7 Real Life Tips To Make A Long Distance Relationship WorkFFOL Editor 1
“ Absence is to love as wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small and kindles the great.” – Roger de Bussy-Rabutin
There are a ton of tips and tools that go into making a a long distance relationship work, however having been in a number myself I can tell you that there are a few requirements that are a must. Here are 7 tips to help you make your long distance relationship work.
1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
This sounds easier said than done. Everyone knows that communication is the foundation for any relationship, but not everyone knows how to effectively communicate their needs to another person. Do your best to understand what your needs are and tell your partner and have them do the same.
Talk about what will happen during the separation. Will one person be working a lot? How often is it feasible to talk on the phone or skype?
When my boyfriend deployed last February I was not at all prepared for the distance that was going to ensue. Our conversation consisted of me saying, “so, we will be able to text and skype, right?” and his reply was “Yes, of course”.
Well, it turned out not to be so simple. There was times where he had no wi-fi and we couldn’t communicate but he failed to tell me when those times were going to be so I was left in the dark which was extremely difficult.
As the deployment went on he became busier and busier and had less time for me which I started to resent. It was hard to trust that he still cared just the same, but work had to come first for that time period.
Since this was my first deployment and his fourth or fifth we should have discussed what was going to happen in more detail before he left and since we didn’t I had to figure things out on the fly.
2. Understand Expectations
Figure out what you need in a relationship. Some people are more independent than others. Some people need a lot of attention while others are okay with quality over quantity.
Are you okay with spending long periods of time without your partner being physically present? How long can you go without contact before you start feeling upset and irritated?
Do you have a plan for the future of the relationship? Do you know when the distance will end? Are you on the same page in regard to monogamy and commitment?
Make sure you understand what your expectations are before you go dive into something that you aren’t prepared for.
3. Keep Things Positive
One of the best ways to make your LDR work is for both of you to believe it can work and to keep things light and positive.
Naturally, you can have bad days and share your feelings and emotions, but don’t dump everything on your partner all the time when they aren’t there to fix things for you.
The fact is that you can’t change the situation you are in unless you break up or one of you moves so your choice is to deal with it in the best way possible.
Realize that there will be difficult times and you should do your best to keep things positive. Everyone deals with stress differently and to be honest I have a hard time keeping things positive at times.
All you can do is your best and remember that it will all be over one day and keep moving towards that goal.
4. Be Supportive
Figure out ahead of time what you will need from your partner while you’re apart and what will they need from you.
One of the hardest things to remember is to be supportive when you feel like you aren’t getting your needs met or you feel like you’re being ignored.
Humans are ego centric. It’s natural to start to blame your partner for their supposed misdeeds and think you deserve more or you deserve better.
Unfortunately, life isn’t always perfect and challenges come up in relationships. I’m the first to admit that sometimes I get tired of the military and their demands. I find it hard to remember how much my boyfriend sacrifices to do his job and how difficult and time consuming it is. I’m only human.
Do you best to support your partner during this time if they are the one who has left for a job or school or family. If you can’t be supportive and you can’t deal with the situation then your option is to leave.
5. Don’t Forget About Sex!
Sex is an integral part of a relationship. Keep things fun and flirty. Open a joint account somewhere that you can share your representations of your sexual fantasies if you aren’t someone who openly talks about what you like.
Get boudoir pictures taken if you’re comfortable with it.
Schedule time to have skype or phone sex. Guys need to remember to tell her that’s she’s beautiful and sexy and women need to remember that he is attracted visually so dress up sexy.
Everyone has differing levels of sexuality and what they like and don’t like. Take this time to explore what you can do to keep things exciting.
6. Make Plans to See Each Other
Seeing each other can bring new life into the relationship. Two months into my boyfriend’s deployment I was lucky enough to get to visit him for two weeks. It was heaven. To be honest, it really helped me get through the next four months and if I didn’t have that I’m not sure what I would have done.
If you can’t see each other in person your connection may start to wane and you don’t want that to happen. Distance does make the heart grow fonder, but too much distance can cause emotional walls to go up or for one person to start seeking attention outside the relationship (which is never an answer).
Visiting and exploring new places together bring some fire into a relationship that may be on the back burner. Make it a priority to spend time together as much as possible.
7. Remember Why You Got Together in the First place
Even when things seem dismal and the distance feels like it will never end remember why you got together in the first place.
You chose this person for a reason. Remember their good qualities. Remember what it is that you love about them. Remember all the good times you have had and think about what you will have in the future.
Long distance relationships can work, but they require extra effort, attention and dedication. If you’re interested I have written an e-book that goes into a little more detail called, “Will Your Long Distance Relationship Work”.