A long-distance relationship is a fusion of a distance and a relationship itself. When it’s a romantic relationship, you expect physical closeness. So, how can you remain connected trough the geographical distance and survive a long-distance relationship?
You created a relationship to bring joy into your life and share it with the person you love. But it’s hard to maintain a healthy relationship without physical intimacy. The long-distance turns the joy into sadness and your relationship into a struggle.
But your long-distance relationship doesn’t have to be a struggle. You can use the time apart to work on different aspects of your relationship. While apart you can learn better about each other’s preferences and values. And when you visit each other, you can test what you’ve learnt and see how it plays out in face to face scenarios.
In this article, I will walk you through the most common problems with a long-distance relationship. I won’t tell you what you have to do, you are unique and so is your relationship. Instead, I will help you find what works best for your relationship.
Tip 1 – To Survive a Long-Distance Relationship: You Need to Be Yourself
To be yourself is to know who you are, your values, beliefs and preferences.
A relationship is a union of two people, two individuals. You chose your partner because there is something special about them. So, you wanted them to be part of your life. From billions of people, they also chose you because you are unique.
Your life’s experiences, values and beliefs, how you deal with problems and how you treat others define your personality. These are the things that make you special.
As soon as we find a partner, we forget who we are and what we want. After some time, the relationship becomes boring. In the first few months, you learn all there is to know about each other.
For the rest of your relationship, you think there isn’t anything else to learn. Your partner thinks the same. So if neither of you develops, your relationship won’t either. This will encourage your personal growth and will make your relationship more exciting.
Tip 2 – To Survive a Long-Distance Relationship: You Should Discover What’s Important to You and Your Partner
We all have certain preferences. Things important to us may seem trivial to others and vice versa. Therefore, it can go a long way to let your partner know what’s important to you and consider what’s important to them. Don’t expect your partner to guess what you want and how you want it, tell them.
- Make a list of things you want in your relationship.
- Apply a scale of importance from 0 to 10 to each item.
- At the top are the things you want, no matter what.
- At the bottom are the aspects of your relationship that you are ok to be flexible about.
Tip 3 – To Survive a Long-Distance Relationship: Create a Meaningful Connection with Your Partner
After some time together, we have an illusion that we know all that there is to know about our partner. And we may think there’s nothing else we can learn about them. This leads to empty conversations about daily activities. They are empty because they don’t create a meaningful connection.
A lot of us find it hard to express how we feel; we just don’t have the vocabulary for it. But without sharing how we feel, emotional connection is next to impossible, particularly in a long-distance relationship.
Next time you talk to your partner, ask them how they are feeling at that moment. You may hear something like ok, not bad, etc.. This is the first sign that your partner may not know how to express their feelings.
- We experience life through feelings.
- Our feelings change all the time.
- Our environment, thoughts and circumstances influence how we feel.
In this article on how to make your long-distance relationship work, you can learn 3 simple steps to communicate effectively with your partner.
Tip 4 – To Survive a Long-Distance Relationship: Make a Plan, TOGETHER
Having a plan is simple enough. Anybody can make a plan by compromising. But, how do you make a plan where everyone needs are met, particularly the important ones?
When you are alone in a long-distance relationship, you may assess the situations in your head. You decide what is possible and what isn’t before even talking to your partner.
- Make a list of your feelings, needs, and what you want. Next time you discuss your relationship with your partner, share this list with your partner. Then, take the time to hear your partner.
- Make notes on what they want and what is important to them. Finally, look at both of your notes together. Together, weigh what you want against what is possible.
Approach it objectively, without emotions. Imagine you are trying to help another couple in exactly the same situation. You will see the difference it makes…
Tip 5 – To Survive a Long-Distance Relationship: Agree on How Often You Speak
Talking is one of the main ways of communication in a long-distance relationship. We’ve discussed how you can maintain an emotional connection with the right topics. It is equally important to come to an agreement with your partner about how often you call each other.
