20 Best Tips On Making A Long-Distance Relationship Work
I guess we have all been there at some point in our lives – you meet a person, he/she is interesting, funny, sweet, just perfect for you! And everything is great, except for one small thing – you two live miles apart.
Now, is there a way to build a long-distance relationship, and make it work? We tried to hear about other people’s experiences, and see what the experts have to say on the subject…
Thinking about this issue, I can’t help but remember the legendary episode from “Friends”, named “The one with a girl from Poughkeepsie”, where Ross can’t decide between two girls he is dating simultaneously.
The one from Poughkeepsie is beautiful, intelligent, funny, etc. The one from New York is, beautiful and well, leaves nearby.
The 21st century makes it easier than ever to make a long-distance relationship work. However, it’s still not that easy to maintain it, so you’ll still have to put your back into it.
Anyway, here are some of the conclusions that I managed to draw:
1. DON’T LET OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINION DISCOURAGE YOU
Right at the start, you absolutely need to stop stressing about your grandmother in her seventies, talking about how in her time it would be impossible to pull out a long-distance relationship…
Close your mind for negative thoughts. If you and your partner believe in your relationship, no advice could deject you!
The power of autosuggestion works both ways so, if you come to believe that it can’t be done, then you’ll steer the wheel that way and we don’t want to happen, do we?
2. BE HONEST TO YOURSELF
If you consider yourself a clingy, overprotective person, it will be very hard for you to live through this without brain damage of some kind.
Talk to yourself, and be honest about your capability to truly enjoy a long-distance relationship. Theresa E DiDonato, a Ph.D. in psychology, says for “Psychology Today” that less anxious people tend to show more intimacy in long-distance relationships.
Honesty in long-distance relationships is as important as it is in regular relationships.
3. BE HONEST TO YOUR PARTNER
Just because your partner may be miles away, doesn’t mean you’re welcome to lie or cheat…
It is essential that, since you two are in a situation like this, you make some ground rules and stick to them.
Be honest with your partner about your expectations when it comes to your relationship, and demand the same from your partner. If you clear the boundaries, including some everyday stuff, like your behavior on social media, it will be much easier for both of you!
Never make assumptions, it will only make you feel worse if you are already in a bad place emotionally. Instead, be honest with your partner and say what is bothering you. This is essential in every relationship, but in long-distance ones, it can be crucial sometimes.
The communication between you two needs to be open on both ends.
4. REDUCE COMMUNICATION
Of course, you miss your partner and you are eager to hear from him/her, but it is not healthy for your relationship to be in constant communication because you might get codependent.
If that happens, your expectations might raise to a point where your partner can’t meet them and your relationship may start going downhill.
Of course, it is nice to hear from them a couple of times during the day, but it is not necessary to be in touch with them for hours and hours. You wouldn’t do that even if you were in the same town, right?
Don’t feel obligated to communicate. It is completely normal that sometimes you are exhausted or want to be by yourself the whole day. You don’t need to be on your phone 24/7.
Even if you were physically close, there would be days when you wouldn’t want to talk to anyone, including your partner, and that is fine, even healthy for your mind.
5. PERCEIVE THE DISTANCE AS A TEST OF YOUR LOVE AND COMPATIBILITY
Don’t jump to conclusions, it can be deadly for your relationship! This is especially important when it comes to texting. We all know how many times has happened that we text someone in a nice voice, and yet, somehow, they conclude that we are angry or mad at them.
The reason – they can’t see our facial expression, or our body language as they could if they were in front of us. So, don’t be hasty, if you have any doubts, just ask your partner, but in a normal, considerate voice.
Of course, it will get hard from time to time, there will be situations when you will wish you could go and see them just to smack them in the face, but just consider this point of view – your love will grow even stronger with the distance involved because you will (fortunately) outfight many obstacles caused by it.
6. LOYALTY, LOYALTY, LOYALTY
If you two have decided to go into something like this, it is very significant that you are sticking to the rules that you have set up together. Loyalty doesn’t mean that you have to remain in a relationship even if it makes you feel bad.
