Having a long-distance relationship without a plan and specific goals, it’s like going on a trip without the destination.
Here’s how you can set your goals and make a plan for your long-distance relationship:
- Setting personal goals.
- Talking to your partner about your personal goals.
- Setting relationship goals with your partner.
- Making a plan to achieve your goals while having a healthy long-distance relationship.
To have a successful long-distance relationship, you have to know how to navigate through different stages. To do that you need to have specific goals for your long-distance relationship and have a plan on how you’re going to achieve them.
Many couples don’t have a plan, and they treat their long-distance relationship as a typical relationship. Being in a romantic long-distance relationship can work for a short while, but it’s not going to work long term.
To make your long-distance relationship work, first, you should know what it is and how long it can last.
What Is a Long-Distance Relationship?
A long-distance relationship is a romantic relationship where a couple is temporarily separated by geographical distance. Romantic relationships need physical closeness. Without physical intimacy, the romantic relationship becomes a friendship. This is the reason why long-distance relationships aren’t meant to be long-term.
Couples in long-distance relationships can maintain an emotional connection through clear and effective communication via online means. But online communication is limited to verbal and written interaction. Without seeing your partner face-to-face and having them in front of you, it’s harder to navigate your relationship. It’s more difficult to note more subtle changes in your partner’s behaviour.
A lot of everyday communication happens through body language. In a long-distance relationship, you can’t see the body language of your partner, so you don’t get as much feedback about how they respond to you. Without this feedback, it’s hard to judge the state of your relationship and almost impossible to guess what they might be feeling.
Understanding is the very foundation of a healthy relationship. To reach a high degree of understanding in a long-distance relationship, you have to say everything you think and feel. You also have to check with your partner that they understood what you said in the way you intended.
Because of this different way of communication, long-distance relationships have a lot of misunderstandings and end up in unnecessary arguments. The longer your long-distance relationship lasts, the more chance these misunderstandings may fester and poison your relationship.
Doubts and insecurities are also widespread in a long-distance relationship and after some time can become an issue that can make your relationship toxic. At that point, you can either find a way to fix your issues, or you may have to end your relationship altogether.
To navigate your relationship and keep track of your issues as they arise, you should have a plan to manage it. Having specific goals can give you the reassurance you need to maintain a healthy long-distance relationship.
Setting Goals For a Long-Distance Relationship
Setting goals for your long-distance relationship is an important part if you want to make it healthy and successful. Long-distance relationships tend to be full of doubts and have a lot of unknowns. Your feelings change all the time, and your circumstances may change as well.
Having a specific goal that both of you agree on can remind you of why you are going through a long-distance relationship period. In times of doubt, you can revisit your goals and decide if they are still important for you or have changed.
To set specific goals for your long-distance relationship you should:
- Know your personal goals.
- Your relationship goals.
- Have a plan for the time you will be a part.
Let’s have a look at each one of them in more detail.
Setting Personal Goals in a Long-Distance Relationship
Before you set relationship goals as a couple, you need to be very clear on your personal goals. When you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to lose yourself to the relationship and forget what’s important for you personally.
Both you and your partner are individuals. Each of you has your own values, beliefs and preferences. Always remember what’s important for you so that you can take care of yourself. When both partners can take care of themselves, only then they can create a successful relationship.
Some people look for relationships expecting their partner to fulfil their needs in ways that they should fulfil themselves. This creates an inherent expectation from your partner to fulfil your needs. Expectations create pressure, and pressure creates tension. Tension strains the relationship and gets in the way of harmony.
Throughout your life, you will have people who come and go, including your family. The only person that will always be there it’s you. When you know how to look after yourself, you can look after the person you’re with. The same goes for your partner. If one of you can’t or doesn’t know how to look after themselves, this job falls on the person you’re with.
A healthy and happy relationship is when you share your joy for life with your partner, rather than expecting them to bring joy into your life.
To create a successful relationship with others, first of all, you need to create one with yourself.
The better you know yourself the clearer you can express your likes and dislikes to your partner. Instead of leaving them guessing how you feel and what you want.
Clear communication helps you have a better understanding of your relationship. This leaves less room for misunderstandings and arguments. It also frees up time and energy to enjoy your relationship instead of seeing it as a burden.
Setting Common Goals as a Couple in a Long-Distance Relationship
Once you’re clear on your personal goals and your partner is clear on theirs, you can discuss your thoughts and feelings about your relationship.
