8 Things Couples Forget to Do to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work
In 2015, about 14 million people in the US considered themselves to be in a long-distance relationship. Of that, 3.75 million married couples were in a long-distance relationship. Unlike popular belief, nearly 6 out of 10 couples found success in dating from afar, according to a survey. This goes to show that relationships can work despite being geographically separated from each other, as long as each partner puts effort into it.
Bright Side breaks down the things that couples should never neglect to do if they want their long-distance relationship to last.
1. Be interested in your partner’s life, but don’t be intrusive.
Checking up on your partner means you want to see if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing or not doing what they’re not supposed to be doing. Checking in on your partner, on the other hand, means that you want to see if they are okay. Your partner will pick up on whether you have a problem trusting that they will stay faithful to you or whether you are genuinely just curious about their life. So be aware of how you word your questions about their life over there.
2. Swap something tangible, don’t just rely on technology.
Even though internet and video calls are great at bridging the gap between you and your significant other, it is not enough because humans need something physical. Don’t underestimate the power of gifting something tangible that could immediately remind them of you. It could be a perfume you always wear, a shirt you wear that your partner adores, or anything special to the both of you. During the tough times that you 2 long to be together, these items with special meaning or sentimental value will make you feel better.
3. Make sure the distance is temporary.
It is important to set an end date for when the relationship doesn’t have to be long-distance anymore so that you both can have something to look forward to. However, having a date set in stone may not be practical for everyone. Both of you should leave room for change just in case and talk about who’s going to make the move. You also shouldn’t forget to consider the costs of moving and the sacrifices you’ll make when one or both of you move away to a different place.
4. Focus on the quality of communication, not the quantity.
Communication is more than just talking, it is being able to connect with each other. You should figure out whether you need to talk less or more often. The both of you should talk because you want to, not because you feel like you have to. Feel free to switch up the communication frequency but make sure that you stick to the schedule you and your love have agreed to.
5. Live your life fully, don’t put it on hold.
Instead of waiting for your beloved to be back by your side, it would be better for you to accept the distance and direct your energy toward things you can control. If you don’t enjoy your life in their absence, you might end up resenting them if things don’t work out. It’s healthy to have some independence due to a long period of separation. Partners who hang out with their own friends and family or focus on their career may do better than couples who are too dependent on each other.
6. Remember that your partner isn’t perfect.
It’s easier to idealize your partner when there’s limited interaction and less face-to-face communication. When that happens, once you 2 are reunited, you’re likely to feel disappointed with how flawed your partner actually is. Some couples in long-distance relationships break up after being reunited because they think their partners are demanding or expecting too much. To avoid this, it is advisable to keep in mind that your partner is just a human being with flaws.
7. See and make use of the benefits of living apart.
Being away from each other does not have to be seen as something bad. Reframing your mind to look at the benefits of living apart can make a long-distance relationship carry equal or even more trust and satisfaction than when couples are physically close. You can take advantage of the time being geographically separated to do activities your partner is not interested in or physically allergic to. You can even do all the things that you know are their pet peeves!
8. Set some ground rules and be honest with each other.
Couples should create clear expectations and intentions so that there will not be a lot of misunderstandings. However, rules shouldn’t be something that are written as a list of what to do and what not to do. Instead, you should discuss your values and avoid dangerous situations, like having someone else over to your place when your partner isn’t around. Having honest communication will help your relationship be successful in fighting against the odds.
What other things should couples in long-distance relationships do in order to make things work? Have you had an experience with this type of relationship before?