Living far apart places special demands on you as a couple. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to making your long-distance relationship work, but there are a number of common pitfalls you can try to avoid. Here are some tips on how to deal with three of the challenges of a long-distance relationship.
Don’t go to bed at odds
In the distance, small conflicts can easily grow big, but how easy is it to never go to bed at odds in a long-distance relationship? You’re in different places, and maybe even in different time zones? The solution could be a system that allows you to reach each other fairly quickly, even at inconvenient times.
Set up your mobiles so that the signal goes through even in silent mode (but only use it when you have to). Agree that, for example, a missed call means “I just wanted to have a quick chat, nothing important”, while a missed call and a “call me as soon as you can” text requires a quick response. Expect the long-distance relationship to require more responsiveness than a regular relationship. Make an extra effort to be there for each other.
Happiness in the present – but on opposite sides
a healthy relationship is the result of, not a prerequisite for, happiness. Many studies also show that the ability to live in (and be content with) the present has a big impact on how happy we feel. Often, the distance relationship tends to be about expectations for the next time you can see each other.
As if your other lives are on pause in between. Talk about how you can make the most of the present together, even though you live far apart. Create common daily routines that work with both of your schedules. Encourage each other to live rich lives each in their own way. Share experiences by sending video clips, photos and voice messages. Get into the habit of giving each other small tokens of love often, in whatever ways you can.
Don’t forget to have fun together
One positive thing about long-distance relationships is the magic that happens once you see each other. Not bothering each other on a day-to-day basis can prolong the wonderful phase of falling in love, and some couples actually make a conscious choice to live that way. On the other hand, the high expectations of your long-awaited dates can create pressure and lead to disappointment.
For your long-distance relationship to grow strong, you’ll need to share both everyday life and celebrations (and the occasional crisis). If you are able to live together for a longer period of time from time to time, this is a good way to find a daily routine together. Even during shorter dates like a weekend, consider setting aside completely unplanned time to just be. Doing everyday things like folding laundry, cleaning and shopping together adds a new, more down-to-earth dimension to your long-distance relationship. In this way, it also becomes stronger.