In this new article you’ll learn how to deal with long distance relationships. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. While it rings true for absences of maybe a week or two, those in long distance relationships know that the saying, out of sight, out of mind, also rings true. A long distance relationship is no easy feat and takes a great deal of work and sacrifice.
It’s not for the faint of heart, the disloyal or the dishonest. It also demands a level of fun and spice. The key is balance. The tricky part is that balance for a long distance relationship is not the same as it would be in a short-distance relationship. Long distance relationships require more trust and more communication but also allow more freedom and room to grow.
The purpose of this guide is to help a couples find those important fundamentals that need to be prevalent in a long distance relationship, and also to bring to light the advantages of being in such a relationship.
How To Deal With Long Distance Relationships
Trust is the foundation of any relationship and is especially important in a long distance relationship. Without trust, any relationship would fall apart. With long distance relationships specifically, there’s many challenges you and your partner might encounter. It’s incredibly easy to become paranoid of your partners whereabouts or with whom he or she is spending their time.
It’s easy feel that your partner owes it to you to live as you wish them to, which can become extremely frustrating for both of you. We have to remember that we are individuals first and couples thereafter. If both partners in the relationship are loyal and committed, the relationship will be happy and smooth sailing.
With that said, a couple should set early a code of conduct which both partners have mutually agreed upon. This would serve to create clear expectations in the relationship, for example, are you allowed to go clubbing? Is it okay to meet new friends of the opposite sex? Is there a specific time of the day you’d like to set apart for each other? You might also add codes like don’t go to bed angry or don’t try to change each other.
This code of conduct might not always prevent an argument, but after the heat of the issue has dissipated, your code of conduct will ct as a mediator to solidify the relationship once again.
You’ll have to raise your level of trust in each other significantly. Being away from each other means that you have no idea where your partner spends their time and whom they spend their time with. If not kept in check, this could lead to paranoia and insecurity which would only serve to make you look like an insane person, which is not at all appealing.
In doing so you’ll not only drive your partner away but you’ll damage your own self-image and confidence. You have to give each other the freedom to live your own lives. This goes for normal relationships, long distance relationships and even married couples. People become so dependent on each other that they forget how to be independent. Depending on each other is not a bad thing, however don’t become so dependant that you drag the other down.
The key is to be inter-dependent, that is to be independent first and then depend on each other so that both of you benefit. An example would be that both of you exercise and look after your bodies, thus being independent. You gain interdependence by exercising together (maybe through skype), motivate each other and have fun while doing so.
Don’t be afraid to voice your fears, maybe you feel insecure about a new friend of your partners. You have every right as a partner in the relationship to voice your concerns in a respectable loving manner. You do not, however, have the right to impose any of your insecurities on your partner. Try not to see each other as the problem, stand together with each other and look at the problem as a third party. You’re a team, work together to solve your problems. Be inter-dependent.
It’s important to keep in contact with each other, be it though skype, phone calls, texting or visiting. The point is to become a part of each other’s lives and to maintain that emotional involvement with each other. It doesn’t mean that each conversation has to be deep heart to heart exchanges.
Telling each other the boring aspects of your life like how your day at work went, or what you had for supper, could be enough to immerse your partner in your life. Talking about your days also gives your partner a sense of security. They have a sense of how you spend your time and with whom. The thing about long distance is that you rely on communication more than the average relationship, unfortunately you can’t sit and hold each other in silence and show your appreciation that way.
So you have to express it in a different way. It could be through saying the qualities you love about each other on a regular basis, taking an interest in each other’s hobbies and careers or saying I love you more than you would in a normal relationship.
One of the hardest parts of a long distance relationship is connecting with each other when one person gets busier than the other. If you are the busy person, try to warn your partner ahead of time that you will be working many hours and may have limited time. If you are the not-as-busy person, take advantage of the time by picking up a new hobby, getting in shape, reading a new book, etc.
Visit often. Try to make the time to visit each other as often as possible or as often as your budget permits you to. It’s difficult for a relationship to thrive if the only thing you have is the phone call. You need to see each other up close and personal every chance you get. And when you do visit, make the most of your time.
The visit should be to spend quality time with each other and to have fun and in doing so to create memories that will get you through the next stretch. Memories are incredibly powerful, they reinvigorate the relationship. Some memories will stay with you forever, even after your long distance has been closed and you’re finally living together in the same home. Use the past to ease the future.
Visualise the future
Visualising and affirming the success of a relationship is a useful exercise which gives one the confidence and motivation to realise that success. It draws all the positive energy required to make that vision happen. The beauty of visualising in a relationship is that it’s done by the couple, and not just by an individual.
This becomes an incredible motivator to get you through those tough times when time is going slower than you’d like it to. If you and your partner plan to wed at some point, visualise the day you get married, talk about the wedding themes on the day or which family members you’d like to see at the wedding. Talk about your life once you’re together, the kind of activities you’ll get up to and the places you’ll want to go together.
