Long-distance relationships can be challenging, and sometimes you need a bit of guidance.
Here are seven tips to make your long-distance relationship work:
- Be your own person.
- Find out what’s important for you and your long-distance partner.
- Create a meaningful connection with your long-distance partner.
- Set your goals, make a plan and create a timeline.
- Agree on how often you speak with your long-distance partner.
- Agree on how often you will visit your long-distance partner.
- Make a plan for managing your long-distance relationship when you are apart.
In this article, we will have a look at different things you can do to improve your long-distance relationship. If you want to learn more about long-distance relationships and how to make them work, you can find it here.
Tip 1 – Be your own person
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.
Out of the whole world, 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 unique.
As soon as you find a partner, you forget who you are and what you 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, and your partner may feel the same. So if neither of you develops, your relationship won’t either.
Continue self-development as it will encourage your personal growth and will make your relationship more exciting.
Tip 2 – Find out what’s important for you and your long-distance partner
We all have individual preferences. Things essential 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. Instead, try this approach:
- 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 with which you can be flexible.
- Know what is important to you and how much.
Often, relationships become saturated with compromise, and you ask yourself if it’s even worth it.
Tip 3 – Create a meaningful connection with your long-distance partner
You may think you know all that there is to know about your partner. It may seem like there’s nothing else you can learn about them. Spice up your relationship and make it more interesting with some activities that can help you get to know your partner more deeply.
These activities can help you build an emotional connection and make your relationship more exciting.
We experience life through feelings. An important thing to remember is that our feelings change all the time. Our environment, thoughts and circumstances influence them.
Many people find it hard to express how they feel. To express yourself clearly you need to have an emotional vocabulary.
Without sharing how you feel, having an emotional connection with your partner is next to impossible, especially 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’, ‘fine’ etc. If you hear that, it’s a sign that your partner may not know how or are uncomfortable expressing their feelings.
Learn to talk about your feelings
Tip 4 – Set your goals, make a plan, and create a timeline
Why are goals important for a long-distance relationship?
Long-distance relationships work best when it’s a temporary situation. Any romantic relationship needs physical intimacy. When you are away from your partner for long periods, intimacy can become an issue.
While there are ways you can maintain intimacy in a long-distance relationship, you should set specific goals as to what do you want from your long-distance relationship. If you are serious about your relationship, you should set a moving in date for when you can be together.
Having a plan is simple enough. Anybody can make a plan by compromising. But, how do you make a plan where everyone’s needs are met, particularly the important ones?
When you are alone in a long-distance relationship, you may assess the situations in your head. Effective communication is essential, otherwise, you will be deciding what is possible and what isn’t before you even talk to your partner. Instead, try this:
- 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 essential to your partner.
- Finally, look at all your notes together.
- Together, you can assess what you want and what is possible.
Always make your plans together with your partner after you hear each other out. Approach it objectively, considering your feelings, but not being driven by emotions.
Imagine you are trying to help another couple in the same situation. You will see the difference it makes.
Finally, make a timeline. A timeline can bring a date to your relationship goals and plans. With many uncertainties in a long-distance relationship, a timeline can reassure you that your relationship is headed in the right direction.
Tip 5 – Agree on how often you speak with your long-distance partner
It is equally important to agree with your partner about how often you call each other. You may wish to speak ten times a day, while your partner may feel that three 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.
Agree on when is the best time for you to call each other and how often
Tip 6 – Agree on how often you will visit your long-distance partner
Ideally, you would be able to visit your long-distance relationship partner as often as you’d like. Regular visits allow you to maintain physical connection and have a healthy romantic relationship even if you are spending some time apart.
However, many couples don’t have the time, money or opportunity to visit each other often enough. This leads to sexual frustration, lack of physical intimacy, and after a while, your relationship may start falling apart.
Physical touch is a basic human need that is very important to us. However, the degree of importance varies from person to person. Physical intimacy gives the reassurance that you are connected.
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 feel distant from your partner if you don’t get to touch them for more than a week. Try this activity to get started:
- Recognise the importance of physical intimacy for yourself and your partner.
- 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 – Make a plan for managing your long-distance relationship 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.
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 is not enough. It is a first step to turning your long-distance relationship into survival.
On the other hand, if you see the waiting as every day is less time to see your partner, then you can feel excited about it.
Use the time apart to achieve your personal goals.
It has a double benefit. First, you will be on track with your personal development. Second, by sharing your plan and keeping your partner up to date with your progress, your partner will be part of it.
If you are serious about making your long-distance relationship work and want a more hands on approach, this workbook is what you need:
Long-distance relationships are great when you start your relationship online or to maintain a connection with your current partner.
If you don’t have specific goals for your long-distance relationship, you may end up in a perpetual struggle without seeing a way out.
Long-distance relationships have many problems. But if you know what they are, you can prepare for them. You can fix many problems with long-distance relationships through trust and effective communication.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do long-distance relationships work?
Long-distance relationships work for people who meet online and want to get to know each other better. They also work for couples who are relocating and have to be apart for some time. In any case, it’s better if you can make it a short phase in your relationship.
How to make online long-distance relationships work?
To make a long-distance relationship work online, you need to have clear, open, and honest communication. It’s only possible if you work on improving your communication. You also need a clear plan on how to manage your relationship long-distance and a strategy to fix problems when they come around.
How to make long-distance relationships work in college?
Long-distance relationships can be hard to maintain while in college. You can try to make it work, but more often than not, it will keep you away from enjoying your college life.
How to make a long term long-distance relationship work?
Long-distance relationships aren’t meant to last for a long time. A romantic relationship implies physical intimacy. In a long-distance relationship, you only see your partner once every few weeks or once a month. Lack of physical intimacy can lead to sexual frustration and negatively impact your relationship and your overall well-being.
How to make your long-distance relationship work again?
If you already had a long-distance relationship that didn’t work, stop and ask yourself why. Sometimes, emotions take over, and it’s hard to say this situation for what it is. Having some time away from a relationship will allow you to see it from a different perspective. Once you can identify what didn’t work in your previous long-distance relationship, you can learn from it and do better next time.
How long can your romantic relationship last without physical intimacy?
Every person has a different need for sexual intimacy. If you are in a long-distance relationship, you may need physical intimacy more than your long-distance partner. In this case, it will be harder for you to cope with being away from them for a long time. The healthy way to deal with it is to talk about your feelings and needs with your partner. Together, you can find a way forward that works for both of you.
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