Long distance relationships (LDRs) are more common than ever in today’s world, thanks to the internet, social media, and Skype.
While we might have more modern ways to keep in touch, that doesn’t necessarily mean making a long distance relationship work has become easier for most people.
When you’re in an long distance relationship, most people will tell you that LDRs don’t last, that they’re a bad idea and that you shouldn’t get your hopes up.
For most of us, the inside of your head isn’t much better: Your mind is constantly worrying if the relationship will last, wondering if the other person is as committed as you are, fearing that it could all end suddenly and you’ll be left to pick up the pieces.
Yes, they say, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but when you don’t have a clear, easy, and effective approach to LDRs, it’s more like, “Absence makes the heart grow more fearful about the relationship.”
The good news is, long distance relationships can be easy if you know the right way to approach an LDR. I’m going to share 8 powerful tips that lead to having a successful long distance relationship.
- Don’t overcommunicate – it’s about quality, not quantity.We’re going to touch on this more in the article, but a key understanding about long distance relationships (and healthy relationships in general) is that the quantity of your interactions isn’t what will lead to deeper connection, greater openness, and better overall satisfaction with the relationship; the quality of the relationship will.So the question then becomes, “what determines the quality of the relationship?” We’ll talk about that later in this article.
- Look at this long distance relationship positively. See your LDR as a growing experience for your relationship.In a relationship, perspective is everything. When you have an effective way of looking at your long distance relationship, you’ll feel clarity, inspiration and happiness when you think about your LDR (instead of what most people feel: confusion, discouragement and fear that it could all fall apart.)As with anything in life, your mindset is what determines whether you’ll succeed or not. By having a positive and proactive perspective on your LDR, you won’t fall into the trap of negative thoughts that quickly become a breeding ground for fears, worries and despair.
- Be clear with yourself and with your partner about what you expect. It’s better to mentally “burst some bubbles” now and talk through it, than to be shocked and disappointed if your partner does something you don’t like.
- Have a presence without needing a response. Say good morning and say goodnight. Send pictures, funny texts, etc. It’s about sharing your presence without giving the other person a feeling of obligation to respond (which can become tiresome if your partner feels that every text needs to be responded to or you’ll be upset).If you have the attitude that you look to yourself (and your life) for happiness and that your relationship is something you bring your positive mood to (and not as something you try to get a positive mood from), then this won’t be a problem.
- Sex is an important part of a relationship. If you’re not together physically, then it’s a good idea to replace that with alternate means for each other (dirty talk, getting naughty on Skype, etc.) This might take an adjustment, but it’s important… use it as an opportunity to expand your sexuality.To be clear, I’m not talking about doing things you’re not comfortable with, but rather trying things you’re not used to but could have fun with once you get over the unfamiliarity… there’s a tremendous difference between overcoming awkwardness because you’re not used to it versus doing something you’re not comfortable with at your core.
- Have a clear understanding of the timeline. Talk through when/how long you’ll be apart and when the distance will end. (This is important to be clear on as soon as you can be. You and he will be putting in time and effort into this relationship… and quite possibly, other options might open up in front of you in your local area… by sharing a common vision of a future together, it gives you both something to move towards and less likely to entertain local possibilities.)
- Avoid temptation: whenever someone cheats or has an affair that they regret, somewhere in their explanation they will almost always say, “One thing led to another.” Hanging around with an attractive person outside of your relationship is the one thing that starts it all… and it can start out innocently enough.
- Consider your partner’s worries, but don’t give up your life: going out to bars and clubs or hanging out with other guys will very likely make your partner worry or feel jealous. While you ultimately can’t be responsible for their emotions, it’s worth considering that they’re in a powerless position: they’re not there and if they’re intentionally taking themselves out of the social scene, they might have a lot of idle time to assume the worst in their minds. If you’re going to go out to a bar or club, it’s best to let them know – don’t lie about where you’re going (social media is everywhere), be honest and reassure them.It’s important for your partner to know you are honest with them and that you consider their feelings. It’s equally important that you never sacrifice what “charges your batteries” in your own life – great relationship partners give each other the space for each partner to “charge their batteries” in their personal life, then bring that charge into the relationship. If one or both partner’s fears creep into the relationship and try to cut off the other person’s personal life, the relationship suffers as a whole.
- Don’t stress – let go and let the chips fall as they may. I know that might sound like I’m saying, “Don’t get your hopes up,” but what I’m really saying is, “Your stress poisons the relationship… and the source of it is your fear of the relationship failing.”If you can let go of your fear of losing your relationship, then you immediately let go of all of the poison that comes with fear of loss (fear of loss never makes a relationship better… it just drags the emotional tone of the relationship down). A more effective attitude towards your LDR is that it could end any time, so you’re going to enjoy it while it’s here. Instead of seeking security from one another, seek enjoyment from one another – the positive tone this sets will create an upward spiral of connection, appreciation and fun with your partner since the focus is positive (enjoyment) and not negative (fear of loss).
One of the most important secrets to making a long distance relationship work is knowing