Let’s face it: relationships in themselves are hard. They become even more difficult is when you add distance. Long-distance relationships can be frustrating for people and difficult to manage. However, there have been many a long-distance relationship that have gone through trials and obstacles, but ended up working. Here are some ways to make your long-distance relationship easier:
Use various communication methods
Webcam is an obvious choice but that is because it is such a great invention of our time. Using Skype Video to chat with your partner is a great way to catch up. Even if it’s not as great as meeting up in Credit: wikipediaperson, it’s the next best thing. You can use webcam to chat with one another and give updates on your day. Also, having a phone plan where you can add your partner to your unlimited call and text messaging list will not only save both of you money, but also let you talk to each other freely when needed. Snail mail, or sending letters by postage, can be seen as “outdated” or “old”, but don’t count these out yet! Sending old fashioned hand-written letters can be endearing and a nice personal way to say hello.
Plan online activities together
One of the difficult things about long-distance relationships is that you can’t go to the movies together or walk in the park. A good way to mitigate this is by doing things together online. For example, both of you can have Skype on and watch the same movie at the same time. That way, you’ll be watching a movie together and be able to do something together. Or, if you both enjoy games, you can play the same game online together as a fun way to interact and relax.
Take turns visiting
It is so important to take turns visiting each other. If one person is always visiting the other, it feels like one party is not vested in the relationship that much while the other person ends up feeling frustrated and tired. A relationship goes both ways, which is why both people should take turns to show they are both putting in the effort. Also, visiting one another gives both people something to look forward to when they next see each other.
Plan real activities together
Similar to taking turns visiting, planning real activities together (ex. Planning to go to a certain restaurant in a couple weeks) gives both people something to look forward to doing something together. Also, it feels less “long distance-like” when you know you’ll be doing something fun together in person.
Keep each other updated regularly
With long distance relationships comes anxiety, especially since you are not involved in the other person’s everyday life. There may be events and people, whether they be acquaintances or friends, that you may not know about and thus, may be curious to know more about. You can use text message to just tell your partner what you’re up to once in awhile to ease the anxiety and let them know you’re thinking of them.
Involve each other in your lives
In long distance relationships, it may feel like both people are living very separate lives since both people are in entirely different locations and may know different people and places. When you get your partner in person, let them see more into your lives. For example, hang out with some friends from your area, or introduce your partner to some favorite places of yours. Also, it helps to tell each other more about what’s happening in your daily lives.
Give and lend each other things
Sure, giving to one another is good and makes everyone feel happy. However, it also has added benefits in long distance relationships. Lending or giving your partner something you like will serve as nice reminder for them of you. You can give them pictures, maybe a nice mug, jacket, or lend them things such as an at-home sweater. The sights (and maybe the smell) of these things can help you for the times you are away.
Get yourself involved in things
Even though it’s important in a relationship to spend time together and do things together, it’s also important to be happy doing things independently. It is normal to worry occasionally about what the other person is doing or get frustrated when you can’t do things together. Get involved in things, such as clubs, associations and events to keep yourself busy. Doing such things will help keep you from worrying so much and let you interact with others outside the relationship.
Let your partner do things on his/her own
Just as important as it is for you to be involved in things on your own where you live, you should also give your partner the opportunity to do things on his/her own. This is where trust comes into play. You need not spend every waking moment together talking to one another. Allowing your partner to do their own things will help both people have more enjoyable lifestyles. Besides, doing activities on your own gives you something to talk about!
Keep yourself grounded in reality
When relationships are long distance, sometimes it is easy to lose sight of reality. You or your partner may start thinking of one another in an idealized way since you haven’t seen each other in person. Getting to know a person through talking to them on a regular basis, knowing what their lifestyle is like, and recognizing their strengths and weaknesses can help in keeping away from the notion of idealizing someone. On the flip side, long distance relationships can be difficult when you interact with so many people living where you are. Think of reasons why you are with the other person and why you chose your partner above other people.
Long distance relationships are hard and resolve good conflict resolution, usually moreso than many other relationships. However, being realistic about things, planning ahead and keeping each other updated (while also giving space) are key ingredients to making any relationship work. Hope these tips on having a healthy long distance relationship are useful and that you can apply them in your own relationships.