Relationships alone can be difficult to navigate. The thought of maintaining a healthy, and supportive relationship long distance can be flat out overwhelming! Long distance relationships get a bad wrap in today’s society. You may be faced with loved ones questioning your decision to stay together after a relocation, or unsolicited anecdotes of your friend’s failed long distance relationships. Don’t be discouraged by the stigma of long distance relationships, in fact studies show that long distance relationships have the same success rate as any other standard relationship.
Long distance relationships are rapidly increasing in number and with today’s technology, there is no reason to end a relationship due to distance! Here are a few tips to help keep you and your partner happy and to keep your relationship growing despite the distance.
- Schedule time together far in advance. There isn’t a magic time table that you and your partner should travel to see one another face to face, whether it be every two weeks or every three months. What causes the strain on the relationship is being unsure of the next visit. Try to schedule your meetings well in advance so when you have to say goodbye from one visit, you know when you will see each other again. This not only will help with missing one another, but it can prevent additional stress of not knowing when you will see each other again.
- Introduce them to your friends. When your partner is in town, it is natural to want to drop everything to be together, but try not to completely change your lifestyle. Show them your normal routine. Introduce them to your friends. This will provide a reference for the many phone calls and a better understanding of what your life is like when they are not visiting. It is common for feelings of jealousy and abandonment to increase with the increased distance, but providing your partner with a snapshot into your life away can help keep these feelings at bay.
- Talk about the little things. Talk about the big things. It is the little conversations like, “You will never believe what happened to me at the grocery store..” that get skipped over when you are long distance. Sharing these seemingly insignificant details can increase the feelings of intimacy. Similarly, don’t hesitate to have the big and sometimes uncomfortable conversations. Some couples may feel like the big conversations need to be saved for a face to face meeting, and some couples may feel like the tough stuff may spoil the limited special time they have together. All communication is good, big or small, so don’t hold back.
- Schedule Virtual Quality Time. Odds are high that this will be the biggest conflict in a long distance relationship. Perhaps you set a schedule as to when to speak on the phone or to have a Skype date night, and something comes up and your partner needs to cancel. Quality time for a couple in a long distance relationship is valuable, so it can be easy to get feelings hurt. Be forgiving of life circumstances for yourself and with your partner. When you are able to have quality time together whether virtually or on the phone, eliminate distractions. Turn off the TV, get off social media. Show your partner that your time together matters.
- Don’t Isolate Yourself. Don’t forget self care. In a busy life, trying to set aside time to catch up with your partner can get overwhelming. Be careful of falling into the trap of spending every free moment on the phone together. This can lead to missing out on quality time out with friends, participating in hobbies, exercising, or perhaps well needed alone time. Consider prioritizing time to yourself if you fall into the trap of spending all evening on the phone with your partner.
Long distance relationships can be challenging, and just because there is distance between you and your partner, this does not mean you have to sacrifice receiving professional help for your relationship struggles. If you would like to schedule an appointment to start couples counseling call us on (02) 6262 6157 or book an appointment online.