How to make a long distance relationship work

Long distance love and relationship can become one of the most difficult and complicated experiences if it fails to find the right formula to cope. The kilometers become the worst enemy of a multitude of couples in all parts of the world.  But, what many don’t know is that distance love is possible and can help us to realize if the person who is on our side is indicated, or not.

Sometimes meeting another person in the distance allows us to enjoy aspects of the relationship that we would not value so much if we had it more often on our side. As bad as separated lovers may be, distance helps to build confidence. To enjoy long conversations over the phone, and help increase wit, the desire to surprise the other person the moment you meet again.

Since we cannot make the kilometers between the two disappear, why don’t we try to find solutions that make the relationship more bearable?

How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work 1. Trust. Undoubtedly, this is the primary aspect of a relationship at a distance. You have to trust your partner fully and don’t hesitate to speak for two reasons. The first of them is that you will go crazy if you continuously think that your partner deceives you. Or that haven’t told you the whole truth. Because you cannot be there to verify with your own eyes what he has said. And the second is that as a result of these mistrust, a problem of jealousy may arise, which, if aggravated, will undoubtedly end the relationship.

2. Space. It seems silly, but even though many kilometers are separating you, it is fundamental that each of you has his personal space. This means that you have to let your boy/girl to enjoy his leisure moments without bothering him/her. That is to say, if you spend three days without talking to him/her because he has gone on a trip with his group of friends, nothing happens. Don’t bother your partner with calls or messages and, above all, don’t reproach him that he is ‘passing from you.’ Everyone needs those moments of total disconnection.

Further Reading: Long Distance Relationship Quotes

make a long distance relationship work 3. Communication. Communication is a fundamental aspect of any relationship. They say that if a couple doesn’t work in bed, their relationship will not go very far. However, this equation cannot be applied to distance relationships, where meetings are very scarce.

For this reason, daily communication is fundamental. Currently, new technologies make it very easy. Those days of looking at the mailbox and waiting for the letter of your boy/girl are distant past. Now you can talk to him/her every moment. And you can even see each other through the computer screen.

4. Sacrifice. A relationship at a distance involves many more sacrifices than any other type of relationships. From the fact of modifying your habits or ‘spending’ vacations to spend a few days together to reduce the time of another activity to maintain a long daily conversation. Everything is little to make physical distance more bearable. You have to be very clear that if you want your engagement to go windy, you will have to be willing to sacrifice yourself for love.

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How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work 5. Looking to the future. A fundamental point at the same time as very dangerous is talking about the future. When you consolidate a distance relationship, obviously, there has to be a point where you can meet in the same city and even live under the same roof. It is necessary that you maintain long and important conversations. For example, about which of you two leaves his city, his family and his friends to begin a new life as a couple.

It is a very tough and very risky decision. But, if your love is true, you will come to an agreement. The employment possibilities of one or the other is an aspect to be taken into account in making the decision. And you will go forward. From there to forming a family, there is only one step. Of course, without stress. If it has to happen, it will arrive when you least expect it.

Introduction

how to make a long distance relationship workCouples in long distance relationships may actually be closer than other couples.

Now, before I dive into helping you know how to make a long distance relationship work, let me share some interesting information from a new study.

According to research from the Journal of Communication, couples in long distance relationships have more meaningful interactions than those who see each other on a daily basis, and this can lead to higher levels of intimacy.

Who would’ve thought that being in a long distance relationship might actually be better for a couple?

Basically, the study implies that in order to keep the romance alive (a challenge with so much distance between the two of you), couples may communicate more frequently. Their communications may delver into deeper issues, like what you want in the future, the importance of trust in relationships, et cetera. You won’t waste time on those little frivolous conversations, like hey, did you pick up the dry cleaning?

This study’s actually been really eye-opening for me because I’ve always been a little negative when it comes to long-distance relationships, and I have to admit, this study showed me that there are real benefits to being apart.

But don’t let this fool you. Just because there may be a heightened sense of intimacy in the relationship because you are discussing those more intimate and deep topics, there are also some major downfalls when it comes to long distance relationships.

One drawback worth mentioning is when you seem to idolize your partner. You don’t really acknowledge that he’s human. You only see his most positive traits because you’re not seeing him every single day. It’s hard to consider his flaws when you maybe only see each other every other weekend…or even less frequently.

So if that’s an issue in your long-distance relationship, make sure you take your boyfriend off of that pedestal. He is human, and he does have flaws.

It can also take you longer to really get to know your partner. We feed off of one another’s energy when we’re together in person, and it’s those million little conversations (many seemingly unimportant) that add up to getting to know someone and bond with them.