Clear and effective communication will make it a lot easier to discuss different aspects of your relationship. In a long-distance relationship, clear communication is even more important.
When you are starting a long-distance relationship you should discuss how long it will last and how often you can visit each other. These are the most fundamental goals you should have in the long-distance relationship if you are to make it successful.
There are seven stages of a long-distance relationship. Having a timeline can help you navigate through those stages. Having goals can keep you on the right track. Having a plan can reassure you that you know what’s going on in your relationship.
When you’re away you should have weekly recap sessions. During the sessions, you can discuss your thoughts and feelings to see if anything has changed in your circumstances. Feelings and circumstances change all the time, so it’s important that you share these changes with each other to see how they affect your long-distance relationship.
If you need help setting goals for your long-distance relationship, give this workbook a go:
Do You Need a Plan for Your Long-Distance Relationship?
Many couples don’t have a plan for their long-distance relationship. When you don’t have a plan, the inevitable doubt about your long-distance relationship can throw you off course. If this happens, it can jeopardise your whole relationship.
You may love each other very much and have all the intentions of staying together. But when something goes wrong in a long-distance relationship, small things can very quickly become big issues. Having a plan and clear communication can help you deal with issues before they become problems.
How to Plan a Long-Distance Relationship
When you make a plan for your long-distance relationship, you should focus on two main problems that can make your long-distance relationship hard: lack of physical intimacy and different ways of communicating.
Here’s how to make a long-distance relationship plan:
- Prepare for a long-distance relationship by learning what it is and what are the common problems.
- Address the issue of physical intimacy.
- Recognise that you will have to maintain an emotional connection through effective communication.
- Agree on the means and frequency of your communication.
- Write down your plan.
- Make notes about things you would like to bring up during your online conversations and during your visits.
- Set clear goals for your long-distance relationship and make a timeline for these goals.
Here are some questions that will help to get you started making a plan:
- Why are you in a long-distance relationship?
- How long is your long-distance relationship going to last?
- How often would you like to see each other?
- How often will you be able to see each other?
- What are your preferred means of communication?
- How much time are you going to spend talking to each other between your visits?
- How will you bring up things that bother you?
- How will you resolve issues as they arise?
Here’s a workbook to help you and your partner make a concrete plan for your relationship:
Long-Distance Relationship End Date
As we discussed earlier, a romantic long-distance relationship shouldn’t last for too long. That’s why one of your primary goals is to set a date to move in together. Once you know when you are expecting to be together, you can make a realistic plan to get you there.
While it’s important to have an end date for your long-distance relationship, it’s equally important to maintain your long-distance relationship healthy.
Long-distance relationships have their challenges. It’s nothing that you can’t handle with the right approach and a bit of planning.
But things don’t always go according to plan. As you progress through your long-distance relationship, your feelings and circumstances can change. If that happens, you should discuss them with your partner right away.
If you find that your long does distance relationship isn’t working you should try to fix the issues that cause the problem. But if you’re not able to fix these issues, then it could be better to end your long-distance relationship before it becomes toxic.
Long-distance relationships can be a lot of fun. They are a great way to meet new people and maintain a relationship with your existing partner if you have to be away for some time.
Like any relationship, a long-distance relationship has its challenges. Because of the nature of being physically away from your romantic partner, you can expect to feel emotional pressure, doubts, and sexual frustration.
Small issues that go unsaid can quickly grow into bigger problems which can destroy your relationship. If your relationship ends because it has run its course, that’s okay. But it’s a shame having to let go of someone you love and want to be with because of the lack of planning.
Spending a bit of time setting goals and planning your long-distance relationship can make the difference between a sucessful and happy relationship or losing one.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is it important to have a plan in a long-distance relationship?
It’s important to have a plan if you want a successful long-distance relationship. A good plan will help you navigate your long-distance relationship and reassure you that it’s going in the right direction.
Does having a plan makes a difference in a long-distance relationship?
A plan in a long-distance relationship can make the difference between you staying together to make it work or break up and lose the person you love.
What goals should I have for a long-distance relationship?
Setting goals for your long-distance relationship depends on the type of relationship you want to have with this person. If you want a serious relationship, you should have a plan and a moving in date. If you want a casual relationship, you can take it easy and enjoy it while it lasts.
How to set long-distance relationship goals?
To set long-distance relationship goals you need to know what do you personally want from this long-distance relationship and what common goals do you have as a couple.
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