Before you begin a long distance dating, you need to do some deep soul-searching to figure out whether or not that kind of relationship will benefit you and your mate. Being involved with someone who is not in your area can be fun at first because you always have a new trip to look forward to; either he will visit you or you will visit him every so often. However, a long term long distance relationship can be frustrating when you don’t get to see each other that often. Here are some tips to help you navigate the unpredictable waters of a long distance dating.

Create some clear rules

Not everyone appreciates rules, but having rules can establish healthy and helpful patterns of behaviour. For instance, if you and your partner decide to have a non-negotiable long distance relationship rule that you will have a phone conversation at least once per week, you will be creating a pattern where the two of you are forced to communicate with each other. Aim to have at least one conversation where you are hearing each other’s voices. It’s very common to treat text messaging as a conversation, but messaging is not the same as exchanging verbal dialog. Your spirits will be renewed when you hear each other’s voices.

Another rule that you should establish is that visiting each other within a certain time period is mandatory. It is never good to have the same person visiting all of the time. Good relationships flourish when there is equal effort being invested in the relationship. Take turns visiting each other. You will both feel less resentment and more invested in the relationship when you both take equal responsibility to communicate and travel.

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Voice your concerns

Do not be surprised if you encounter attitudes of negativity and skepticism from your friends and family when they find out that you are in a long distance romance. You know the reasons why you are deciding to embark in a long distance relationship, and only you will know if the experience will turn out to be worth it or not. It is important to voice your concerns to your significant other and find out if the two of you share the same issues. Only through communication will you find out if the relationship is worth fighting for, and due to the physical distance between the two of you, communication might be strained.

I used to be in a long distance relationship, and as I look back on it, I believe that me and my boyfriend at the time eventually used the distance between us as a way to avoid communicating with each other. We spoke on the telephone regularly and we visited each other, but towards the end of the relationship we spent more time trying to avoid communication than we did fostering communication between us. Needless to say, that relationship did not work out, but I learned important lessons about communication and how to recognise what my needs are.

Vow to learn from the experience

There is a lesson to be learned through every single relationship we have in life. Whether a relationship is family-based, a friendship, business, or romantic relationship, it exists to teach you something about yourself. The long distance relationship that you are in might not be long distance for a long period of time. Maybe it is long distance dating right now while one of you is in college. Or, perhaps you are separated because of being on a temporary work assignment. You are bound to observe things about yourself through this experience that you never would have learned otherwise.

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Before I was actually in a long distance relationship, I marveled at the idea of long distance romances and I thought they were really neat! After all, there is little chance that a person will grow tired of being with their partner because they won’t see them all of the time. And, I thought that when couples in long distance situations visit to spend time together, they would be excited to see each other and would not take each other for granted. However, from my own experience with long distance dating I learned that I grew tired and impatient with waiting until our next “scheduled time” to see each other. Plus, travelling can be expensive and I was tired of the cost. Things just didn’t add up for me in the end. I realised through my long distance relationship experience that I never wanted to be in a long term long distance union ever again. I am fine with being friends with people who live in different areas, but I prefer and will only accept being a relationship where my partner is within an hour (or preferably less) driving distance from where I live.

Your long distance dating might be a temporary situation where your love for your partner is being tested to see if the two of you have the strength to commit for the long haul. Or, perhaps your experience being in a long distance union will give you the courage to break things off with your partner and find a compatible match with someone else who lives in your local area. Whatever the situation may be, a long distance relationship is certainly going to be an adventure! You will learn to foster a new way of doing things. You will learn how to plan ahead and be proactive. Through being in a long distance love affair, you will also figure out what you want and who you are. Be observant of everything that you are seeing, feeling and thinking. Follow your heart, and allow your long distance romance to teach you everything that you need to know from it.

Akua is a Canadian born and raised girl with Caribbean roots. She is a journalist, actress, music teacher, performer, owner and marketer of 3 worldwide dating websites, as well as an independent Pure Romance business owner selling passion products for singles and couples.

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