There is no point in sugar-coating it. Maintaining a long distance relationship can be the hardest obstacle a couple can encounter. But why does the thought of being long distance fill so many people with dread?
The answer is that unfortunately a long distance relationship brings to the surface every anxiety a person might have about the relationship lasting. What if she meets someone else and falls in love with them? What if we grow apart? Will he cheat on me?
This worry is completely normal, but often unnecessary. The fact that a couple have decided to stay in a relationship in spite of a sizeable geographically boundary, is already promising proof of a dedication to each other.
So whether you have just started such a relationship or you’re a seasoned survivor, here are some tips on how to cope with a long distance relationship.
Don’t let the envy get to you
When you are spending time away from your partner, it can become very easy to get jealous of other couples around you. Suddenly the sight of two people holding hands becomes sickening to you, as you know you can’t do that with your partner.
You may start to grow angry with your partner that you cannot see them as often as you like. Or start having thoughts about whether the relationship is worth it. Be careful as this kind of thinking can become harmful to your own relationship. It is important to share these concerns with your partner. It is quite possible that they’re having the same thoughts too, and by talking about them it will bring you closer together.
Maintain regular contact
No, I don’t mean constantly texting or phoning your partner to check up on them. Too much of that can actually damage your relationship as it gives the impression that you desperately want to be with you partner, which can come off as a bit clingy. Or worse, that you don’t trust your partner to live their own life.
Every couple, not just long distance, should have their own life outside of the relationship. But while being independent and living your own life, make sure you maintain regular contact with your partner. Texting each other ‘Goodnight’ before you go to bed, for example, is a perfect form of regular contact, especially if either of you have had a busy day where you couldn’t talk properly. It lets your partner know that they are still in your thoughts.
Don’t forget little romantic touches
Even though you and your partner may be long distance it doesn’t mean you still can’t be romantic with each other. In fact, it’s vital that romance is still present.
You could both watch a film at the same time and text each other your thoughts about it. Or why not turn on Skype while you’re both preparing dinner, so you end up with a virtual dinner date? These simple activities can help maintain the closeness that you may feel is sometimes missing with your partner.
Write a letter or send a gift
Everyone likes a memento, and even more so when it reminds you of someone you care about. Sending letters may seem a little old fashioned in this age of texting and instant messaging but they can be a brilliant source of comfort in a long distance relationship. Your partner is guaranteed to appreciate the time and effort you have put into writing a letter.
If writing letters doesn’t sound like you, then you could always send your partner a small gift, like a film or CD and include a message like: ‘Saw this and thought of you’. Also make sure you have pictures of you and your partner around to remind you of all the memories you have together.
Remember, it’s not forever
Finally, whenever it feels like the distance is too much, just keep in mind that you and your partner won’t be apart forever. Make sure you both always plan ahead for when the next time you’ll be together. That way you’ll always know when the next visit will be and it will make the time spent separately more bearable.