So, you’ve met someone pretty special, things are going well, and then the bomb drops: one of you has to move away. At first, both of you are filled with hopeful optimism that the love you share will be enough to keep things going, but after a while you discover that something more is needed. How do you keep the fire flickering? It’s not easy, but here are a few tips.
1. Visit each other
Engaging the five senses (sight, taste, touch, feel, hearing) with your significant other during regular visits is the best way to forget about the distance. Not only will the anticipation leading up to the visit spice things up, but time apart also tends to cause couples to cherish the time they spend together more than usual.
If your visits are spaced farther apart or you can afford to splash out a little more, flying to your flame will give you the most time together.
This Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider isn’t the only one, but it’s probably the most popular and easiest to use. Most laptops come with a built-in camera, so you and your sweetie can chat face-to-face. And don’t forget to use your, ahem, imagination when you Skype. Just because there’s geography between the two of you doesn’t mean that all facets of your relationship have to take a hit.
3. Trust each other
You might be thinking that the two of you already trust each other, but if you’re going to start a long-distance relationship, that trust level has to be raised several notches. For the next little while, you won’t be able talk about your day, see each other’s faces as much, hold each other, or curl up together at night. The physical distance will wear on you, but the best defence is a good offence. “It’s important that you both understand what’s involved and that you’re dedicated to working at communicating,” says Paul A. Falzone, CEO of the Right One And Together dating service. Let go of things that would normally annoy you and remind yourself to keep the right perspective.
4. Set limits
Long-distance relationships are hard enough to attempt; having one without an end in sight is even harder. It’ll be a tough topic to broach, but sit down and discuss how long you’ll both be in it for. Depending on the reason for the separation, it can be a certain amount of time or when a job or school is finished. And even though it’s one conversation you won’t want to have, talk about what to do if the time apart is too long. To quote Kenny Rogers, “You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.”
5. Make rules
It’s important to make sure that there’s no ambiguity regarding fidelity because long-distance relationships muddy the waters. Will you see people on the side? Tell the other about it? Stay faithful until you reunite? Hash it out before so that you’re never left wondering in any situation. Dr. Gregory Guldner, author of Long Distance Relationships: The Complete Guide, mentions a study in which 70% of long-distance relationships end at the six-month mark if couples fail to agree on rules.
Sometimes life demands a move and it can put a strain on your relationships, but if you go into it with open eyes and a clear mind, you can ease a lot of the pressure. Follow these five tips and you should be able to have an easier go at your long-distance relationship.