Relationships are a challenge, and when live a long distance from each other it can be even more challenging. It is important to continue to stay connected and to build your trust in each other over time. The best way to do that is to communicate your thoughts, desires and needs so there is no miscommunication. All relationships take work and long distance relationships require a bit more work and some creativity to make the successful.
Tip #1: Communication and Trust
Communication and trust is important in any relationship but when you are kilometres apart it can place a strain on both of you. You will have to learn to trust your partner without direct supervision, which might be an entirely new experience for you. But, trust shouldn’t need direct supervision. Anytime it is needed to keep the other person monogamous, it’s a sure sign that they will grab the first opportunity to stray when your eyes get tired of watching. Communicate your needs with your partner and use your phone conversation for more than just a recitation of what happened that day. Those small details help bond you, but so will the stories of your past and your dreams of your future.
Tip #2 Creativity
Be creative with your communication. Not everything needs to be expensive. Schedule some digital facetime conversation at least once a week (see below why this is super important). Call every day, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes and send a text or two each day letting them know you are thinking about them. Tell jokes in the text messages and finish the joke in an email or conversation. In your next visit leave messages around their place, hidden so they won’t be found all at once. Mail a note every week or two. While digital communication is instant and free, there is nothing like holding a note in your hand, written in the your partners handwriting and having your name plastered across the top. Sending flowers can get expensive, so think about gifts you purchase, box and mail yourself. Box a gift in several layers of boxes with notes written across the top each one to increase the anticipation. Bake cookies in shapes or make a collage of your last visit and frame it.
Tip #3 The Plan
It is important to communicate your plan to each other and be clear about your expectations. You may be dreaming of a lifetime partnership and they might be thinking this is a good way to be commited without a real commitment. Have a plan and make it together. Understand the rules for communication – how much, how long and what to do when things don’t go as planned. Plan your visits and time them so you both alternate the travel. In other words, you have to talk out what might naturally happen if you were living together. But, because you aren’t you’ll have to plan it – DO NOT wing it!
Tip #4 Keep Your Independence
Being in a commited relationship doesn’t mean you have to stop growing and developing as an individual. In fact, it’s best if you don’t offer to move to your partner’s town immediately and comigle your lives. This just makes you look like a stalker or a psycho. Instead, it’s important to maintain some degree of independence. It can be very empowering to go out with friends and grow your career with the knowledge and stability of a commited relationship even when the object of your affections is miles and miles away. When your eventual plan to unite finally happens you’ll bring with you a mature and developed personhood who will bond well with your partner.
A last minute advice: do never, ever start an argument over messaging system! Words can hurt (more than you think, we will talk about this and the brain later)! And your eyes can’t be seen. If you are far away and have a fight or an argument either wait till the time you will meet , or you have a video call! Your brain needs to “see” the face of the other person. Without it it will go automatically to fight/flight mode and your argument will end-up in a fight and even worse![:]