Loyalty means that you will have the courage to get in the way of whatever is bothering you, and say it out loud to your partner. Do not use distance as an excuse to be dishonest with your partner.
7. SHOW THAT YOU CARE, EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE NOT AROUND
When you are in a long-distance relationship, sometimes it can be tough to show affection. A “good morning” and “good night” text is always a beautiful way to show that you care.
Talk about your everyday stuff, and ask questions about their ordinary, daily stuff – just let them know you are interested and involved in their life. Earn their trust and stay committed to the other person.
8. MAINTAIN THE SEXUAL DESIRE
We all know the issue – it can come up even if you live in the same town as your partner. When it comes to being intimate, distance is certainly an enemy of your relationship.
But, you know what they say – modern problems require modern solutions! Use your phone, Skype, Viber, or anything else that can help you keep the fire burning.
In the 21st century, I guess sexting has become such a normal thing. You can thank God we live in the era of sexual freedom!
Yeah, cybersex may be really weird, but if it can keep the relationship alive, what the hell, right?
9. VISIT AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN
Yeah, cybersex can keep it going for a while, but eventually, you will have to see each other.
I know it’s difficult because we’re all so caught up in the pace nowadays, but you will have to clear the schedule if you want your long-distance relationship to work.
You probably wish you two were together 24/7, especially if you are at the start of a relationship, and you have butterflies in your stomach and everything that comes along, but how about making that wish come true every once in a while?
Well, you are aware it is impossible to constantly be with your partner, but you can try to visit as often as the circumstances allow you. You can even surprise them, visit when they are not expecting!
John Alex Clark hyphens for “Thought Catalog”, the importance of surprises in these relationships – they impeccably show how much you care.
10. DO STUFF TOGETHER
Don’t let the distance stop you from doing all kinds of things together! In the era of electronic communication, you two can watch a movie together, have a coffee, or even have an online date. The possibilities are endless and the only question is – whether you are willing to use them.
You can also surf the net and find some online multiplayer games that you can enjoy together before you fall asleep.
Our recommendations are two-player quiz games.
11. RESPECT THEIR TIME
You have to reconcile with the fact that, even if you two lived together, you would have to let your partner have his/her alone time, whether they are working, or just going for a walk by themselves.
Respect their time and their schedule, and of course, demand the same. It is pretty simple, take care of your schedule, and respect theirs, and nothing can go wrong. Both time spent apart and together should be satisfying for both sides.
12. ENJOY YOUR ALONE TIME
This is closely related to previous advice. If you respect their time, you expect them to do the same for you! Furthermore, you can make the best of your alone time!
There is so much stuff we want to do by ourselves over the years, but somehow, we never have the time. Well, that book sitting on your desk for months is still waiting to be read, the local photography exhibition is waiting to be seen, etc…
Become ecstatic about all the time you have for yourself, as well as for your friends and family! Also, this is a great time to do things your partner doesn’t usually enjoy.
Why is this one important you may wonder?
Well if you don’t have some time all for yourself, you may very well suffocate your partner and the relationship so think of it as of relationship hygiene.
13. KEEP THEM UPDATED ON YOUR LIFE
Don’t act selfish – even if your partner is not around, he/she is probably dying to hear what you went through today, or where did you go for lunch.
Not to mention the important things in life, like getting a new job, or something similar.
Try to share details, and do not generalize your day when they ask you how it was.
Keep them updated, it will enhance the communication and strengthen the bond between you two. Although you don’t live together, keep in mind that you are in a relationship, so don’t plan your day without your partner – let them know your schedule.
14. MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON THE SAME PAGE
Now that you have agreed to be in a long-distance relationship, you should agree on some other issues as well.
This has a lot to do with being honest with your partner. If you believe that you are a person who can’t be in a relationship like that for too long, or you think that you couldn’t endure long without sex, you have to say it out loud, so you know what your partner wants, as well.
The bottom line is, where do you see your relationship in a couple of months, or years, for example?
Visualize the image in your head, and share it with your partner. The only way to keep a healthy relationship is to be clear about your goals.
