When one partner moves away, relationships are often strained beyond their ability to survive. Managing a relationship over the miles takes effort by both parties. Try these steps and you may be able to make your long distance relationship work.
- Have a life outside your relationship. Being away from the person you care about is hard. Don’t make it harder by dwelling on what you are missing. Having a life means going out with your friends, being around people and having a good time. This doesn’t mean you are unfaithful or that you don’t miss your partner. Having a life also helps you with step two.
- Talk to each other often. You need things to talk about other than how much you miss each other. By having a life and interests while you are apart, you have something to say when you talk every morning or every night. Make sure you communicate daily either by phone, email or text message. You are sure to be thinking about each other, so communicate that. Whenever possible, plan your next visit before the present one ends. That way, you have something more to talk about.
- Plan long distance dates. With modern technology, you don’t have to be that far apart. Sure, you may not be able to touch his face or kiss him, but you also don’t have to be just a disembodied voice on the phone. Use a webcam or send videos. Schedule a Friday night to watch a movie together. Rent the same movie and watch it while getting cozy together over Chinese food and the web cam. It may not be the same as the real thing, but you can keep the sparkle in your long distance relationship.
- Set relationship boundaries. Talk about how the distance changes your relationship. Will you be faithful while apart? Will you expect to talk every day, twice a week? Can you see each other? How often? Who will travel? Be open with your partner and work together to define your relationship.
- Be spontaneous. Just because your partner isn’t in the same town doesn’t mean you can’t surprise him or her with flowers or his favorite brownies on a Tuesday evening. Send little gifts and treats to let them know they are on your mind.
- Make the most of your time together. Sometimes the stress of who will do the traveling and how often can be overwhelming. When you can, meet in the middle and go away together. Make it a vacation for both of you and make the most of the days or hours you spend within reach.
- Talk about the future. The distance is temporary--talk about what you will do when you are back together again. Don’t put your life on hold. Continue to think about the future and share your hopes and dreams with the one you love.
- Trust your partner. Without this final step, a long distance relationship cannot last. You must trust each other or you will not be able to cope with having your partner out of your sight. Have some faith in your love and your relationship.
Long distance relationships are difficult. They often take patience, love and trust. If your long distance relationship is meant to be, you can make it work.