Making Long-Distance Relationships Last
Many couples today are in long distance relationships, and it is hard. However, if you are both committed to the relationship it can work. This is a unique type of relationship, which at times may feel impossible to cope with and unbearable. There will be times when you will crave the presence of your mate, and there are ways to manage those desires. Separation is always tough, but in some relationships it may be unavoidable; work, travel or meeting someone who lives in another state or country.
You may close your eyes and imagine being close because you miss and want to see your loved one in the flesh. When miles separate you this can be very frustrating. There is hope for building a strong long distance relationship, and there are ways to survive those moments of pure agony.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
In any type of relationship communication is important. We can express our thoughts and feelings, desires and needs and our expectations through effective communication. As humans we send messages all the time to communicate. Physical messages are sent through our body language, facial expression and touch. This is not always possible in a long distance relationship, but there are other forms of communicating that can keep the sparks alive.
Phone Calls to Your Sweetheart
Talking with your mate who is miles away can fill a void, but timing is important. An aching and lonely heart can make us want to reach out to our loved one at any given time if the desire is strong. But this may cause more damage than good if you are not considerate. Making calls when you know that your sweetheart is working or in class, unless it is an emergency, is not a good idea.
Schedule the calls with your long distance love, so you both have time to relax and engage in a conversation. Resist the urge to call ten times a day just to hear his voice, and never leave twenty voice mails a day as this will only cause stress and frustration for both of you; it could get costly too.
Keep in Touch Using Video Chats
This is a great tool for long distance relationships, and it can make you feel closer. To use this form of communication you both need a computer with high-speed Internet access and a webcam. With speakers and a microphone you can talk to and hear each other. You need to choose which service you want to use to connect. Many are free to use, such as Skype or Yahoo as long as you both sign up for a free account. Always read the terms of service (TOS).
Video chats are excellent for keeping in touch. With a webcam, microphone and speakers you can interact in real-time; which gives a sense of being together. You can see the smile on your loved one's face, and hear his voice. This is a nice way to keep the lines of communication open when separated in a relationship, but do not expect to spend every waking moment in a video chat session. Be realistic and set up special times to be together using this tool.
Old Fashioned Letters and Text Messages
Sending a hand written letter by snail mail is one of the most personal ways of communicating when there are miles between two people. It sends a message that says you care enough to take the time to write out your feelings, but be practical. Words are a great form of expression and they are very powerful, so think about what you write and the message you wish to send.
Text messages can be nice when sent in moderation, a quick message from time to time is a great way to let your sweetheart know that you are thinking of him. However, nobody wants to get a text every five minutes. Never send a text with the expectation of getting an immediate text in return. The text you send may arrive while your long distance love is in an important meeting, sleeping or driving; be patient. These unrealistic expectations lead to repeated text that can get nasty because you may begin to think that you are being ignored. Relax and go on with your day.
Also, keep in mind that most text are short, cut up words that can be easily misunderstood. If you are not sure what a message means, simply ask. Texting can be great if you use it the right way and do not abuse it.
Trust and Long Distance Relationships
With an open long distance relationship both partners have agreed that dating others is acceptible, but if you have made a committment to be an exclusive couple over the miles trust is vital.
All relationships require trust, but with a long term commitment trust can be an issue. There may be times when you think that your physical absence means that you will be easily replaced. This may be a normal feeling, but it is also a sign of insecurity and a lack of trust.
If the lines of communication are strong and you respect one another these momentary thoughts should not consume you. To survive a long distance relationship you must be secure and trust your partner.
Plan Time to Be Together
There is no denying that this may be one of the more complicated types of relationships, physical distance in a relationship has its ups and downs. But you can survive and have a healthy long-term relationship that may lead to marriage if you use the available tools to keep the sparks flying.
Planning is important, you must both be available at the set time. You need to decide who will do the traveling. And you have to be open and honest about the financial cost of being together, who will pay for the plane ticket or car rental, will you stay at an expensive hotel or cozy bed and breakfast. Will it be a weekend get-away or will it be a visit at either of your homes.
This should be discussed in advance, in doing so you both can anticipate seeing each other without worrying about details.
As long as you both have the same expectations and are realistic it is possible to grow together, and create a lasting bond over the miles. Remember, the physical aspects of relationships are only a part of the equation. Build a strong committed long distance relationship and when you can be together in the flesh you will have a solid foundation.