Long distance relationships aren't for the faint of heart. The world we live in today sees so many different relationship structures.
Some of us prefer the traditional relationship where everyone lives either close by or together, while others are open to more flexible arrangements.
The wild thing is that none of us really know when love is going to strike. You may be on a trip in Europe and meet the love of your life. Or, you may meet the love of your life a few miles from home, and all of a sudden you're offered the job of a lifetime and have to move across the country.
You then have to make the decisions — long distance relationship or let it go?
If it's meant to be, I bet a million dollars you're going to stick with long distance relationship and see it through.
So, then how do you make it work?
I spent five years in a long distance relationship that went quite well. I learned so many things that I though I'd share.
#1 - Know Your Objective
You've got to be on the same page.
If one person is wanting to spend time together on a daily basis, and the other is okay with long distance (and maybe even prefers it), it's not going to work.
You both have to know exactly why you've chosen to have a long distance relationship and honor that decision.
This means asking some pretty hard but direct questions like:
Is this a short-term thing?
Do you always want this arrangement?
Do you have a plan in place for how long you'll do the long distance thing?
Answer these questions together and make sure you're both 100% about your answers. You can't harbor hopes and feelings that you're not telling your partner, as resentment and frustration will surely build.
Having a long distance relationship must include two adults willing to face the tough stuff together.
#2 - Communicate Effectively
Communication is so important for every relationship, of course, but it's especially important when you're living miles and miles apart.
You have to be able to connect on a regular basis and set parameters for exactly when you're going to connect.
If one person is into talking every evening and the other person is annoyed by that, you've got a huge problem brewing.
Sticking to a communication plan and sharing your deepest most real feelings is a must.
#3 - Take Time to See Each Other
Thank goodness for FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, and other video platforms. In my own long distance relationship, it was one of our saving graces.
It's important to be able to see into each other's eyes and see the other's expressions. Doing so provides context when things can easily get lost in translation in the process of texting or talking on the phone.
Plus, don't forget, it's a reminder as to why you were attracted to each other in the first place!
#4 - Set Dates
Get creative and set dates with each other.
Watch a movie by cuing it up and pressing play at the same time. It's the next best thing to being with each other on the couch!
You can also eat dinner together, take your partner to a cool location and show them around. Go to a museum and play tour guide, go to the beach, walk around town, go on a hike.
The sky is the limit. Just get creative!
#5 - Be Secure in Yourself
If you have abandonment issues or fear being away from your partner, it's going to make things very tough. You must be secure in who you are and what you want.
You have to be able to trust your partner and be fully committed to the form of relationship you have agreed upon.
You have to be okay with spending time by yourself and to be happy that your partner is enjoying life without you at times. In fact, I strongly recommend that you learn to revel in their happiness when apart.
Dare not to keep each other in cages.
Life is so beautiful, and the more you can inspire the other to live a full and happy life (both when together and apart) you'll build a beautiful foundation for a healthy relationship.
Long distance relationships are as easy as you decide to make them. In my own long distance relationship of five years, we did amazingly well for about 4.5 years. However, we learned that our endgames just didn't match up. We ended up going separate was as result.
The the half year in which we had our toughest moments revolved around a huge discussion on where we saw our lives needed to go. We tried so hard to make an adult decision about it all and not turn it into a messy situation.
We decided in the end that we both deserved what we needed and wanted, which was to be in our own countries. In the beginning of our relationship, we thought we had the same end game, but as we grew as humans we both realized that we needed to walk different paths.
My story didn't end in a forever relationship, but there are so many that do!
The secret to our success in love is to love for the sake of loving — regardless of how near or far we all are from our partners.
What about you? Any tips for long distance relationships? Please share yours below in the comments section.
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