Being in a relationship, particularly a new or developing one, should be a happy time. Getting to know each other and spending time together is exciting and is what many of us describe as the ‘honeymoon period’ of a blossoming romance. However a relationship separated by a long distance can be very frustrating and challenging. It can be hard to feel that your relationship is progressing forwards when you rarely see each other. Long distance can be a big test of your commitment to one another but it is possible to develop a strong and happy bond together despite this if you take the right approach. Following a few simple steps may help to develop your relationship with each other.
Organize a Communication Plan
The key to developing a successful long distance relationship is to focus on your communication with each other; you might not be able to see each other on a daily basis but you can still talk regularly. Contacting your partner every day or every other day is a great way to ensure that you remain close and this will encourage you to share the more ‘mundane’ things. Talking to each other will help you keep up to date with each other’s news and help you to remain a constant part of your partner’s day to day life – you don’t want to feel like you’re filling them in on your week’s events each time you speak.
Take some time to organize a communication plan that you both are happy with; you may prefer to call every evening or have a video chat three days a week so that you can see each other – whatever works for you. It is important to ensure that you are both happy and able to commit to communicating; if you are uncomfortable with your routine, negativity will start to eat into your relationship. Consider each other’s hobbies and work commitments to make sure that you have enough time to talk. Developing a strong routine will help to break down that feeling of being far removed from one another.
Be Open With Each Other
As with all relationships it is important to be honest with each other about how you feel. Biting your tongue about lack of contact from your partner may help to avoid an awkward conversation but can develop into a bad habit that impacts on your relationship. If you are feeling unhappy or feel that things could be improved, share your thoughts with your other half; they may be thinking the same thing or they might just need that little bit of extra impetus to put in the effort.
Be Open With Other People
Long distance relationships can be very tiring and frustrating; there may be days when you feel more unhappy about being apart than others. It is important to share your feelings with your partner but you may also find it helpful to talk to other people; friends or family members removed from the relationship may be able to offer you advice and support. It can also be beneficial to discuss your feelings with other couples who have experienced long distance as well; they might be able to give you fresh ideas on how to improve your situation or survive the time apart.
It can be very easy for other people to dismiss a long distance relationship as unsuccessful or a waste of time; it would not be everyone’s choice to enter into a long distance relationship, especially from the word go. However it is important to remember that every relationship is different. Many long distance relationships are successful and those in them are happy together. Take any criticism you receive with a pinch of salt and focus on each other – your happiness is all that matters in this situation.
Arrange to Do Things Together
Just because you are not together doesn’t mean that you cannot do things together. Take the opportunity to shake up the normal routine by playing a game online together, or watching the same film. You may even add a little romance to your relationship by eating at the same time and having an ‘online date’. Breaking your normal communication habits can add more excitement to your relationship and a positive side to being apart – it’s a chance to be creative!
Add a Little Romance
Romantic touches to a relationship can often feel easier when you are together. However it is still sweet to remind your partner that you care. You could send them flowers as a surprise, post a letter as a treat or email them a song that reminds you of them. Little treats like this will help to brighten your partner’s day and bring back that romantic side to your relationship that can often be lost in the distance between you.
Plan Visits Often
Arrange to see each other and spend time together; whether it’s every weekend, once a month or once a year, it is important to arrange time to spend together. It might be a visit to each other’s homes, a holiday together and meeting somewhere new for a day out. Arranging time together will give you something to look forwards to, particularly on days when the distance between you feels particularly large. It will also ensure that you spend valuable time in each other’s company and remind yourselves why you are committed to your long distance relationship.
Look on the Bright Side
Some days it may be difficult to feel happy or content in your relationship, but try to take the time to think of all the good things in your relationship: each other, your past experiences, your strong trust you’ve developed and the plans that you have made. Progress in a relationship can feel slow over a long distance, but being thankful for what you have together is important.
Most importantly you need to look ahead and form plans with your partner for the future. You don’t want this to be a permanent state for your relationship, so discuss how you’re going to progress your relationship in future and where you’re going to go. As long as you have a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ it will make the tough times much easier to bear.