A lot of long-distance relationships are made via dating apps and social media sites where both people haven’t met each other at all. And for people who are in relationships and haven’t met in person – some people would say that this is silly, unrealistic, and even dangerous – like people who get catfished and have their lives ruined emotionally and/or financially.
Some come out on the bright side though. But long-distance relationships are really hard because if you are in a different country there will be a different time zone which affects your communication.
These are the major boxes both people need to check:
- Both should have the financial means and ability to travel.
Generally speaking, teenagers, or those who are not financially self-sufficient yet, are asking for a failed long-distance relationship. I see it all the time with teenage people. Guys, for your own good, stick to people you know in person for now. Pining after people you won’t be able to meet for years will get you hurt.
- Both should discuss and agree on how often you are realistically able to visit each other, and if that length of time is okay with both of you.
Don’t get into a long-distance relationship on a whip without talking about this. Someone is going to wind up frustrated and disappointed when they find out too late that visits can’t be scheduled as often as they’d like. Make 100% sure you both are on the same page.
- Both should discuss and agree upon the “ground rules” of commitment for the relationship.
We’re human. We have needs and desires. This fact becomes glaringly apparent in a relationship in which you don’t see each other all the time. Some people go weeks, some go months.
Are you going to be strictly monogamous? Are you going to have an open relationship? A “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy? It’ll ultimately be up to both people to lay their own groundwork. But both parties need to be in agreement on this. I shouldn’t even have to explain this one, either.
- Honestly, both people need to want each other like crazy.
In my experience, this desire is what fuels the need to try your hardest to make the relationship work, even through distance. You need to be damn convinced that this person is who you want, despite being so far away. If you’re feeling “meh” about the person, or uneasy about the long-distance relationship itself, it’s going to unravel really quickly.
Long distance relationships are especially dependent on honest, thorough, and open communication. Make an active effort to practice this, and it has already become much easier. Test the waters and discuss options with your potential partner before diving into commitment.
Long Distance Relationships work differently for different folks, but I think keeping the following in mind could prove helpful:
- More than ever before, communication will determine your success. Some think that in order to survive long distances there must be constant contact, but communication isn’t about frequency in this case. It’s about being clear and honest about what you want/need and what is reasonable to expect. Nothing matches being together in person, so you’ll have to be realistic about how much you really can/cannot do while apart to make it work.
- Be apart and accept that you’re apart. Some couples become obsessed with “spending time” while apart and, while they mean well, this can lead to resentment and feelings of frustration, and being shackled. Setting a required “good night” phone call or Skype date every night at a specific time will disrupt your ability to be free and social and ultimately, you could learn to dread these phone calls. Don’t suffocate one another through limitless mediums. Realize that you’re apart, significant to one another and that when there’s time, you’ll make it. Create routines that help you touch base but don’t be rigid about them. Being flexible could save you.
- Celebrate upcoming reunions. Find special ways to keep each other excited about when you’ll be seeing each other again. Countdowns and preparations for these special moments will keep you feeling positive and reminding yourselves that there’s something good on the horizon is important.
- Be social. If you aren’t together, you need to occupy your time. Engage in activities and develop your friendships. You aren’t doing yourself or your partner a favor by being home and available all the time. You should mutually agree to be active in order to stay happy.
- When you’re busy or mostly unavailable, send emails that show your significant other you’re not off the map. Your focus is to be realistic about how your time should be spent and what will make you happiest. When you are very busy, though, be sure to show some kind of courtesy to your partner and let them know what’s up with you and that you’re thinking of them. Email is a great way to write a “what’s happening” update and possibly impart some humor into your partner’s day.
- Play fun games. Something that could really add some spice and excitement. Take pictures of places you go and things you see and send them with a cute note, like “Wish you were here.” Sending revealing and provocative texts and photographs can also keep things fun and create anticipation rather than deflation. Create phone traditions like “high point/low point” to recap your week or what’s going on with your day so you can each share your best/worst moments and sort/laugh through them.
- Never forget the element of surprise. Sending flowers, mailing cookies, and making other cute gestures make up for some of your distance by still expressing your love in a way that shows you are always thinking of your partner and that your distance hasn’t removed a sense of mindfulness and consideration.
Stay happy and cheers to the togetherness of long-distance couples.