9 tips on long distance relationships is intended to help those who happen to be the travelers that cupid trapped along the way with, well, like-minded travelers. Poor us, blessed us, wanderers from different cities or nations that get united because of love. From personal experience, talks and observations on other couples who have made it through the distance, here it goes!!
We are in a strange era regarding relationships, and each day it becomes harder to find couples who last for the long run. In these last couple of years I’ve been close to so many pairs that have split after 15 years of dating, 30 years of marriage, and so on. What is the clue? Honestly, I still do not have all of the answers, but we are finding out step by step 😉 If relationships “in presence” are difficult, adding the complexity of a long distance relationship pushes many to rush out of it either because they can’t bear with it or with the idea of it. For those out there who do believe, like myself or us, in long distance relationships, here are some tricks and tips for when you want to make it work. Just remember, it is not going to be easy. But which relationship fully is?
Remember: it can get lonely.
A huge factor in a relationship is to communicate, and not just to express yourself and listen to the other person, but to learn how to communicate effectively while letting each part be themselves freely.
When you’re in the distance, it is super important to keep each other posted, using different technologies (not-so-romantics out there, keep in mind that romantics still enjoy a good hand-written love letter 😉 ), Skyping so you can see each other, apart from texting, whatsapping or calling. Remember that your words count double, and so do your tone and facial expression. All the comfort, affection, and even the negatives have to be expressed with words. At least until you learn how to read each other better.
Remember: no one has yet the ability to read someone’s mind! So if you want them to know something, simply tell them.
2. Safety and Security
Building a safe and secure space is crucial to open up and be able to share emotions. Love, fear, power, insecurity, trust, jealousy, joy, apathy… don’t hide it. One of the wonders and mysteries of opening up to someone, and specially to your prospective life partner is vulnerability. An awesome word that can become a double-edged sword. So be open (little by little), and be loving with the one that opens up to you.
The simple things become extra sweet.
Also, never take anything for granted!
As I loved (and love!) the daily good morning-good night, communication should also be fun, creative, deep, trivial, or even spicy! Keep your partner updated with what is going on in your life, from the crucial things to the most mundane ones.
Send each other pictures, videos, clips, surprise messages or regular mail. Make some effort to make it worth it. 😉 It makes the other one feel loved, appreciated, attended, accountable.
Letting them keep something yours (like that necklace or that shirt she later wears every time she misses you) is another romantic way of being somehow together, and show value and care.
You should know the terms of your relationship and in which point you both are. Equality is important. And it is crucial to be honest and know what to expect. Be aware of your commitment level.
Especially when there’s time difference, it can be harder to keep in touch… you both have your own responsibilities: work, studies, family, friends, yourselves and your interests…
5. Live the present
Sure, you need to Skype and pay attention to each other, but you also need to live in the place and moment where you are, enjoy it and what is happening while you’re there.
Let me put it this way: It is not healthy to spend every single minute of every hour of every day in front of the computer. And neither is it to make your beloved one do so.
Invest in yourself. Enjoy your time alone and your own space (you are going to miss it many times when you’re not alone anymore!). Enjoy your time and place, and people that surround you.
6. Avoid the danger zone
This point depends of course in the type of relationship you have with your beloved one, but…
If you know or think something you do may affect your partner (listen to that little voice in your ear!), either avoid it or tell them before hand. That does not mean you’re being tied up or asking for permission, but it means that you care so much about your partner and their feelings that you want to reassure them and show them that they matter so much to you that you want them to feel safe and secure with you – because they can. The other half should appreciate the gesture, avoid reacting, talk things out so things can be understood, give the trust vote, and do the same.
Listen to the heart and the mind, be loving, empathic and wise.
7. Value the long distance & stay positive
Being in long distance can actually be good and healthy depending on how you see it.
I read somewhere: If you want to live together, you first need to learn how to live apart.
You can do things together. You can play games, watch a movie or documentary at the same time, a video-clip, sing over Skype, take the other one with you to the street while videoing… just building up experiences, even while being apart.
Build topics in common, study something together, teach each other languages, recommend movies, books, music, news… anything that bring you closer.
Try to see it as an opportunity to work together in the same direction, towards a common goal that includes one another.
8. Invest in getting to know each other
I recently read somewhere “be cool about stalking each other [on social media]” xD I shook my head while smiling and thinking what a terrible way to put it! But softening it a bit, it is actually sort of right. Why? Well, most of us have social media, and like that people comment on our spaces and like what we post. The action of sharing is to share-it, to interact with our contacts, and do the socializing – just not in person. So how nice do you expect it to be when your special someone checks out that article you liked enough to share it? What if they take some time to comment on it? What if they post something partner-related or something to keep you smiling? Be it a picture, a sentence, an inside joke or whatever it is – what counts is the detail.
I know it may sound strange for many but come on, social media? What do you have it for? Get social! Tag, share on each other’s walls, show you care or are thinking about them.
I would not stalk though, that’s too much 😀 but do it at least once in a little while.
9. Make plans
Endless long distance? No, thank you. It does not work. You need to plan (keep in mind: life happens and plans change – but that shouldn’t keep you from dreaming and making flexible plans!) what I like to call “a reencounter”.
Remember that long-distance relationships (and relationships in general!) are a learning journey. Being away does not necessarily pull a pair apart, as many think. I believe it is indeed a test. A test of patience, trust, faithfulness, love, positivity, and willingness to get to know a person. For some, long distance even helps to determine whether or not they should be together. And if both parties really want it to happen, through this experience, the bond may grow even stronger.
One faces many challenges when in long-distance relationships. When we overcome them -successfully- we are bound to be there for something better, and definitely better prepared for the long run.
After all the waiting, you get to do the things that make it so special and intimate, even the simple ones, like staring into each other’s eyes, kissing, caressing or hugging each other.
Unicorns, rainbows and butterflies everywhere xD And lots and lots of smiling and giggling!!