Long-distance relationships: 6 secrets to success
Long distance relationships aren’t always easy but what's the best way of making them work?
Even with modern tech, long-distance relationships can be a challenge, but luckily we’re here to help. Here are our top 6 secrets to long-distance relationship success
In the past, long-distance relationships were unlikely to last longer than six months. But, in the age of Skype and smartphones, these relationships have more chance than ever of being successful. The challenges facing people engaged in a long-distance relationship are unique. They require more planning, time and attention than a traditional relationship but, if both parties are committed to making it work, then there’s no reason why it can’t. To give your long-distance relationship the very best chance of success, here are our top six tips.
1. Creating clear parameters
Decide early on where you’d like this relationship to go. This will typically happen in a traditional relationship too but there isn’t the same urgency. If you’re going to invest time and effort into keeping in contact, then you’ll want to know that you’re both heading in the same direction. Think of the money travelling to visit each other and the emotional energy needed to establish a bond over distance.
Are you going to give it six months and then review? Are you working towards living together one day? Do you know the level of commitment they’re looking for? You don’t need to make all of these decisions straight away but you do need to be able to share what you want and how you’re feeling as time goes on.
2. Keeping regular contact
You need regular daily contact to make a long-distance relationship work. Contact helps you become part of each other’s lives – and thankfully, it’s much easier than it used to be. Talking on the phone, writing emails, sending love letters, texting or sending a WhatsApp – all forms of communication are great for developing your relationship.
If you worry you might run out of things to say, try doing things together. Why not watch a film at the same time and discuss it afterwards? Or you could play a video game or learn a language together? There are so many things you can do together online that will provide conversation starters and help deepen your connection.
3. Have as much face-to-face contact as possible
Although you can develop a great virtual relationship long-distance, it’s really important to meet face-to-face regularly. Physical contact with your partner is the glue that binds everything else. The smell of their skin, their touch, their kiss. It’s vital that you see each other in person if you want your relationship to last. As soon your visit is over, plan the next one so you both have something to look forward to.
4. Develop trust
Trust is important in all healthy relationships, but it’s essential in long-distance relationships. There’s so much distance between you that it’s easy to become insecure or feel unsure about your partner’s commitment. Having clear parameters and daily contact is so important. It’s unrealistic to think that you won’t both feel insecure sometimes, but if you’re in contact every day then you’ll be able to talk through your feelings rather than having days or weeks to dwell on them.
5. Nurture security
You’ll feel secure in your relationship if you’re clear with each other about what’s happening and where you’re going. Make firm plans, agree precise times for meeting online, be open to talking about the future and agree that if it isn’t working, you’ll let each other know. All of these things will help to create a feeling of security – essential for your long-distance relationship to survive and thrive.
6. Have an attitude of gratitude
Many long-distance relationships end because the distance becomes all-consuming: how much they miss each other, and how difficult it all is. Watching your partner suffering emotionally is horrible. Many people decide that it’s better to break up than prolong the agony. When you talk, try to focus on what’s great about your relationship. Don’t wallow in the painful times – you might risk losing it altogether.