A healthy long-distance relationship positively contributes to your life and well being. But it takes awareness and effort to make your relationship healthy.
Long-distance relationships are healthy, exciting and fun. You get to have a romantic partner as well as having a lot of time and personal space for yourself. You can maintain a healthy relationship by learning how the distance affects your relationship and improving your communication to stay connected.
In a healthy long-distance relationship, you trust your partner and can openly share your thoughts and feelings. A healthy relationship brings you joy and fulfilment, even when you are apart from your romantic partner.
A long-distance relationship allows you to stay connected with your partner while leaving you plenty of time to do the things that are important to you.
Today, you’ll learn how to create a healthy long-distance relationship and avoid the pitfalls of a toxic one. We’ll answer various questions, including:
- What is a healthy long-distance relationship?
- What does it take to make your long-distance relationship healthy?
- How can you handle a toxic long-distance relationship?
So what does a healthy long-distance relationship look like?
What is a healthy long-distance relationship?
A long-distance relationship is a romantic relationship when you are physically apart from your partner for prolonged periods.
Many couples considered a long-distance relationship successful if it lasts a long time. But just because a relationship lasts a long time, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
To maintain a healthy long-distance relationship you need to have specific goals, a plan and a timeline. If you are serious about your relationship, you should visit each other regularly and set a specific date for moving in.
A healthy long-distance relationship doesn’t mean that you don’t have doubts, disagreements or misunderstandings.
What it means, it that you are able to express yourself clearly and be willing to hear your partner’s point of view. And in doing so, you can resolve your issues.
Signs of a healthy long-distance relationship
- You trust each other.
- You can openly express your thoughts, feelings, doubts and concerns without the fear of being judged.
- You are willing to hear each other out.
- You talk to your partner enough to share interesting things but not so much that your conversations become boring.
- You visit each other regularly and can maintain physical closeness.
- You can maintain emotional intimacy through trust and effective communication.
- You can handle disagreements and resolve conflicts without unnecessary arguments, fights or silent treatments.
- You make the most out of your time apart by pursuing your dreams, goals and ambitions.
- You have a goal set for your relationship, a plan and a timeline.
Starting a healthy long-distance relationship
When you start a healthy long-distance relationship, you should know how long it’ll last and have a plan to be together. In the beginning, you never know how it’ll work out. Give yourself a couple of months to get to know each other and if you get on well, meet to see how it feels to be together.
When your long-distance relationship is healthy, you feel healthy.
In reality, it can manifest as being happy and fulfilled on your own as well as sharing your happiness with your partner.
Now and then it is good to take some time to reevaluate your relationship, you may find that you have many things for which you can be grateful. You may discover some aspects of your relationship that you should fix.
Answer these questions to see if you are in a healthy relationship:
- Are you more often happy and satisfied, or are you more miserable and disappointed?
- Do you share the same or similar values and beliefs that your partner?
- Do you have enough personal space for your passions and interests, or does it get in the way of what’s important to you?
- Do you have an understanding, or are you confused most of the time during your conversations?
- Are you working towards similar goals, or do you have different life ambitions?
- Does your relationship contributes to your personal development, or do you feel stuck in a relationship that is going nowhere?
- Do you fun things together with your partner, or do you feel bored in your relationship?
Having a healthy long-distance relationship
Having a healthy long-distance relationship can be challenging but not impossible. Effective communication is the key to a healthy long-distance relationship. Through effective communication, you can:
- Reach understanding
- Maintain trust
- Work on your relationship
- Manage your personal space
A healthy long-distance relationship needs a delicate balance of personal space and connection with your partner. You and your partner are individuals, and personal development should be on your list of things to do in a long-distance relationship. Personal development requires time, which you have in abundance when you are away from your partner.
Through effective communication, you work on your relationship and manage your personal space. A healthy long-distance relationship needs trust and understanding.
Distance affects the way you communicate with most of your communication being online. To maintain an emotional connection, you need to have effective communication, which allows you to express your thoughts and feelings and hear your partner’s point of view.
Many couples fall into the trap of talking too much. Excessive communication doesn’t leave room for personal space, leads to boring conversations and takes the time you would spend doing something fun with your family, friends or by yourself.
A healthy long-distance relationship has two parts: one part is maintaining a connection with your partner through effective communication. Another aspect is making the most out of your time apart.
You need your personal space to live your life and do things that are important for you.
In a long-distance relationship, even though you are physically apart, you should still consider personal space. A healthy long-distance relationship is an opportunity to make the most out of your time apart to work on your personal growth and development.
Effective communication is when both of you can express any thoughts, concerns, and ideas. You know that your partner is going to hear you out, take time to understand you and your point of view.
How to make a long-distance relationship healthy?
To make a long-distance relationship healthy, one thing you can do is to avoid the distance lasting a long time. While you can maintain a healthy long-distance relationship with effective communication, the longer it lasts, the harder it gets.
Long-distance relationship couples tend to compensate for the lack of physical closeness with talking, texting, and video calling. It leads to talking too much about nothing that matters.
Allowing each other personal space is just as important as talking.
To have a healthy relationship, you need:
- To have your personal space and give some to your partner.
- Develop effective communication.
- Talk enough, don’t talk too much.
- Talk about interesting things and avoid boring conversations.
- Express your thoughts and hear your partner.
- Maintain emotional connection.
- Have fun together as a couple and make the most out of your time apart.
- Visit each other frequently.
Unhealthy and toxic long-distance relationship
In a long-distance relationship you should expect to have misunderstandings. However, when this happens regularly, the whole relationship becomes toxic, and it just isn’t healthy for anyone.
You know your long-distance relationship is unhealthy when it becomes a struggle that brings you more sorrow than happiness. Some couples try to stay together even when their long-distance relationship doesn’t work.