Whether you’re in a long distance relationship right now, you’re starting a long distance relationship, or you’re simply curious in case you end up in a long distance relationship one day, take note of these tips because they could make the difference between this relationship working and totally bombing. In this article, we’re going to look at the following tips for how to make a long distance relationship work:

  1. Get a plan for the future
  2. Focus on quality, not quantity
  3. Set clear expectations
  4. When you see each other, go easy on the activities
  5. Surprise him
  6. Get a life
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How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 1: Get a Road Map for the Future

couple with mapYou need a map to figure out your destination in this relationship.

I encourage you to talk to your boyfriend to develop some sort of plan on how and when you will live together other or at least live closer to each other in the future.

I mean, if there’s no plan to eventually be together, what’s the point? Are you just going to be in this long distance relationship forever?

I don’t think so.

I can’t tell you how many women who are in my Sexy Confidence Club program have been in long distance relationships that are absolutely doomed to fail. For example, if he’s stationed in Japan and plans to be in the military for the next 20 years, and you have your tenure as a professor at Middlebury College, then there is absolutely no way that you are going to be together in the future, right?

He lives so far away, and you don’t plan on leaving your job, so why even engage in the relationship? I’m sorry, but you may feel something really strongly for this person, but unless there’s some type of path toward being together in the future, it is really not worth investing your emotional energy into this person.

And I know that that’s an extreme scenario, but I can’t tell you how many people I talk to who are in love with someone but they’re so far away from one another and there’s no way that they’re ever going to be together in the future. So if that happens to you or if you’re in a situation like that right now, be realistic about what’s actually going on.

Be real about the logistics of your relationship, because if you continue to lie to yourself and think, oh, we’ll just address that later, you’re going to waste so many precious years of your life hoping that something’s going to change when it’s just not. As hard as it will be, let this relationship go before it hurts even more.

How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 2: Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

woman textingMake him miss you. Don’t text him throughout the day!

I think most people really get this wrong when it comes to figuring out how to make a long distance relationship work because they think that constant contact is the best way to maintain the relationship.

Every day after you finish your lunch, you text your guy.

You get home from work, you text your guy.

You get home that night, you FaceTime for four hours.

Most people think that talking constantly to one another (text, call, video chat) is the best way to maintain the relationship. But I don’t believe that relationships are formed through constant texting or even FaceTiming. I believe that it’s all about the quality of those interactions that really matter.

I think it’s more important to send a few strategic texts throughout the day that really make him smile, rather than sending 25 texts throughout the day that just interrupts him from what he’s doing. And I’m sure you’d feel the same way about the texts you get from him.

So I would say that it’s better to wait throughout the day, let the tension build up, and have that time at the end of the night, maybe before going to bed, where you can really have that quality time to bond. You’re focusing on one another, not distracted, and you’ll find you can share intimacy better than when you’re overcommunicating. Plus, you’ll actually have something to talk about!

How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 3: Set Clear Expectations

couple discussingMake sure he understands what you expect of him.

Don’t assume that your partner knows what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate in the relationship. It never ever hurts to clearly define expectations for one another.

Now, this is a little bit embarrassing, but I want to share this story with you.

When Jess and I first started dating, we lived about an hour’s drive from one another. We met in Boston (I live in Boston), but she lived an hour or so away. Within the first two or three months of us being exclusive, I remember I went out with a bunch of single guys for a wild night out.

I don’t know what got into us…we were just really amped up and excited. It was one of those nights where we had just a little bit too much to drink. I came home, passed out, and I never called her before falling asleep. Now, for me, having been single for basically two years before this relationship, I wasn’t used to someone expecting me to call.

But of course,  putting myself in Jessica’s shoes, this was clearly not cool. Needless to say, the next day, we had a very important conversation. And she used some wording that was really effective that has stuck with me, and I want to share with you today.

She didn’t yell at me. She didn’t accuse me of anything. She didn’t get irrational in the conversation.

She just simply told me, look, now that you’re in a relationship, Adam, it’s just not appropriate for you to go out with your single buddies for six hours and then just pass out and not call me at the end of the night.

Now, of course, I go out with my friends, but I don’t get too crazy, and at the end of the night, I make sure I call her before bed.

Jeez, I should know this stuff, right? I’m a dating and relationship coach, but it took my girlfriend to get me to see that I wasn’t acting in a manner that was good for the relationship.