For example, how long can you keep up with your distance, are you willing to move out at some point, or you would expect that of your partner, etc.
15. USE DIFFERENT WAYS OF COMMUNICATION
Give them something to carry around that will always remind them of you – it is a way of communication, as well.
Try to show your affection in different manners. Send love-letters – be spontaneous, even childish from time to time, that kind of relaxed communication can help a lot.
For example, you passed an exam or got promoted. If they were here, you would rush to them just to have a toast together, right? So, what is stopping you now? Video-phone them and enjoy the time as if they were right next to you.
16. DO NOT SETTLE FOR LESS THAN YOU DESERVE, BUT DON’T COMPETE EITHER
It is important that you not only communicate but have a quality time with your partner. It should be as beautiful and nice as if they were right next to you.
The fact that you are apart is already hard, you don’t need a toxic long-distance relationship, it would be too much, right?
Just reconsider how much you enjoy your alone time, and the time you spend with your partner and put it on a scale. You should know the answer then (that is if you are being completely honest to yourself, of course).
You two mustn’t get competitive. It is the most stupid thing to do, like who is making a bigger sacrifice, and so on. It can only lead to a dead-end because eventually, every side will feel like they are being played by their partner.
17. VALUE ALL THE PROS OF YOUR SITUATION
Yes, you can’t see your partner as much as you would like to, but just think of this – you will never feel stressed out about them not taking the trash out or leaving dirty towels on the bathroom floor.
No matter how perfect your partner may seem to you, it’s the little things we do that always completely dismantle the relationships so, by being in a long-distance one, you’re kinda spared.
The bottom line is – you get to easily overcome obstacles that couples that leave in the same town (or same house) are facing every day.
It is sometimes nice to miss someone special in your life, you can remember why you love them in the first place, and all the beautiful small things they did to deserve your love.
Another benefit of your situation is you get to talk a lot to your favorite person. The chances are, if you two were living together, you wouldn’t talk as much.
In the end, you will certainly appreciate the time you spend together more than if you were living in one place.
It kinda builds upon the connection level aside from sex.
18. DO NOT TRY TO CONTROL YOUR PARTNER
Actually, maybe it was better to say – be confident about yourself. You have to be aware that your partner is not in any way under your control (and he/she shouldn’t be, of course), so there is no way for you to check did he really go on a drink with his best male friend, for example.
When it comes to this, you have to know that you have to trust yourself first and know that you are sufficient and if someone has you for a partner, they have a world in their hands.
Just awake your value. When you do that, it will be much easier to trust your partner.
Don’t let the uncertainties ruin it for you two.
19. LET GO OF NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
I know, I know, you just showered, went to bed, and was hoping to fall asleep in two minutes, and then your brain started playing tricks on you. Is he/she actually home, sleeping right now, is he lying, is he being unfaithful, etc…
Let go of all the thought that doesn’t do you good! You don’t need them in any possible meaning!
But, always have boundaries – trust your inner guts and don’t let your partner seduce you with his/her possible oiliness.
Stop constantly thinking about your partner, it will get you nowhere. The chances are, you will become obsessed with what he/she is doing, and you will fall into an endless circle of overthinking.
Jealousy, loneliness or possessiveness can be the killers of your relation, as hypnotherapist Pranjul Somani states, among other things that could be the effects of being in a long-distance relationship.
Try to avoid them as much as you can. Yes, it will be very challenging, but just imagine the feeling when you overcome all of those obstacles – it will be a winner for your relationship and your own psychological winner!
20. LISTEN TO (SOME) ADVICE
Don’t make it a thing – long-distance relationships are pretty common these days, so you are not the only one with the challenge ahead of you. You can always try to listen to other people’s advice and see whether it works for you.
The site “Panda Gossip” recommends a series of things you can do to psychologically prepare yourself for a long-distance relationship, I am sure that you can use at least some of them.
In the end, maybe it is of the biggest importance that you often remind them how much you love them and why are you even doing this. While being there, remind yourself as well, when you feel like there is little hope left for you two. And, as always in life – focus on the positive aspects of the situation!
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