6 secrets to a great long distance relationship
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 the Internet, Skype and mobile phones, these relationships have more chance than ever before 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 be just as satisfying as any other relationship. To give your long distance relationship the very best chance of success, here are our top 6 secrets.
1. Creating clear parameters
You both need to decide where you’d like this relationship to go early on. This will, of course, happen in a traditional relationship eventually but there isn’t the same urgency. If you’re going to invest time and effort into keeping in contact – money travelling to visit each other and emotional energy establishing a bond over distance – then you’ll want to know early on that you’re both heading in the same direction. Are you going to give it six months and then get together to review how it’s going? Are you working towards living together one day? Do you know what level of commitment the other person wants and whether you can give it to them?
You don’t need to make all of these decisions straight away but you do both need to be able to say what you want and how you’re feeling as the relationship continues.
2. Keeping regular contact
You need regular daily contact to make a long distance relationship work. This helps you to become part of each other’s daily lives and it’s much easier than it used to be thanks to the Internet.
Talk on the phone, write emails, send love letters, text or WhatsApp – any form of communication is great for developing your relationship. If you feel like 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, play an online game together or learn a language and practise together? There are so many things that you can do together online that will give you plenty to talk about and deepen your connection.
3. Have as much face to face contact as possible
Although you can develop a great virtual relationship, it’s really important to have regular meet ups to see each other face to face. Physical contact with your partner is the glue that binds everything else – the smell of their skin, the touch of their skin, their kiss – it’s vital that these meetings happen if you want the relationship to be successful. As soon as a 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 relationship but it’s particularly 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 mull 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. Firm plans, precise times for meeting online, a willingness to talk about the future and, most importantly, an agreement that if it isn’t working you’ll tell each other are all needed. All of these things will help to create that feeling of security that you need for your long distance relationship to survive and thrive.
6. Have an attitude of gratitude
Many long distance relationships don’t survive because the distance becomes all the couple thinks about. When all they talk about is how awful it is that they can’t be together, how much they miss each other and how difficult it all is, it becomes a painful experience. Watching your partner suffering emotionally is horrible and will lead some people to 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 and, although it’ll be painful at time, don’t wallow in it or you might risk losing it altogether.
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