Long distance relationships are not for everyone. By far, they take more work than relationships in close proximity. But the lucky few who CAN make it work should have every tool possible at their disposal! Here are my tips to making long distance relationships work.
Open Communication – forever and always
The number one tip in any relationship should be to have consistent open and honest communication. Open communication should happen in the moment whenever possible, either through text, a phone call, or a video call. When honest conversations about emotions take place as they occur naturally, it becomes easier to assert boundaries and feel fulfilled. Conversations should be able to be revisited if either party needs to find more time to discuss, needs time to decompress, or to find their words.
When having difficult conversations, high tension can cause people to be quick to be defensive. Using “I” statements can help mitigate that feeling in others and it helps to refocus the subject onto the person being hurt, not on the person who hurt them. It can be as easy as adjusting your sentence structure from “You doing this hurt me,” to “I felt hurt when you did this.”
Consistent Scheduling of Quality Time
When there’s distance between two people, it’s easy to feel caught up in your own lives. We’ve all seen a text and forgotten to reply for one reason or another. Consistently shceduling quality time with your partner shows that there is effort and care being put into the relationship. A weekly video call, a monthly or yearly in-person visit, all of these bring something to look forward to and consistently scheduling them is quality time spent together that’s necessary for any relationship to succeed.
When it’s not always possible to speak to your partner everyday, it’s helpful to journal about what happened during the days apart. Not only does this help you to process your feelings, but it also helps to keep track of what happened throughout the week! When you are able to talk with your partner, you won’t forget to tell them about what you did and what you want to tell them. If you’d like to start journaling, the Intimacy Journal is a great start! It has 52 weekly prompts so you can focus on how you can be more intimate everyday as you go about your day to day!