5 Long Distance Relationship Survival Tips
By Jenna Goodhand
Online dating, advances in technology and the ease at which to travel have allowed for relationships to flourish between people who find themselves joined by the hearts but left to organize their lives around time zones, Skype calls and holidays.
Having been in more long distance relationships than same city ones, I’ve learned a few things that I believe are essential for keeping things together over the long distance long haul.
Note: Communication, honesty and trust are not on the list because they are important to ALL relationships.
You need them. And they need to be clear.
Being in a long distance relationship does have many advantages. You get to go about your life independently, deciding for the most part where you want to go and when you want to go there, avoiding the need to coordinate with your partner. However, for both partners to feel safe and secure in the relationship you need to agree upon what you can both offer and when you can offer it. For some couples that involves checking in once every couple of days, for others it means connecting first thing in the morning and last thing at night. If you find yourself fighting a lot, check your expectations, either they aren’t clear or you need to reassess them.
2. The Element of Surprise
Don’t think that just because you spend the entire day connected to one another by computer or phone you are doing your part to keep things alive and thriving. When it comes to long distance relationships it is more common for things to go stale because dimensions are already flatter than in a relationship where you physically see each other all the time. Find ways to shake things up by communicating in a new way, sending something through the mail or even planning a surprise visit.
3. Increase Intimacy
Of all the challenges the long distance relationship creates, the lack of physical contact is the most difficult. For the relationship to survive long term you will need to find ways to close this gap. Talk in detail about what being together physically would feel like. Take pictures of your hand. Send videos of you puckering up. Remember, we live in a digital world where you can share the live version of your life almost any time while doing almost anything, be smart about it, but be creative.
4. Try New Things Together
“We just grew apart.” We’ve all heard people talk about relationships in this way because it is one of the most common factors in a split. For the long distance couple you have the disadvantage of already living apart. Finding things you can participate in as a couple, while growing individually, tightens the bond between two people. Try learning a new language and then practicing with each other or join an acting class and rehearse lines with one another. Find out what skills the other person wants to develop and find a way to learn them together.
Make sure there is always a point in the future where you know you will be able to do all those sweet and loving things you spend countless hours wishing you could do together. Without this it is easy for couples to start questioning the point of continuing the relationship at all. We all love having something to look forward to, it keeps us excited and on our toes. Set the date for the next time you will see each other shortly after you separate each time.
If you are in a new long distance relationship and worry about where it might be going remember that most people in same city relationships have the same concerns. Long distance relationships aren’t for everyone, but love is. Give it your best, learn from the experience and don’t forget that when two people love each other and want to be together they will always find a way.