Long Distance Relationships
Challenging and difficult, though they may not be what we want to hear, are the words that best describe long distance relationships. Keep in mind however, that the words are challenging and difficult, not impossible. Many people choose to give a long distance relationship a try, with the constant curiosity if it was the right decision to make and if it even stands a chance. The truth is, a long distance relationship has just as much a chance of succeeding as any other relationship!
Long Distance Relationships share the same facts as an average relationship. It involves two people who share an interest in each other’s lives, care for one another and of course have a love for each other that they hope will only continue to grow. On the other hand, a long distance relationship does have its differences as well. It takes away your ability to see each other on a frequent note, as well as the choice of being intimate whenever you desire, not to mention that there would be major trust required. Being unable to spend time together in a physical presence makes it harder to hang on to, but does not spell out doom for your relationship.
The first step is to make an agreement of what your expectations are in the relationship and how much of a commitment you are willing to give and receive. If the two of you decide to be monogamous, then it is clear that neither of you will be dating anyone else as long as your romantic relationship exists. Being clear about what you both want is extremely important, especially in a long distance relationship, in order to prevent future misunderstandings and mistakes. Do not feel afraid to tell your partner what you really need and want from him or her, you deserve the chance to speak from your heart and he or she deserves to know the truth and judge whether they can give it to you.
Trust is a major necessity if you wish to have your relationship from a distance. Without trust and honesty, the relationship is in for danger and unsuccessfulness, just as it would be any other relationship. By accepting the challenge of a long distance relationship, you also accepted the fact that you will have to have the trust and faith that your partner will not be seeing anyone else as promised. Being paranoid and accusing will only grow doubts, insecurity and tension between you and none of those three will help the relationship survive successfully.
I must admit that I am in such relationship and some days it seems like it’s not going very well. But through those experiences I have found that there are keys to keeping the romance alive, if both parties are willing and determined to make it work. Keep in mind that the length of time you had to get to know the person before you were separated will have a lot to do with how successful your long-distance romance will be.
- Define Your Relationship! One of the first things you should do with your long-distance sweetheart is to agree on what the relationship will be going forward: Are you going to be just friends? Intimately connected when it’s convenient? Or does this have the makings of a real and solid love affair? Determining limits is of the utmost importance, because as things get difficult, it will help ground the two of you if you know the boundaries of your relationship. It will also help avoid heartache later because you will both know where you stand.
- Be Honest! This is very important, and I don’t just mean disclosing the superficial things (like where he was when you called and he didn’t answer). You must be willing to discuss more sensitive issues, too, like your sex life. If this relationship is to really hold its ground, talking openly and honestly about your sexual needs is one of the biggest keys to success. Generally speaking, communicating openly with your partner about your sex life will allow you to find out if the other person is truly committed to you physically as well as personally. It is not an easy subject to broach, but it can be very revealing in terms of how much the two of you are willing to disclose for the sake of your love. (The only exception I would make to this regards the military: When you or your love is overseas, or fighting in a war, this kind of honesty may be way too much to handle and would be best left to discuss at a more opportune time. Encouragement would be the order of the day until you or he returns home.)
- Communicate! Always be open with your partner about your wants, needs, etc. Your partner should also communicate theirs to you as well. We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. Speak once, listen twice! Both should practice this when communicating with their partner. It will help to avoid confrontations and arguments due to mis-communications. We often forget the little things because we are too busy opening our mouths to listen.
- Exercise Patience! Boy, is this one tough! I personally am not a patient woman, and one of the pitfalls for me in long-distance relationships has been the waiting. I recommend that you find things to do here at home to occupy your time. If your career or your children do not keep you busy enough, get involved in some volunteer work or maybe go back to school. The key is to avoid weighing down your long-distance conversations with whining or unrealistic demands, solely because you are bored or missing the other person. At the same time, your partner should be understanding as well being sure to communicate their inability to communicate on a regular basis. If you are not their “top priority”, they should communicate this to you, and not leave you guessing.
- Give Encouragement! This one is so important. I am currently in a long-distance relationship, and this aspect of it has made it so much more special. I make it a habit to always ask how things are going — work or family — and then proceed to encourage him in those areas where he is especially talented. .He also helps me. Encouragement, assistance and praise work well over email, too. It’s also a good idea to “smile over the phone” as much as possible. A good mood from you on days when your partner may be feeling especially needy can make both of you feel better.
If you follow this advice, you will be on the road to making your long-distance relationship last. Even better, it may end someday with the two of you finally in the same place, having learned so much more about each other simply because you had to put in a bit more effort.