Whether you’re in a long-distance relationship, or considering getting into one, here are our best tips for making it successful.
1. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Communication is the number one, most important habit for any couple to get into, but particularly so for those in long distance relationships. This can be keeping each other up to date about mundane things like what you’re making for dinner, right up to the big things such as your mental health and feelings. When you communicate, you can understand your partner more, are able to make better decisions and take better action in your relationship. You both want to be on the same page, as well as be in tune with each other’s feelings – something that can be difficult to do over the phone.
2. Make effort
Long-distance relationships don’t just fall into place, you make them work. It’s crucial you both are willing and ready to put in effort, because otherwise one will always feel that the other doesn’t care enough, which can cause resentment to build up. So do special things for them, send them a present every now and then, and make them feel loved. This means making the effort to travel to see them, even if it’s a 5 hour flight or 2 hour train journey away – show your partner that your relationship is a priority for you. The time you spend in person, even if it is for a day or two, helps you to maintain intimacy and your bond as a couple.
3. Establish clear boundaries
Setting boundaries about what you are and aren’t comfortable with is important if you want to feel safe and secure in your relationship. Is there a friend who’s a little too close with your partner, and you would rather they didn’t spend time alone? Tell your partner that. Do you not want to speak every night on FaceTime for 4 hours minimum? You guessed it, tell your partner. If a long distance relationship is going to work, both parties need to feel comfortable in how the relationship works. This takes compromise and care, and if they really are the one for you, you’ll respect their wishes and work around them.
4. Keep each other a part of your routine
Being away from each other, it’s easy to feel that you aren’t a part of your partner’s life. Sure you talk a lot, but your lives and social circles may feel disconnected. Your relationship will feel much stronger if you make sure your partner is a part of your life even when you’re apart. Make sure they meet the people you spend lots of time with, either in person or virtually. Schedule online dates, or do activities like going for a walk “together” while Skyping, so it feels that you have plans with your partner even if you’re apart.
5. Be honest
This is a hard one to do. Being honest about how you’re feeling, or things that happen, can be difficult in a long distance relationship. You may feel like you’re bringing the mood down by speaking about your feelings, and may favour keeping things light if you only get to speak or see each other for a limited amount of time. But, avoiding the truth, in whatever form it comes in, is only ever detrimental to your relationship.
Long story short, long distance relationships are hard. But if you are both committed and willing to put in the extra effort, there’s no reason why you can’t maintain a thriving, healthy relationship, regardless of distance.