Long-distance relationships have never had a good reputation. I mean, we all know the long-standing joke of how long-distance relationships only work “if the four of you are happy” implying that a long-distance relationship can’t survive without cheating.
But that hasn’t stopped the number of people getting into long distance relationships from increasing, and we have mostly globalization and technology to thank for that because people can do online dating using apps, social media and dating websites.
The pandemic has also led to the number increasing as many people were unable to see loved ones for a long time due to movement restrictions and just like that many found themselves in a long-distance relationship. This has led many people to seek advice on how to make these relationships work and if you are one of them don’t worry we are here to help you with a few tips.
- Be clear about your expectations and boundaries for the relationship
I know this doesn’t look like the most fun thing to talk about but all people in the relationship must be aware and communicate their expectations and boundaries. You must know what would make the other uncomfortable and try to avoid such situations within reason of course.
Let your limits be known. Communicate your expectations, like how often the both of you should talk, or text or what type of means of communication, you prefer or how long you two can go without actually seeing each other. These are vital conversations that lay the foundation for a long-distance relationship.
- Work on the quality of your communication
While in a long distance relationship, most of your communication is over the phone or text or video call and if you are old school maybe you even use letters. You do not have the luxury of seeing your partner’s face or being able to touch them as they communicate or even listen to their tone in case you are using text or email and letters.
This leaves a lot of room for misunderstandings to arise. This means that you and your partner need to make sure that you are precise and deliberate when communicating. Be deliberate about the words you use, and even the means you use to communicate certain things. Say what you mean to say, there is no room for doubt because things can easily escalate.
- Schedule some time to check in with each other
I know how boring and unexciting it sounds but yes, you may need to schedule time together. We all know how busy life can get with work, school, side-hustles, family, and friends and all this can affect the amount of time the both of you get to communicate with each other as well as intimacy.
Schedule time together, whether it’s to talk on the phone, or watch something together, or even have dinner together over a video call. Don’t feel embarrassed about having to schedule quality time, we all know how adulting can be and come on, even couples that stay with each other end up having to schedule time together.
- Have a plan in place for the future and what to do about the distance
You and your partner need to be on the same page on what you would like the future of the relationship to look like. Do you plan to eventually live together? And if you do, how are both of you working towards that? It’s not just about living together, you must also want the same things in regards to relationship progress.
Do you want to get married or not? Do you want to have kids or not? It would be such a disappointment if you both focused on getting to live together and finally after it happens you realize that you are not on the same page in regards to the progression of the relationship.
- Keep up with what is happening in each other’s lives
Know what’s happening in your partner’s life from what is happening at work, to what they like to have for dinner or when they have that important meeting or interview. Share your calendars so that you can know what important things the other has coming up so that you can find a way to support them and be there for them.
Be present during conversations and also share from the little mundane things to the big accomplishments. This makes the both of you feel present and a part of each other’s daily lives even though you aren’t. Of course, keep up healthily, I don’t mean blowing their phone up 24/7 asking where they are and what they are doing.
- Get creative with your dates
Just because you can’t see each other in person does not mean you shouldn’t have dates. Get creative, cook and have dinner together over a video call, learn a language together, binge a tv show together, do a workout together, play online games together. Being away from each other is not an excuse not to do fun things together.
- Surprise each other
It feels nice to receive something unexpected from your partner especially when in a long-distance relationship. It shows that they are thinking about you. It doesn’t have to be something expensive, it could be something of yours that can remind them of you, could be something that they have been needing to get for the home, or a business. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful.
- Embrace the distance
Long-distance relationships can be frustrating and demoralizing and all the things people say about them do not help. But it’s important that you keep a positive mindset trusting your partner to stay committed and that this stage of the relationship shall soon come to an end. So enjoy the distance, spend time with friends and family, travel, have hobbies, don’t wait for you and your partner to be in the same place for you to enjoy your life and your relationship.
Long-distance relationships can be just as successful as those where both people are living in the same place. What matters is that you are committed to making it work and I hope the above tips can be your guide.