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9 Secrets To Make a Long Distance Relationship Work


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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.)
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).

MORE: How Do Men Show Their Love?

One of the most important secrets to making a long distance relationship work is knowing… (continued – Click to keep reading 9 Secrets To Make a Long Distance Relationship Work)

7 comments… add one

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Iva

Nice read, but not completely right… If you are in relationship and you do love this person, you won’t have the need for temptations and you won’t hang out with other guys. If you have such a desires, there is no point of wasting your time and energy on LDR, comitment, etc… Just go out there and have some fun until you are ready for the real deal 😉

Reply June 15, 2016, 7:06 pm

delfina

If a guy was out of work, broke, direction-less and was with a woman who had a
great job, knew what she wanted and was actively pursuing it, and tried to make
his life easier by paying for dates and helping him with his resume, he would feel
like a total loser. It wouldn’t matter how amazing the girl is or how much he loves
her, he would feel pathetic in her presence and may come to resent her. Her
good intentions would only affirm how pathetic he is….you wrote today. What should a woman do instead to show love and suppport?

Reply May 10, 2016, 7:12 am

Chelsea

Hi Eric, I really enjoyed reading your article. However, I’m still a little confused on how I should go about my current LDR. The guy who I have been talking to for several months now has recently brought up the fact that he doesn’t really like long distance relationships but he’s still trying to figure things out. This threw me off completely because we communicate well ,our conversations usually are interesting and rarely ever dry, and he always tells me how interested he is in me.Also, the guy only lives a little over an hour away from me but what prevents us from seeing each other so often is our busy schedules. I’m not really sure how I should go about this. I was hoping you could give me some more advice. Should I move on or continue to talk to him and see what happens?

Reply May 5, 2016, 10:54 pm

Autumn

Hi Eric,

I recently reconnected with a man I met 6 years ago and we began a LDR. It started when I texted him about 3 months ago to let him know I planned to visit his city. He became infatuated right away, telling me that he was itching for a wife and kids. At first I was very apprehensive and I was grilling him about why he would choose me. His answers were solid and he’s a grown man who knows what he wants for his future family.

He would blow up my phone all day everyday. He told me that he cut off his other women because he wanted to show me he was serious, even though he didn’t expect the same from me. We’ve discussed specific plans about when we would get engaged, where we’re going to get married, when we will be ready for kids etc. He came to visit me in March, and I visited him in April.

When I returned from my visit two weeks ago, he told me he had concerns about my family accepting him and our future children. He has met my sister and brother-in-law who is upset that he isn’t from my background. He hasn’t met my parents but my mom assured me that they will have no problem with him and not to worry about other’s opinions.

He also told me that I never say thank you! Unfortunately, I know there is some truth to this because he’s the second man to tell me this!

I tried my best to explain that I show my appreciation in other ways, and he said that he is going to try to trust me on the family thing. He told me that he loved me, missed me, etc.

Since then he still initiates most of the texts. But he’s not lovey-dovey like when we started. I can tell that his concerns are still very prevalent for him. Is there any way to get us back to the lovely place where we started? Have we moved past the infatuation stage? Or is our relationship damaged?

Reply May 3, 2016, 2:26 pm

hope

You just saved my relationship…… Thank you so much….was just wondering were this article has been.

Reply May 2, 2016, 12:56 am

Mitch

Thank you for the advice in the above article. I am currently in my first LDR with a guy for almost five months now. I need to use the above as part of my mantra. I am struggling though so I am hoping perhaps you might have some additional advice besides the above. My guy is an emergency worker who is on staggered shifts as well as on call. He is a bit of a workaholic – he has a passion for what he does and I completely respect that as I switched careers mid-life to do what I was passionate about too. Problem is that we used to text and talk more often and now his texts are general and may be only a couple days a week while the talk by phone went from once a week to once every two weeks. We have managed to meet each other physically twice since we started the LDR and when we are together, the spark and chemistry is totally there. He did warn me that he had a very busy life besides his job when we started dating but I feel like I seem to be the one trying to initiate a conversation with him all the time. I did try to talk to him about this concern and even asked him if he still wanted to date during our last phone conversation – his reply was “yes, of course I do” and we have planned to see each other again in a few months. I am just wondering if there is something I can do to get him to initiate conversation like he used to…. I gave him the opportunity to say that he didn’t want to date and he didn’t take it but it feels like we are in a bit of a holding pattern when it comes to moving this relationship forward. Is there anything else I can do besides the advice you have given above?

Reply February 1, 2016, 12:12 am

Julia

Thank you, Eric. Loved the article, I’ll keep coming back to it again and again! Sooo true and wise, reminders to live by!

Reply November 16, 2015, 7:14 pm

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