Nearly everyone has been involved in long distance relationships at some point in their life. Most of us have failed to maintain it, and have inevitably broken up, even though it may have been a promising relationship. Why is that so? What are the common reasons for breaking up in those relationships, and how can you make them work?
Long distance relationships have both advantages and disadvantages.
For some, the distance is a good way to slowly open up to the relationship without the incessant presence of the partner. The romance stays kindled because you aren’t around the person 24/7, having to see various habits and routines that can get repetitive.
In terms of disadvantages, it is very frustrating that there is no intimacy, no hugging, no kissing – at least between the meetings. You will experience difficulties in connecting because you don’t have eye contact, and can’t spend time together. Then again, that makes the meetings so much more intense than they would be in a “normal” relationship. It’s the quality, not the quantity.
It can work, but there are some rules and guides you have to follow. Of course, there is also a very important condition that without, any long term relationship will not work:
In long distance relationships, you must have a true interest in each other. I mean a deep, emotional connection, whether you’ve been together before the spacial separation or you’ve just met each other through chat or e-mail. I’m afraid a physical attraction is not enough.
Know where you are heading.
Have a light at the end of the tunnel. What do you want to accomplish in your partnership? Have goals and a time frame for when you want to be together. It is very important that you both have a hope to live for.
I think that this is the most common reason why some relationships over distance don’t work – they don’t have a plan. They just hope it will turn out right eventually, and that a miracle is going to happen.
Certainly this also means you will have to make sacrifices. At least one of you. Realize that you most likely only have three options:
1. She moves to him 2. He moves to her 3. Both move to another place
Start talking about it as soon as you realize that you want to be together. The biggest mistake you can make is to hush it up.
Plan to meet and communicate on a regular basis.
Try to see each other every month, or depending on the distance, every three months. Plan this ahead, and include some activities like town visits, seeing a movie, a weekend full of fun. Make it a celebration, an explosion – something very special!
Soon these short meetings will be something you long for, something that you will align your life around. Remember, you can only get a real connection by being close, feeling and smelling a person. You don’t get scent with BBM or skype, or that initial wow you feel inside when you see your love. So, to add spice to your long distance relationships, do everything you can to meet at least once a month.
Use modern technologies to communicate.
You need all the help you can get in long distance relationships, so why not use the glorious benefits of a modern communication world? Use any of your instant messaging apps and find time to connect to each other every day. Use Skype or something similar to talk to each other for free. Believe me, it’s awesome watching a movie together while simultaneously talking to each other. Using all this electronic stuff will make it much easier for you both. Imagine how it used to be 100 years ago, when a letter used to take months.
Occasionally give yourselves a free day
This one-sided communication – I mean with no physical interaction – can sometimes frustrate you very intensively. It is possible that this frustration then turns to conflicts between you as an outlet for it. This could lead to misunderstandings that are very difficult to resolve on phone. Believe me – you do not want to have a fight over BBM or phone. I found it very helpful to insert a day or two without any communication. What happens then is that you miss each other very intensely, and you usually find yourselves at a much higher level than you were before.
If the only way of interaction between you is canceled for a day or two, you will either progress or doubt. In any case, you will know where you stand. This is also a good way to test the strength of your relationship.
Beware of Jealousy
Jealousy is a very dangerous thing and can threaten every romantic relationship. Jealousy is commonly a lack of trust and understanding. It very often reveals insecurities and bad experiences in other relationships.
The keyword here is simply – trust. You cannot control and observe your partner. You can only have faith in your relationship, and in the things you have built in the times you have had together. Hold on to that, and never give in to that green eyed monster. Jealousy is one of the most negative and destructive emotions there is!
Avoid dangerous “Situations”
As mentioned before, trust is essential in long distance relationships. If you completely trust your partner, and also have faith in your relationship, you can pretty much do what you want without endangering anything you have together. However, I nevertheless recommend avoiding some specific situations. Of course it depends on the person, but I would not go out with anyone of the opposite sex alone, or go to wild parties. Simply avoid temptations that could distract you from each other. Better safe than sorry!
Never lose faith
Watch out – you will meet a lot of skepticism. People will “warn you” about these kind of relationships, especially those who have had negative experiences with them. Don’t listen to them. People tend to negate things they failed on. Listen to me – it can definitely work, but you both have to believe it.
Always stay positive
Always assume that your partner loves you and cares about you. Never assume anything negative, whether you read something in his/her messages or you disliked how he/she made a weird comment on something. Don’t interpret too much into anything. The problem with non-face-to-face communication is the lack of facial expression. It is so easy to misinterpret, but unfortunately much harder to trust and stay positive. I assure you, if something was really wrong, you would know it.
As you can see, I’m definitely positive about long distance relationships. They expose ongoing life lessons, and prove that love, loyalty, and faith are the vital ingredients to a lasting relationship. Have faith, have trust and you both will succeed in the end.