How To Make a Long Distance Relationship Work
By Steve McBride
It can be sometimes tough to make a long distance relationship work. At the beginning, you of course have the best intentions, but after a few weeks, it can be easy to run out of steam.
So what do you do when you’re in love with someone who lives a thousand miles away?
Do not spam her
If you’re constantly texting and calling, how is she going to have time to miss you?
Yes, it might be really tempting to try to talk to her as often as you can to make up for not being there physically, but you’re probably just going to get on her nerves.
If you find yourself running out of things to say but forcing yourself to call or text anyway, take a step back.
If you have an agreed-upon time when you guys talk, stick to it, but outside of that, only text her when you really have something you want to say (even if that’s just to say you miss her).
This doesn’t mean you should ice her out – just make every interaction count. Dating advice for guys has some good advice on how not to be that needy guy and turn your woman off.
Set up some ground rules
Ground rules are important in any relationship, but they’re especially key when you’re living a thousand miles away from each other and you want to make a long distance relationship work.
Before you jump into a relationship, make sure you’re both on the same page. Are you exclusive? What is your level of commitment here?
When you’re both expecting the same things out of the relationship, you’re much less likely to disappoint each other – or do something that’s a deal breaker for the other.
Get into a routine with communication
As I said before, over-communicating isn’t a great idea, but that’s very different to regular communication.
Regularly communicating with each other is about forming the same types of patterns you’d follow if you were living in the same city – or the same house.
It’s about saying good morning and good night, and sharing important emotions and events with each other. If you’re running to someone else every time you’re sad or lonely, you’ll eventually form a stronger bond with that someone than your partner.
Sex is an important part of most relationships and there’s no reason you shouldn’t keep the fire burning just because you’re not in the same room – that’s what technology is for.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s over video chat, texts or calls, keep the fire going by sharing your fantasies with each other.
You can do this in whatever way you feel comfortable and remember, the more fun you have, the more likely you’ll make your long distance relationship work.
Don’t put yourself in risky situations
When you don’t have a girlfriend waiting for you at home, it can be tempting to spend your weekends at the bar with your office crush – after all, you’ve promised yourself nothing is going to happen, right?
This is the type of situation you’re going to want to prevent before it goes too far. Remember, you’re in unknown territory now, so you don’t want to put yourself in a vulnerable position.
Spend time together online
Technology is truly amazing. You don’t simply need to restrict yourself to using it just when you want to catch up with your girlfriend – you can actually use it to spend some quality time together.
I’m talking about watching movies or even having dinner together – the options are really endless. You can even spend an evening doing some online shopping together, or visit a local museum online.
Make this a regular thing and you’ll find that it helps keep that bond and intimacy going.
Share activities and interests
When you live in the same city, it’s more common to share experiences and interests. You might find that you read the same books and watch the same show just because of how much time you spend together. So why should this end now?
Keep sharing these experiences. Tell her about that great book you’ve just read or recommend a great show you’re watching. This will give you loads to talk about during your next call.
Visit each other
Long distance relationships quickly start to fizzle out once you stop actually seeing each other in person, so don’t let this happen to you. Plan visits throughout the year so that you always have the next one to look forward to.
And remember, you don’t want to fill a visit with outings and adventures – yes, those are important too, but you’ll want lots of time to just sit around and enjoy each other’s company.
Have a plan
It’s very difficult to commit to a relationship when you don’t have a plan for the future. You might not have a step-by-step, concrete plan, but you should have an idea about what you are aiming for.
You need to be able to answer questions like “for how long are we going to be apart?” and “what sort of future do we want together?”.
When you know what you’re aiming for, it’ll be much easier to get through all the tough times that are coming.
Acknowledge the difficult times
Yes, it’s not always going to be a bed of roses. It is going to be tough at times and you need to acknowledge that, otherwise you’re more likely to bail after the first fight.
If you really want to make a long distance relationship work, you need to be honest with yourself and each other about what it’s going to take.
Take it day by day
The last piece of advice I have for you is to take it day by day. It can be tempting to wish the time away, but you’re also wishing your life away with it.
Take this time to set some goals and maybe even accomplish some things you’ve always wanted to do outside of the relationship. This period doesn’t have to be all about doom and gloom – it can actually be valuable if you put it to good use.