“According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Communication, people in long-distance relationships were more likely to share meaningful thoughts and feelings with their partners than those who were not.” ~ Brittany Wong, Huffington Post
Indeed, some research does show that individuals in long-distance relationships may enjoy certain advantages over those who are not. Guess there is some truth to the whole “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” thing!
That said, the distance between couples can produce some challenges.
In this article, we’re going to discuss 8 ways to successfully overcome the challenges of long distance relationships. We’ll also quote a few people who’ve dealt with these problems – and defeated them by using these tips!
Let’s get started!
Here are 8 ways to survive a long distance relationship:
1. Keep in touch
This first one is a bit obvious but nonetheless important.
You and your partner do not have the luxury of face-to-face interaction, so it’s essential that some kind of communication schedule is established. Call, text, or – even better – video chat!
One man shares his story:
“My wife and I had to do the long distance thing twice in our relationship. When we first met she lived about an hour away in San Jose and I lived in San Francisco…We learned that you have to call and text each other during the day and share what’s going on.”
2. Use video chat
While Skype won’t replace the feeling of having your partner close, it’s probably the next best thing. Many couples who must endure the inevitable difficulties of a long-term relationship make it a priority to have regular Skype dates.
“It’s really essential that you and your partner have a schedule for when you talk … but texting is not enough to keep a relationship going. To maintain a strong relationship, you need to talk on the phone, but preferably something like Skype as often as you can.”
3. Remember the big picture
The long-distance thing won’t last forever, and it’s important that both individuals remind themselves of such. We’re wired for immediate gratification, especially when it comes to the person we love.
“…My partner and I met in university and had been together for about three and a half years before he had to leave (for) his Master’s degree. We were apart for about two years. We had to constantly remind ourselves that the distance was for a short while and as we really wanted to be together, we had to make it work.”
4. Remember to celebrate
When two people are apart for an extended period of time, one or both people will reach certain milestones in life (promotion, pay raise, individual goals, etc.). Celebrating each other’s victories can bring your relationship some morale by sharing intimate moments.
“(My husband) left for the Navy, and then we started dating…Right after we became engaged, he was deployed overseas for a year. What we learned is this: Celebrate everything, even if you can’t be together in person. Life is too short not to and that’s especially true when you’re in a long-distance relationship.”
5. Temper visiting expectations
If you’re in a long-distance relationship, the chances are that you’ll be able to visit your partner on occasion. It’s easy to anticipate that every visit will be heavenly – and hopefully, it is. Nonetheless, no relationship is perfect. Problems may or may not arise – and it’s important to remember this point.
“There’s so much pressure with visits…Some trips will be full of great memories and carefree times, and (others) will be full of fighting over big or small issues and that’s okay!”
6. Remember to compliment each other
We all love when our partner gives us a well-timed compliment. Without much face time, it’s easy to “forget” what you like about your sweetheart because they’re not there to remind us. (On that note, make sure to keep plenty of pictures and reminders of the person around!)
Compliments here and there go a long way. “I love your smile.” “I miss your great laugh!” “You’re so beautiful.” “You always make my day.”
7. Be honest
Things are never entirely okay all of the time. Many of us feel some added pressure to emphasize the sense everything is fine – particularly when we’re away from our partner.
This is a mistake.
None of us want our partner to worry. However, it’s healthy that you are both open and honest with each other despite the distance between you.
We’re not meant to allow unresolved inner conflicts to dwell; eventually, these conflicts will come to the surface – which is why it’s so important to be honest consistently.
8. Trust one another
It goes without saying that trust is the backbone of any relationship. When we’re apart from our life partner, it’s even more critical that we assure ourselves of their trustworthiness.
If possible, attempt to resolve any underlying trust issues before your partner leaves. In fact, try to fix anything that is causing a reasonable degree of uncertainty. It’s much better to address these things while your partner is still in your presence!