How to Make a Long-Distance Relationship Work

Being in a relationship is difficult as it is, but being in a long-distance relationship may seem impossible from time to time and it definitely has it ups and downs. Your heart may be happy but your day-to-day relationship can be very challenging, even for couples with a strong foundation. However, absence really does make the heart grow fonder and 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. Also, thanks to the Internet, communication is now as easy as ever. You no longer have to depend on letters and waiting around for a response – now your significant other can know you are thinking about them almost instantly! Sadly, sometimes the Internet is not all it takes to have a successful relationship. Here are some tips on how you can make your relationship work.

Make clear rules

Having a fresh, happy relationship can be trying, and you may not feel confident enough to set up rules. However, don’t be afraid to do exactly that, so that you don’t end up discouraged and brokenhearted. Talking to your partner about what your expectations are, as well as theirs, is the foundation of a successful relationship. Talk openly about commitment, exclusiveness, how often you expect to be in touch, and how often you will see each other. Talk also about whether you will see other people, date other people, or have an open relationship. There is no one formula for success here, just what your wishes are, and those of your partner. 

Don’t lie

This should go without saying, but many people starting a long-distance relationship will feel the need to lie about friends of the opposite sex so that their partner wouldn’t be jealous. This is a bad policy, since lying is the number one reason for breakups, and if you are caught in a lie, all your hard work falls into water for something you shouldn’t have even hidden. Another reason to lie is different expectations. Some people will accept their partner’s wishes even if they do not correspond to their own. Thinking that you will eventually change your partner’s wishes if they see how good of a person you are is a waste of time for both you and your partner. Be frank and tell them upfront if something is bothering you. 

Focus on quality communication

Even people in regular relationships have troubles communicating on a daily basis. If nothing interesting happened to them that day, they probably won’t have anything to share. To talk just for the purpose of talking is meaningless, and you should talk only when you have something to say. If nothing interesting has happened to both of you that day, focus on your future plans together. Or, if the relationship is fresh, you can get to know each other, find out the favourite colour, meal, flower, song and so on. Make your words mean something, and your communication will be good. Remember, quality over quantity!

Make grand gestures

We feel that in this day and age, the golden age of the Internet, emojis and GIFs, romance is slowly being forgotten. But, this is your chance to keep the romance alive and make grand gestures. When you are in a long-distance relationship, especially if you live on separate continents, it can be difficult to make grand gestures. One of the things you can do is make a video of yourself singing for them. If you aren’t a good singer, maybe consider writing an old-fashioned love letter with a poem inside, made just for your significant other. However, if you aren’t confident in your talents, you can always send flowers overseas to your chosen one, and make an impression! Just let your imagination do the work!

Video chat

Again our article circles back to the Internet. It is useful, after all, especially in these situations. Video chatting is so much better than texting or talking on the phone. You can see your partner’s facial expressions, see them laugh and smile and just enjoy their company. Maybe you can’t hug them or smell them, but for a long-distance relationship, this is a vast improvement from a few decades ago. Video chat is an amazing way to instantly see your partner’s emotions when you talk, and utilizing it in a relationship can help keep it alive. Sometimes, when you speak to your loved one, you can’t really get the tone or the real emotion hidden behind their words. So having a tool to show your their emotions makes things easier. 

Jot down important things

We talked about having a quality conversation, and this is one of the ways to do it. Having pen and paper on hand, or simply a notepad document on your phone where you will jot down things is extremely helpful. Sometimes, something small will happen that will make you think of your significant other and it will end up forgotten because some other things needed your immediate attention. That is why writing down even the smallest things is useful, as you can always choose which of them to share with your partner. 

Don’t over-plan your in-person time

One of the many mistakes new long-distance relationship partners make is over-planing their time together. Whatever you have planned, cut it down in half. Let’s face it, you haven’t seen each other in a while now, are you really going to go to a museum, or for a long romantic walk in the park? We didn’t think so. Plan your stay and according to how long you will be staying. If it’s a long weekend, plan to watch movies and enjoy each other’s company. If you are staying for more than 5 days, you can plan meeting with friends, going to a museum or going to dinner in a restaurant, but everything shorter than that – spend it alone.

Having a long-distance relationship can be a real test on your patience and devotion to your partner. However, we hope that by reading these tips, you got the needed boost to withstand all the bad things, and to wait for the time you will finally be together – in person!

Stella Ryne

Stella Ryne is an art historian, traveller, conscious consumer and a proud mother. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book. She’s deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainable living and sustainable travel will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. Stay in touch with Stella via Twitter @RyneStella

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