Maybe Jess’ words are something you can use in your future relationships or in your relationship right now. Because setting expectations of what is appropriate and what’s not appropriate is really going to save you a lot of headaches in the future. You want to make sure he knows exactly what you expect of him, whether that’s:

  • Him calling you every night or at least texting if he’s out
  • Not going out with other women (friends or otherwise)
  • Not making plans on certain nights that you usually have your weekly catch-up FaceTime session
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How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 4: When You See Each Other Go Easy On The Activities

netflix and chillHave some downtime together to bond.

I think this is so important when it comes to long-distance relationships: when you visit each other, try not to pack it full of a lot of activities and doing stuff. Learn how to just be with each other, and have as normal a day as possible with one another.

I’ve seen this time and time again with a lot of long distance relationships: people will go from not seeing each other for a couple weeks or even a month, then they have this weekend together that’s amazing. They are constantly doing exciting activities when they’re together: going out, sightseeing, visiting museums.

But once they actually move in with each other or spend more time with each other post-LDR, life naturally just gets boring and then they think that there’s something wrong with the relationship. But the reality is…and I hate to say it: relationships kind of get boring sometimes, especially if your day to day life is pretty much the same.

And that’s perfectly okay.

What you don’t want to do is have this expectation that your relationship is going to be the same as it was on these crazy weekend getaways. That’s not reality. It’s a vacation. And we all know that life on a vacation is far from our normal boring existence.

So allow some of those weekends you spend together to just be a little bit boring,  okay? Without so much external excitement happening, you’ll be able to bond with one another and have real quality time together.

And PS: long distance relationships are expensive! It can cost anywhere from $850 a month to several thousand dollars if you’re flying back and forth, eating out, and doing all those expensive activities! You’re better off buying groceries and cooking a meal at home. Not only will you cut down on expenses, but you’ll also see what “normal” life will be like one day. Test run!

How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 5: Surprise Him!

surprised manDo something out of the ordinary to surprise your man.

Long distance relationships can be monotonous. You get used to not seeing each other, and you start to lose that passion and excitement you had at the beginning. The best remedy for this? Surprise your man every once in a while.

You could leave a love note under the pillow for him to find after you leave.

You could mail him a letter.

You could show up when he doesn’t expect you (trench coat and nothing under it optional!).

These are all great ways to keep that long distance relationship working. And he’ll feel so special, knowing how much you love him. He may even reciprocate with his own surprises!

How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 6: Get a Life

woman manicureGet out and active so that you aren’t pining for him.

It can be all too easy to make your world center around a man you only see 10% of your time. You may be tempted to cancel plans because you’d rather talk to your boyfriend after work.  You might miss out on serious opportunity to have a robust social life if you let this LDR control you.

If you’re at home while your boyfriend is traveling for work, deployed, or otherwise somewhere that’s not his normal home, he may find the long distance relationship a little easier because he’s not dealing with the normal daily grind that you are. If he’s traveling for work, he’s in an exciting new city and may be going out for dinner and exploring the local culture. Meanwhile, you’re doing laundry and going to Pilates. You miss him terribly and feel that it’s unfair that he doesn’t miss you as much.

So I’m telling you to get out there and get a life! Take advantage of having so much free time that you aren’t spending with your partner. Take up a hobby. Go out with friends. This free time makes it kind of like you’re single, but you have the bonus of knowing that somewhere out there is a man who really loves you.

One day you may look back on the time you spent in this long distance relationship and long for that kind of free time. So enjoy it!

How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work Tip 7: Establish Routines

woman readingRead the same book so you can talk about it together.

The more like a “normal” relationship you can make your LDR, the happier you both will be. That means establishing routines that let you get a sense of rhythm in your relationship.

Maybe you have a standing video chat call every Saturday afternoon, where you talk about everything from evolution to the Kardashians for two hours.

You could eat dinner together on FaceTime once a week.

Maybe you have your own private book club, reading the same book and talking about it when you’re together.

You might establish a schedule where you switch up who visits who each month.

Perhaps you have a little heavy sexting on the weekends.

All of these tips are ways to feel as normal as possible in your relationship and to give you something to look forward to when the days stretch on.

Endurance

One of the myths around long distance relationships is that they are always or more likely to fail than other kinds of relationships.

However, there is actually no evidence to suggest that this is true.

Of course, not all long distance relationships will survive, but they are not any more likely to end in the demise than another kind of relationship.  Still, long distance couples have to make an effort when they want the relationship to last.

For instance, the overwhelming majority of long distance relationships, more than two-thirds end when the couple does not plan for changes in the relationship.  A couple that has been together but finds itself apart at some point will need to make some adjustments in order to make the relationship work.  This does not mean that any relationship that does not plan for the changes is doomed to failure, but it does suggest long distance couples have more work to do.

