Surviving a long distance relationship

Surviving a long distance relationship

Long distance relationships used to carry a huge stigma. This is because only  few years ago, the only way to keep in touch was to write a letter or call long distance on a landline.  Both of these methods of have difficulties created by time and space.

Now that we have the internet, social media and cell phones, not to mention the video calling capabilities of FaceTime and Skype, it is much easier to stay in touch and feel connected.

Maintaining a long distance relationship is work, no matter who much technology we have.  Seeing each other in person can prove costly. So why do people do it and how can they make it work?

Why

It is not common for someone to start a long-distance relationship from long distance..  What usually happens is that the already established couple needs to separate due to circumstances. Maybe one partner has landed a dream job many miles away. Or maybe one is in the military and gets deployed miles away.  Whatever the case the couple decides to stay together and make the relationship work.

Sometimes a couple will decided to get involved even though they know at the outset they will have to make things work from afar. Most of these relationships dwindle after about 18 months.

But if the couple knows what they are getting into, they can make things to work. Work is the key word. They have to stay in contact. Fortunately the aforementioned  technology can help keep things going.

Sometimes it seems that long-distance relationships have an expiration date. This can be avoided by having a shared goal such as date when you can be together in mind. This goal should be to be with your love. You both need to know that there is an ultimate, shared goal.

Both partners need to be mature and realistic about their goals and dreams.  If it is a long distance, high-school sweetheart situation, it is likely that the partners will drift apart as they grow up.  Both partners have to be trustworthy so that jealousy and unreasonable demands don’t take their toll on the relationship.

When setting the goal, both partners need to be honest about their goals and be specific about timing and contact.  The ultimate goal should be to eventually share your life together.  Honesty is important to plan for the future, not to mention dividing up practical needs, such as finances and other expenses incurred.

It won’t be easy or even comfortable. Knowing this at the outset will help you decide if this is worth the trouble.   Be direct and upfront with the details and expectations.

What can you to to make it manageable

Make it seem normal. Talk to you partner as if they were there. Share details of your life and celebrate holidays and other special moments.

Remember that the things that can sabotage “normal” relationships can also devastate long distance couples.  This includes intentional dishonesty and violating personal space with intrusive questions.    Keep your relationship fun and exciting. Be flirty and playful.

It is up to you how to handle intimacy. Some like sexting or the excitement of phone sex. Some are comfortable with sharing intimate pictures with each other.   Whatever you choose to do, make sure you are both comfortable and in total agreement with each other.  Keep your non-sexual conversations intimate by sharing your thoughts and dreams and feelings.

Many couples have made long-distance romance and relationships  work. This is due to shared goals. If one of you is in graduate school, which can remove you physically and mentally, both of you should share the responsibility of communication.  And it’s not just daily communication that is important. It is also important to set aside a special time for each other. This can be a video call once a week or even bringing back the art of letter writing.

It can work, you just have to build in the time for the kind  communication you choose  in whatever way is most importing for you both.

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