It’s useful to visualise the next visit. See the next visit as the next milestone. Maybe you’ll only be together permanently in 2 years, but it makes all the difference if you focus on seeing each other in the next 2 months. See the time you’re apart in four six month waits as opposed to one long two year wait.
You can use anything as a milestone, it doesn’t have to be a visit. Use your birthdays, your anniversary or your ‘monthiversary’. Celebrate everything. By looking forward to one milestone at a time and celebrating each one you allow yourself to see the waiting periods in bite size periods which you can handle a lot better. At the same time celebrating everything keeps spirits high and maintains a positive mood in the relationship. When both partners are happy and positive, time seems to go faster and everything goes a lot more smoothly.
Another helpful idea is to give your partner something of yours, maybe something that has your scent, to keep and hold on to when they miss you. This will comfort them in times of need and remind them of the happiness they feel when they’re with you.
Relationships of any kind shouldn’t be all work. We’d go crazy. Even normal relationships need fun in them. Couples don’t talk ALL the time. Make some time for having fun too. Maybe play an online game? Or set up a date night to watch a movie together. The possibilities are endless. Be creative.
Maybe take turns to figure out something cool and new to do. The two of you might have your own hobbies and interest. Try taking an interest in each other’s hobbies for a day. Who knows it might become a common hobby between the two of you. Here are some suggestions:
- Movie night
- Cooking night
- Drawing competition
- Truth or dare
- Online gaming
- Word games
- Sing offs
- Song writing competitions
- Personal quizzes
- Find creative ways to bond. Defy the distance.
Live a little
There’s three components to any couple. Me, you and we. It’s important to work on ‘we’, to do activities that strengthen the couple, but it’s equally important to work on ‘me’ and ‘you’. Both you and your partner are individuals as well as a couple. Pursue your own hobbies and interests.
An advantage you have which short-distance couples don’t have is that you have more freedom and time to pursue things you love. If you’re a guy that loves star wars then call the guys and have a star wars marathon. It might not be something she’ll allow very willingly if she were around. If you’re a girl, go for a spa treatment or spend the day with a close friend. You have more time for the individual, for yourself.
Life is not only going to start when you’re finally living together. It has already started. Enjoy yourself a little, grow as a person so that you’re even better as individuals when the two of you are finally together. Being far apart allows you both an opportunity to grow as individuals. Many couples break up or take time off to find themselves and or to further their careers. You have the opportunity to do so now while still maintaining that emotional connection.
Forgive and forget
Fights are a part of any relationship. It’s a lot easier to get into arguments in a long distance relationship because you’re far away from each other and there’s a certain agitation and insecurity that sometimes tends to fall into the relationship. It’s also easier to say hurtful things when you’re not face to face.
You can’t always prevent the fight but you can always determine how you deal with it. It’s about pausing before automatically responding in a way you’ll later regret. For example, if your partner does something that makes you really angry, don’t respond right away. PAUSE. Pausing even for a second allows some of that anger to dissipate.
If you respond right away your fight or flight response automatically triggers and you say something hurtful or you walk away unsatisfied. Pausing allows you to take time to think, maybe there’s a better way to handle this. Maybe we can deal with this in a way that we both can gain from or that our relationship can gain from. There’s no such thing as a winner and loser in a relationship.
If you resolve the issue in a way that only one of you is happy then you’ve both lost. If you resolve it in a way that both of you are happy, then you’ve both won.
Forgiveness is a necessity in any relationship. It’s inevitable that there will be fights. If you’ve been wronged and can’t resolve the fight in a mutually beneficial way, then be angry, you have every right to be; but don’t hold on to that anger. You have to forgive and forget sometime if you’re going to move forward. Learn to see each other through gentler eyes.
I hope that this article has helped in some small way. Here’s a summary:
- Both partners in the relationship have to be loyal and committed, it’s the foundation of any good relationship.
- Be inter-dependent.
- Keep in touch. Talk about the interesting and the not so interesting, find ways to be a part of each other’s lives.
- Visit often. Create fond memories together and treasure and hold on to those memories when you miss each other most.
- Visualise your future together, talk about it and look forward to it.
- Split your time apart by developing milestones along the way. Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries to stay positive.
- Find creative fun ways to bond, be it movie night, online gaming or a sing-off over the phone. Defy the distance.
- Enjoy yourself a little, grow as a person so that you’re even better as individuals when the two of you are finally together
- Pause before automatically responding in a fight. It will prevent the hurtful comments you later regret.
- In a fight there’s no winner or loser between the two of you. You either both win or you both lose.
- Forgive your partner’s short-comings, see each other through gentler eyes.
Build your relationship such that you both become better because of it. Let it be that because of your long-distance relationship, you’re better because it happened than if it didn’t.