You may wish to speak 10 times a day, while your partner may feel that 3 times a week is plenty. Doing so, you would appear needy and your partner could come across as if they don’t care about you. To avoid misunderstanding, lay both of your preferences on the table and find a mutually acceptable solution.
Tip 6 – To Survive a Long-Distance Relationship: Agree on How Often You See Each Other
So far we have covered the importance of being your own person and having your own life. Now, let’s have a look at how often do you see each other? Physical touch is a basic human need that is very important to us. However, importance varies from person to person.
Physical intimacy gives the reassurance that you are still a couple. Ideally, you may need this reassurance every day, but it may still be ok for you to be intimate say once a week. If this is the case, it is normal to expect for you to feel distant from your partner if you don’t get to touch them for more than a week.
Apply the scale of importance from 0 to 10 to your preference. Ask your partner to do the same and compare your findings. If your needs for physical intimacy are different, it can affect your relationship, so have a chat about it.
Tip 7 – To Survive a Long-Distance Relationship: Make a Plan for When You Are Apart
Seeing each other after some time can be very fulfilling. Naturally, you are looking forward to those days. It’s far too easy to fall into a habit of waiting for your next meeting, forgetting all about Tip 1.
By actively waiting, I mean counting the days to your next visit. The more you focus on the waiting, the more you are reminding yourself that you can’t have something you want. You feel like your life isn’t enough. This is a first step to turning your long-distance relationship into survival.
During your next visit, take some time to set goals and make a plan for how you will achieve them before you meet again.
This has 2 benefits:
- You will be on track with your personal development.
- By sharing your plan and keeping them up to date with your progress, your partner will be part of it.
People erroneously believe that to make your relationship work, you need to compromise what you want and try to do what your partner wants.
It is actually the opposite.
Knowing your own feelings, needs, and preferences will bring depth to your personality. Sharing them with your partner will help you create a meaningful connection. And, it will bring understanding to your relationship.
In a long-distance relationship, we make the distance to be the troublemaker. Today we have dispelled this myth. We’ve seen how being apart is an opportunity for you to work on yourself. It’s the time you can spend learning to connect to your partner and by doing so, make your relationship not only healthy but fun and exciting.
You’ve seen why it’s important to get clear on own needs and how doing so contributes to the health of your relationship. These 7 tips will help you move away from suffering a long-distance in your relationship towards creating a meaningful connection with your partner.
- Continue self-development
- Know what is important to you and how much.
- Learn to talk about your feelings. Have a list of words that describe feelings in front of you.
- Always make your plans together.
- Agree on when is the best time to call each other and how often.
- Recognise the importance of physical intimacy for yourself and your partner.
- Use the time apart to achieve your personal goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do long-distance relationships fail?
Long-distance relationships fail because couples are fighting with circumstances instead of understanding them. When you view your circumstances as obstacles to your happiness, it’s a struggle. And you may choose to struggle for a short while to achieve your goal. Just remember that every moment you spend “surviving” your relationship is one moment less you get to enjoy it.
Can distance kill a relationship?
Emotional distance is the one that can kill a relationship. Today’s technology makes it very easy for us to keep in touch. We can send a message in an instant and cross the globe in a day. However, when it comes to maintaining an emotional connection, most of us are left feeling powerless in the dark world of confusion. It is much simpler to navigate the outside world than it is to explore our inner-selves.
How do you make a long-distance relationship easier?
Begin by understanding why you are in a long-distance relationship. How often will you see each other? How long are you expecting it to last? How are you and your partner feeling about it? Keep in mind that one of you may be more comfortable with a long-distance relationship than the other. Express your needs and be accommodating towards one another.
Can you fall in love over a long-distance?
Yes, you can. You can also fall in love with a fairy tale or a romance novel character. When you meet a person online, for example, you create an ideal. Then you weigh everything you learn about this person against your ideal to see if their characteristics match. If they do, you fall in love and if they don’t you move on. Falling in and out of love is not the same as having a relationship.
Getting Some Help
I hope that this article answered some of your questions. If you are struggling and could do with more help, send me a message so we can talk about your situation in more detail.