7 tips on how to maintain a long distance relationship
Long distance relationships have always been a situation people tend to avoid. Because not being able to see your partner is not ideal and you definitely have to put some extra work in.
But, as a person who has been in many of them, it’s not the end of the world. And there are some positive aspects to it.
Many would consider this an opportunity to come out of it stronger, strengthening your trust and laying down solid foundation as a couple.
The time you get to spend with your partner starts to matter more. From being able to hold each other’s hand to just going out for a walk, you become more appreciative of the little things. But of course, the hardest part is when you’re apart, keeping the spark alive isn’t always easy.
So here are 7 tips that I’ve learnt on how to maintain a long distance relationship:
1. Involve your partner in your life as much as possible
It’s important for your partner to feel like they’re still part of your life somehow, try to send them a picture of yourself sometimes to show that you're thinking about them despite the distance.
Regular communication is necessary. This is usually done via texting or through calls every now and then so you can update your partner about your day, what you had for lunch, what are your plans for the rest of the week, etc -- however mundane some of the things may seem to you. Just make sure you don’t get too hung up on them if they don’t answer fast enough, just keep in mind that you still both have a life on the side, and cannot be 24/7 available for each other.
It’s also helpful to let the other one know when you’re going to be busy and when you will be free. Because knowing each other’s schedule can help set up calls, and not worry if you don’t hear from them. Especially if you are living in different time zones.
2. Be creative in the way you spend time together
It’s important to do things together, from reading the same book, watching the same movie or even taking a stroll in the park while being on video call, you want to have things to talk about with your partner. And with the virtual world being more and more advanced now, dates are no longer just face to face. It’s the moment to be creative and come up with ideas on how to put in place virtual dates.
And because I want to help you lovebirds succeed in your long distance relationship, here are some of my top virtual date ideas:
- Netflix Party will allow you to watch a movie of your choice together. Make sure you use Google Chrome , and for an added touch, video call each other on Google Hangout at the same time so you get to see your partner’s facial expressions while watching the movie.
- Pick a recipe together, go shop for all the right ingredients and then cook the same meal at the same time while being on a video call. The idea of having an activity together and then sharing a similar meal just makes you forget about the distance.
- Drinking games always spice things up, from truth or drink to never have I ever, you can find a couple of those right here.
- 36 questions to fall in love has been a favourite of mine. I managed to get to know my partner and even my friends better. It’s not about falling in love, it’s about feeling closer to each other.
- Quizzes are also a fun way to discover personality traits about your partner, the best ones I did so far were 16personalities, BDSM test (yes this is a funny one),and the love language test.
- Play online games, especially the ones you can add alcohol in. My favourite was playing battleship and drinking every time our ships were hit.
- Or you can just have a nice candlelit dinner on Skype, move things to the bedroom, lay on the bed facing each other and release that sexual tensions you’ve been having.
Because yes, you need to be thinking about sex in an unconventional way. It’s important to keep the flames burning by teasing each other. And this can be done via sexting, pictures, sex calls or even sex video calls are all options for you, whichever you’re more comfortable doing. It might feel a bit weird at first but remember that the goal here is to turn the other one on, show that you’re still sexually attracted to them and crave for them as much as they do.
3. Try to make the other one forget the distance
Just because you are in a long distance relationship, doesn’t mean you should forget how to be affectionate and give attention.
Anniversaries, Valentine’s day, and birthdays, they all still exist. And with delivery, it’s now quite easy to surprise your significant other by sending a gift, flowers, or even a meal.
Or you can even go old school and start sending each other handwritten love letters, who doesn’t love a bit of romance!
Don’t underestimate the power of thoughtful surprises, your partner will appreciate the gesture.
4. Work together towards the same goal
Nobody can say they’re a fan of long distance relationships, and if they do, they’re lying.
The only reason you are both putting so much effort into making this work is because you know you’re working towards the same goal. This can either be the date where you’ll meet again, or even better, the time when you’ll know you won’t have to be away from each other, aka the end of the long distance.
Visiting each other will become the highlights of your relationship, when you finally get to see their face, touch their skin, hold their hands and kiss their lips after months of waiting.
Most relationship coaches would tell you that you should never spend more than 3 months away from each other, but I say, that if you can make it work, it doesn’t matter how long as long as you know when it will end. Because no couples can be in a long distance relationship forever. You need to work towards a goal, to know that this is only a temporary situation and that you’re walking towards a brighter future together.
Make plans together, picture how life will be once this is over. It’s important that you two are on the same page and have the same goal.
5. Trust is important
Trust has always been a key component in every relationship, but it becomes even more important in a long distance relationship.
Obviously it’s hard to have common friends when you are having separate lives that doesn’t really physically include the other. And when you know your partner is out with people that you don’t necessarily know, you might start to feel heavy hearted, worried or even angry. But that’s the crucial moment where you need to trust your partner.
Jealousy happens, and more often in a long distance relationship, and this shouldn’t be your problem alone. It’s both of yours. Maybe you do need to work on your trust issues, but your partner needs to be there to make you feel like you can trust them, to make you feel comfortable with him going out and ease down your jealousy. This shouldn’t be your job alone to deal with, it’s a partnership and you both are involved. They and you shouldn’t be careless and make the other one worry or get suspicious. Situations as simple as a night out can become a big deal when you’re in a long distance relationship, you just need to win the other one’s trust.
And there are multiple ways to work on this, including your partner in your life is a major one, talk to them about your friends, show them pictures so they can put a face on their names and have a better idea of whom you’re about to hang out with.
Just make sure you are honest with each other, don’t be scared to talk things out, share your feelings, insecurities and thoughts so that they can understand where you’re coming from. Because they can’t always guess what you’re thinking about and read between the lines of a text message. When you’re not dealing with someone face to face, it’s harder to know when something is wrong. If you keep your feelings to yourself, one day or another, they will come out, and it’ll be ugly. Trust me, I’ve been there.
6. Don’t forget to enjoy your alone time and make the best of your social life
When we’re in a long distance relationship, we tend to deny ourselves the opportunities to go out with friends or just do things for ourselves, just in case your partner happens to call. And I know you don’t want to miss that call, but you can always schedule another one another time.
Because otherwise you end up cutting your friends and family from your life. And by always prioritising your partner above all, not hanging out with your friends, not organising trips with them and not appreciating your alone time, you start to expect the same things from your partner and resent them if they don’t do the same in return.
Seeing your partner going out with friends when you refused the same opportunity to do so will hit hard and create arguments that could’ve been avoided. You just need to make sure you find the right balance between spending virtual time with your partner, and maintaining your social life.
7. Stay optimistic and positive
It’s easy to start focusing on the negative aspects of your relationship, you feel lonely, you feel sad for not having your partner’s presence in your life. But, it’s important to stay optimistic.
You need to focus on the positive, think about the next time you’ll see each other, remind yourself of the goals you are both trying to work towards, the nice memories you both share, and the positive outcomes that will result from this long distance experience.
By Maud Hu - Love & Sex Expert?