Long Distance Relationships: How to Make Them Work

Long Distance Relationships Are DifficultLet’s say your significant other has told you that he’s going to be relocated in another city for his job. Or maybe she wants to pursue grad school in another country. You might have even met online and experienced a spark only to later find out that you live thousands of miles away. Is continuing the relationship out of the question now? The answer is no. Long distance relationships are difficult, and might not be for everyone, but if both parties involved are committed and willing to work at it, the relationship will not only endure, but flourish.

Long Distance Relationship Tip #1 – Begin With The End in Mind

Having a long-distance relationship should only be for a period of time, and there should be an end goal to this arrangement for your relationship to work. Before you embark on a long-distance relationship, both you and your partner should set out your goals and a realistic deadline—be it in a few months or years—that delineates when your separation will end. By the end of that time period, you can reunite, or you can break up. If you don’t agree on an end goal, you might end up just stringing each other along, which will lead to a lot of frustration and uncertainty.

Long Distance Relationship Tip #2 – Establish a Communication Schedule

Early on in your long-distance relationship, you and your partner should have the same expectations regarding your communication schedule. You could agree to talk at least three times a week or even once a day. Prioritize these meetings, and if you can’t make it, let your partner know in advance so he wouldn’t feel slighted. Explore as many ways as you can to communicate. You can use instant messaging, video chat, phone calls (make sure to subscribe to an unlimited long-distance calling plan), or even send each other things via snail mail. Take your time when writing emails and letters—be descriptive and entertaining—she’ll appreciate your effort.

Long Distance Relationship Tip #3 – Do Things as A Couple

Limiting yourselves to talking on the phone or emailing can become boring in the long run, so you can spice up your dates by doing activities together such as watching a certain movie at the same time, playing games online, or reading the same book and discussing it later. You can also pick up a hobby, such as cooking or photography, and update each other as you progress.

Long Distance Relationship Tip #4 – Setup Visits As Often As Possible

Visit each other as often as your schedules and budgets permit, as building a relationship on phone calls and email alone is extremely difficult. Both of you should agree on a regular schedule, and you could take turns visiting. When you are together, make the most of your time and enjoy your company. The time that you are physically together is highly important to keep your levels of attraction and excitement alive.

Long Distance Relationship Tip #5 – Create Memories

You could give your significant other a personal item of yours, so in times when they miss you, they’ll be able to feel nearer to you. Remember that this time will pass, and that things will get better.

Long Distance Relationship Tip #6 – Trust Each Other

Don’t expect your partner to put her life on hold when you’re apart. You shouldn’t be overly naïve, but being excessively suspicious will only poison your relationship. Don’t attempt to control your partner—as long as both of you are committed to the relationship, both of you should be doing the work to make it successful. Give each other space to grow.

Long Distance Relationship Tip #7 – Be Positive

Remember that this is only a temporary arrangement, and it won’t be long before you and your significant other will be together again at last. Talk about your future, and encourage one another. There are also advantages to being in a long-distance relationship, such as the joy of seeing your partner after a long separation, being able to spend time with friends and family, or just having time to yourself. Don’t listen to naysayers who don’t believe that you and your partner can do it—take their discouraging words as challenges and prove them wrong.

Great Books on Long Distance Relationships