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While some couples on average think a separation may only last about 14 months, many may end after less than five if the couple feels it will not work.  This could be in part because couples in long distance relationships are more likely to worry about their partners cheating than those in close proximity relationships.

However, there is no evidence to suggest that those in long distance relationships are more likely to cheat than others.

Quick stats

  • 4.5 months – the average time before a long distance relationship breaks down
  • 40 % of all long distance relationships ends with a break-up
  • 70 % of all failed long distance relationships fails due to unplanned changes

Making a Long Distance Relationship Work

On average, most people in long distance relationships tend to be at least 125 miles away from each other.

They tend to visit each other less than twice a month and call each other at least once every three days.

Many couples even still write letters to each other, and on average this can be about three times a month.

relationship

There are also other tactics those in long distance relationships need to take in order to make the relationship work.  For instance, many people tend to cut themselves off from friends and others as they wait for their partners to return.  This is usually a mistake.  Couples in long distance relationships may have a better chance at making it work if they find a way to lead separate lives as well as stay optimistic about each other during separation.

It is also crucial not to avoid unpleasant issues in the relationship when finally reunited.  It is tempting to try to avoid discussing problems in the relationship when long distance couples are together for a short amount of time.  However, it is particularly valuable to see the relationship for what it is and not idealize it in any way.  Setting some ground rules for what can and cannot happen in absence is also vital.

As recommended by Jamie Miller (he sent us an email) couples should purchase hands-free phones. This allows one to do laundry or daily treadmill runs or other chores while talking to their partner simultaneously (this is called “parallel communication” in the research world). This can change the whole feel of a telephone call and produce much greater intimacy in the long run.

Furthermore, keeping sexual intimacy alive is just as vital.  While this may seem implausible from a long distance, there are ways work on having sexual intimacy while couples are separated such as writing erotic letters.  It may be much easier for those who have webcams or other means of “seeing” each other to act out erotic fantasies or come up with creative ways of staying intimate no matter how far away they are from each other.

Quick stats

  • 125 miles – the average distance in a long distance relationships
  • 1.5 times – the average number of times couples visited each other (per month)
  • 3 letters – the average number of letters couples write each other (per month)
  • 2.7 days – the average number of days between couples calling each other
  • 14 month – the average number of months before couples expect to move back together

Research, statistics and figures in courtesy of Dr. Guldner at The Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, a division of JF Milne Publications. After reading this article about long distance relationship statistics, should you have any comments please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail, click here.

1. Set a date night.

11 Ways To Make Long Distance Relationships Suck Less | Stay At Home Mum

via www.colourbox.com

Sure, you can’t go out for dinner together or see a movie in a cinema together, but you can still enjoy date night through Skype or Facebook Video. Skype makes it easy to spend time together and it is free! So cook up a meal and set a time to Skype while you eat. You can enjoy conversation, good food and a glass of wine with your loved one, even if he is on the other side of the world. This can work with a number of activities. While it may seem a little odd cozying up to your computer and watching a movie through Skype, it can work.

2. Keep the lines of communication open.

11 Ways To Make Long Distance Relationships Suck Less | Stay At Home Mum

Before your partner is due to leave, make sure you have a good phone plan in place that allows for cheap texts and phone calls. Aim to send a text message at least twice a day (good night and good morning) even if you have nothing new to report. It’s always nice to hear from your loved one. Keep each other up to date on all the happenings, how the kids are doing in school, your latest phone bill, sounds mundane but it is the little things that will make your partner feel like he’s ‘in the loop’ whilst he is away.

Another nice idea (if possible) is to mail your partner small mementos. Whether it be a hand-written letter, a photo or some of the kids’ art – having a bit of home will help ease the heartache. It’s also great for the kids to get involved – they will miss Dad too!

3. Join a Facebook group with other mums in the same boat.

11 Ways To Make Long Distance Relationships Suck Less | Stay At Home Mumvia hoogi.com.au

No one understands what it is like for a loved one to work away – except other mums or dads in the same boat as you! Find a local group for Fly In Fly Out Mums or similar – somewhere where you can vent when times are hard, or to reach out and just talk to someone about the issues you face. A problem halved is a problem solved!

4. Play online games together.

11 Ways To Make Long Distance Relationships Suck Less | Stay At Home Mumvia shutterstock.com

I love this suggestion. There are loads of really cool games on your smart phone that you can play with your partner at times that suit you both. Think of things like:

  • Trivia Crack
  • Scrabble
  • Second Life – is an online role playing game!
  • Monopoly

Playing together might not be ‘being-together’ – but it is something you can both do and have fun!

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