.
Think up a few different ways to spend time with one another, and you’ll feel way more involved in each other’s lives.
Learn To Trust
Lack of trust is a long distance relationship killer. Being apart is hard enough, but if you’re constantly doubting your partner or questioning everything they do, you’ll both have a miserable time.
It goes back to setting expectations. Make sure you both agree on how much time you’ll spend together and how often you’ll be in touch, and outside of that, just leave your partner in peace to do their own thing.
Make The Most Of Your Time Apart
Let’s face it, having too much time away from your partner sucks. But it doesn’t have to be awful! Think of it this way – the best way to be in a healthy relationship, is to be in a healthy relationship with yourself first. Long distance relationships give you the ideal opportunity to put that theory to the test.
You definitely have more alone time than people who live near, or with, their partners, so what can you do with that? Why not make the most of the time and take a course, enjoy a hobby, or even just sneak in some extra pamper time.
Have A Goal In Mind
Being long distance is way easier if you know when it’s going to end. This is true even if your relationship has just started and you don’t know how it is going to go.
You don’t have to set a date to move in together, if that’s not where you’re at. You might set a date for meeting up for a couple of nights, or enjoying a vacation together. Of course, if things are more serious, you’ll want to talk about your eventual aim and how you’re going to get there.
Have a date for the next step in mind, and work together on a plan for how to make it happen.
Long distance is no picnic, but it doesn’t have to be painful, either. If you both stoke the flame, long distance can be fun and rewarding, so don’t be afraid to throw yourself into it.
Sylvia from Marriage.com
Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.