Distance? What Distance?: 8 Tips To Make A Long Distance Relationship Work
“The time apart, the distance; they make our relationship better. I like having the time to miss him, to remember why I wanted to be with him in the first place,” a friend shared her experience being in a long-distance relationship.
According to psychologists, when people meet and are infatuated with each other, it is generally thought that the initial surge of emotion lasts longer when the couple is separated.
Eventually, there is a risk of decreasing affection, and for those who are beyond the infatuation phase, there is a great risk in separation, but also a greater potential benefit.
One of the greatest benefits is that you learn a lot about each other when you spend more time having conversations than you would have done watching Netflix or participating in activities together.
While long-distance relationships have their challenges, the outlook is not grim as long as the couple is committed to making it work. Here are a few things you should try.
1. Make The Most Of Modern Day Technology
The internet has made long-distance relationships easier than ever as we have so many ways to stay in touch.
A lot of the glue of a relationship is in the day-to-day minutia, and with technology, you can share that in real-time, instantaneously, with photos, texts, and FaceTime. Also, because people in long-distance relationships rely more heavily on technology to stay connected, in some ways tech allows them to communicate verbally even more than couples who see each other [often], but sit in the same room not interacting at all.
The downside to this, however, is that we sometimes get bored of the millions of texts and try to water down the experience or take it for granted. You should share specific details with your partner rather than merely generalising. For example, don’t just say, “I went to this dinner and had a great time.” Instead, delve into the details. Talk about who was there, what you talked about, what you ate, and how it made you feel. It will make every day come alive for your partner even though they weren’t there to witness it.
2. Be Committed to the Relationship
The first step to making a long-distance relationship work is to know that you are truly committed to the person before wasting your precious time. For college students overseas, however, this is a lot more imperative. Maintaining an LDR in college abroad is harder as a lot happens on and off-campus to create testing situations in comparison to adult relationships.
3. Set An End Date
It’s true long-distance love can be amazing for a while, but eventually, you’ll probably want to be together in the same place as your loved one. Knowing when that will happen is helpful to both parties.
It’s hard being apart, so you both have to be on the same page about how long this situation will last, and what the plan is for ultimately living in the same place
4. Have As Much Dates As You Would If You Were In The Same City
Just because you aren’t physically in the same place doesn’t mean you can’t have fun together. Netflix, or other streaming services, makes it easier than ever to binge-watch shows with your partner. Online quizzes or games are other activities you could do together, and discussing the results helps spark new and interesting conversations.
5. Make Fun Plans
Get excited about what the two of you will do next time you see one another. Make it a ritual to talk about the fun things you’ll do together. You could have plans of trying new restaurants when you get together instead of going to the same places. This will create something that both partners can look forward to.
Also, you can plan your weekends together on Fridays. Lastly, it’s a good idea to schedule ‘good night’ video calls when you’re both in your pyjamas to create a sense of sleeping together.
6. Don’t Give Room For Trust Issues
An insecure partner may check in on their partner too much, which can result in excessive phone calls or texts for the wrong reasons and create unnecessary tension.
When couples communicate constructively, they give each other an insight into their lives and what is important to them.
However, the moment communication is hijacked by insecurity, the anxious partner will always seek reassurance, and the other partner will be turned off by the constant checking in. Couples separated by distance must have similar levels of interaction as when they are both at home. It must be at a level that is acceptable to both parties. A long-distance relationship can never work when trust doesn’t exist.
7. See Each Other Regularly
Maintaining long-distance relationships requires you to see each other regularly, know when you’ll see each other and trust the other person to honour that commitment. You don’t want to go long periods without seeing each other. There are several options to make that happen today, there’s really no excuse.
8. Set Clear Rules And Boundaries
Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want the other person to see on social media. Do your best to stay out of situations that might make your long-distance partner feel uncomfortable or threatened — within reason.
You don’t need to seek permission or get approval before each social interaction with your partner, but you should establish clear rules and boundaries that benefit both of you.
Love is a beautiful thing; feel it.
Self-identifies as a middle child between millennials and the gen Z, began writing as a 14 year-old. Born and raised in Lagos where he would go on to obtain a degree in the University of Lagos, he mainly draws inspiration from societal issues and the ills within. His "live and let live" mantra shapes his thought process as he writes about lifestyle from a place of empathy and emotional intelligence. When he is not writing, he is very invested in football and sociopolitical commentary on social media.