Someone once said, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” while that quote may be true, it does not make a long distance relationship any more appealing.
You and your significant other may find yourselves in a long distance relationship (LDR) for various reasons; such as you are going to different colleges, one of you is in the military, one of you takes a better job opportunity. You find yourselves separated by miles, or states, or even continents. Although different distances separate couples for varied reasons, all LDRs have one thing in common; they are challenging.
Can I handle a long distance relationship?
It is a question that should be given serious thought before pursuing a LDR. A large part of your relationship will be held through alternative means of communication like talking and texting on the phone, video chat, and email. If you or your partner do not like using these forms of communication, then a LDR will be difficult to maintain.
If you are contemplating doing a LDR, you should also think about how much you rely on and need physical intimacy. I am not talking about sex; I am talking about holding hands, kissing, and hugging that sort of physical contact. There are many ways to have an intimate LDR but if you lean on and feel you need physical affection than staying in a relationship with someone miles away may not be for you.
If you are not entirely trusting of your partner than a long distance relationship will be a struggle because you have to trust that your significant other is going and doing the things they say. If you feel skeptical of them now and you are in the same area, then distance will only make it worse.
If you determine that you can’t do a LDR, it is important that you tell your partner. Be honest about your needs and wants. While it may be hard, your truthfulness will be better than getting into a relationship you know in your heart will not work and causing both your significant other and you pain later.
Long Distance Relationships – How do we make it work?
Living in separate places can be a hard, but it also can bring you and your partner closer together. Communication is vital in all relationships, but it is crucial when a couple is long distance. I mentioned earlier talking and texting over the phone, video chat, and email will be how you are communicating with one another. Setting time aside each day if your schedules permit it, to talk in one of these forums will give you something to look forward to, plus it will keep your communication consistent. A girl I knew in college spoke to her boyfriend who went to school hours away every evening at seven o’clock. She would go for a walk around the dorms, and he did the same where he was, and they would refer to their chats as going on an “evening walk” together. While scheduling a time to speak with one another may not seem romantic, it is necessary especially if your lives are busy. Of course, you can talk more or less; shooting one another a text throughout the day to show you are thinking about them doesn’t hurt.
I spoke previously that physical intimacy would be limited in a LDR so finding other ways to build closeness and show affection will be needed to make things work. When Bernard asked me out, he was going to school in a different state that was four hours away from me. We spoke most nights on the phone, and we would ask one another questions to get to know one another better. Questions ranged from simple, “What is your favorite color?” to more complex, “What has been a pivotal moment in your life so far?” Another way we showed affection was through handwritten letters and care packages we mailed to one another. I still have all the letters we wrote tucked away in a keepsake box; though they can get a little cheesy, those letters nurtured our relationship in its early stages.
If you and your significant other are doing long distance, you must make time to visit one another as often as budget and time allow. Similar to communication, scheduling visits gives you something to look forward to and will help pass the time when you are apart. Even if the visits are brief, those encounters give you time to touch, hug, kiss, and interact, in person. Those moments can be immeasurable in a long distance relationship.
A huge aspect of making a LDR work is by having trust in your partner. I briefly touch on this earlier, but it is worth mentioning again. Communicating about particular issues that may arise that cause uneasiness is important. Letting your partner know when you feel concerned gives them the opportunity to explain and perhaps even put you at ease. However, a constant lack of trust will only make the divide between you and your partner that much greater. If you spend all of the time, you are communicating questioning everything they are telling you and doubting them it will make those conversations dreadful and may lead to your relationship’s demise. Therefore, remember that if your partner chose to stay with you and have a LDR, and makes an effort, then it is likely because they want to be with you.
Long distance relationships are not ideal, but the couples I know that have gone through them and come out the other side together are much stronger because of it.
I am curious what other long distance couples would say helped make their relationship work?