Trying to survive a long-distance relationship can be a sign of commitment. But is it worth committing to an unhealthy long-distance relationship that’s toxic to your personal life?
Here are few signs of a toxic long-distance relationship:
- It lasts a long time, and you don’t have a plan to be together.
- Too much or not enough communication.
- Feeling sad and frustrated more often than happy and fulfilled.
- Feeling jealous and insecure for no reason.
- Wanting to be with other people but feeling forced to stay in this relationship.
- Compromising your personal life and spending this time with your partner because of guilt.
If your relationship doesn’t work and you are choosing to keep it going, ask yourself: What is keeping you in a relationship that is toxic and unhealthy?
How to fix a toxic long-distance relationship?
To fix a toxic long-distance relationship, both you and your partner need to have the willingness to do so.
It’s easy to get confused and misunderstand each other in a long-distance relationship. And while a misunderstanding can destroy your relationship, there’s a good chance that you can work it out.
Sometimes a relationship is full of negative emotions that developed over a long time. Strong emotions can often cloud your judgment, making it challenging to recognise the real cause of your relationship problems. On such occasions, a relationship coach can give you guidance and an unbiased opinion on your situation. Click here to ask a coach about your long-distance relationship.
Suppose your long-distance relationship has become toxic because your feelings change or you’ve had enough. In that case, taking a break could be a way forward.
The difference between a healthy relationship and a toxic one depends on:
- Your ability to express yourself
- Hear your partner’s point of view
- Maintain an emotional connection with your partner
- Handle disagreements the right way.
Disagreements are inevitable because every person has their preferences.
You can never expect that two people in a relationship will have the same preferences all the time; it just doesn’t happen. The difference between having a fight and resolving a disagreement depends on your ability to handle conflicts.
You can fix most problems when you and your partner are willing to hear each other’s point of view and work out your issues together.
How to end a toxic long-distance relationship?
Ending a toxic long-distance relationship is quite simple, but it’s not easy.
It’s simple because you are already physically separated and in your mind you know it is best for both of you. But emotionally, it’s not an easy thing to do.
Most relationships deteriorate slowly over time. So it can be hard to pinpoint the exact moment that tells you it’s time to break up. If you are choosing to stay in a toxic relationship, it comes down to how much suffering are you willing to tolerate.
Partners in a dysfunctional and unhealthy relationship tend to compromise and suppress their feelings or they may lash out at every opportunity.
Seemingly small compromises accumulate over time and poison the relationship. Before you know it, the joy of being in a relationship turns into a struggle.
Should you find yourself unhappy in your long-distance relationship, take the time to explore what’s working and what isn’t.
If you feel that the only way forward is to end your long-distance relationship, do so, but not before you talk to your partner.
As long as you are in a relationship, you ought to respect yourself and the person you are with.
The last thing you want to do is to end your relationship and inform your partner afterwards.
Breakups are hard for everyone involved. Still, you should find a way to do it with dignity and understanding.
I hope this article gave you an insight into what a healthy long-distance relationship should be like. All relationships have problems, but in a healthy relationship, partners know how to handle them.
Maintaining a healthy long-distance relationship relies on keeping a balance between emotional connection and making the most out of your time apart.
A healthy long-distance relationship should contribute to your overall state of health. For example, overeating could be a sign of emotional distress, and it could be linked to your relationship.
To maintain an emotional connection with your partner, you need to have effective communication. It means talking about interesting and meaningful things while avoiding excessive communication (i.e. talking too much about nothing).
If you don’t talk enough, you will lose emotional connection, your feelings will fade, and you will drift apart. If you talk too much, your conversations can become tedious, having the risk of your partner not listening to what you say.
If your conversations become regularly dull, you may lose interest in your relationship.
Distance will test your trust and change how you communicate. If your current relationship is strong and healthy, the distance shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
However, if your relationship already has some problems, the long-distance will accentuate them. Here’s an article on common problems in a long-distance relationship.
Encountering these problems will test your relationship. If you can work out your issues, your relationship will be stronger, but if not, your relationship may break up.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are long-distance relationships healthy?
Long-distance relationships are healthy, fun and exciting. One of the benefits is that you have extra time for yourself when you are apart. The trick is to make the most out of this time for your personal growth while staying connected with your long-distance partner.
How to build a healthy long-distance relationship?
To build a strong and healthy long-distance relationship, you need:
To set specific goals.
Make a clear plan
Create a timeline
How to maintain a healthy long-distance relationship?
To maintain a healthy long-distance relationship, you need effective communication. Having effective communication can help you build trust and understanding throughout your relationship. You should keep an emotional connection with your partner and continue with your personal development.
Are long-distance relationships unhealthy?
Long-distance relationships become unhealthy when they last a long-time. If you have the means to visit each other regularly, it is not so much of a problem. However, many long-distance couples don’t have the opportunity, money or time to do so. When you can’t visit each other as much as you like, a lack of physical intimacy can become an issue.
How to fix a toxic long-distance relationship?
To fix a toxic long-distance relationship, you and your partner need to be willing to hear each other out. Once you can see each other’s point of view, you can find the actual cause of your issues. With effective communication, you can work out your differences and find a way forward.
How to end a toxic long-distance relationship?
When long-distance relationships don’t work, it When long-distance relationships don’t work, it might be better to end it. It’s common that when long-distance relationships last a long time, your feelings may fade and you can drift apart. Before you make any final decisions, talk to your partner, express your concerns, and make a decision together.
Where are you on this health scale of long-distance relationships?
Having a healthy long-distance relationship
Making a long-distance relationship work
Survive a long-distance relationship
Failing long-distance relationship
Ending a long-distance relationship
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