How to survive a long distance relationship

A long distance relationship can be just as successful as a relationship between people who live locally to each other. Long distance relationships can be between two people who live in the same country but a long way apart, or even if one person involved lives in another country. There will be differences in the relationships, but all relationships are different anyway regardless of the distance between those involved. The main difference is the amount of physical contact. Just because two people aren't physically together, it doesn't mean you can't have a connection together. There is much more to a relationship than physical contact alone.

How do long distance relationships occur?

There are several reasons why long distance relationships occur. Often a couple become physically separated due to commitments such as work or family. This may be temporary, or during the week only, but it still has impacts on a relationship. Another is when two people meet but both live a long distance away from each other. This can happen if people meet at a function, such as a wedding or a party, or even while on holiday. Another reason for long distance relationships could be if the two people involved meet on an online dating service, such as Completely Free Dating, and both live a long way from each other.

Will I be able to cope with a long distance relationship?

Long distance relationships can be difficult to adapt to, however some relationships start out as long distance often making it easier to deal with. The overall success of the relationship is down to the two people involved and their personal interpretation of the situation. If it isn't a big deal to those involved, then the relationship is more likely to survive. It is known that if an individual is brought up in a household where a family member is absent on a regular basis, then they are more likely to adapt well to and cope with a long distance relationship. Those raised in a close family who were rarely separated from each other, may find a long distance relationship hard to cope with. Past relationships can have an impact on the situation. If you have been hurt in the past then you may struggle with a long distance relationship.

Communicate with each other

For a long distance relationship to survive, there must be communication. Communication is vital prior and during a long distance relationship if it is to be successful. You must be open and honest with each other about your feelings and thoughts of the situation. Don't simply agree with your partner just to keep the peace; they may not want to hear your opinion, but it is important that you tell them and they listen, otherwise there will be resentment.

If your partner is moving away, you must talk about how you feel and ask them how they feel. Before they leave you must make sure you know where you stand with each other. Obviously every relationship is different, so this may not be relevant to every couple. If you haven't been together long, don't assume that your partner will wait for you or be exclusive to you. The last thing you want is to waste time waiting for a relationship that won't happen. Make sure you know exactly what is happening with your relationship and ask about the future.

While you and your partner are apart, it is important that you make every effort to communicate with each other. Don't take the 'out of sight, out of mind' attitude. In order for your relationship to survive, communication is vital. There are several ways to stay in regular contact; you can talk on the phone, send text messages, send emails, write letters, send a present or even send a photo. These can be carried out on a daily basis, but not all at the same time. A daily text message will give you both something to look forward to. These ways of communication will help you to feel close and keep the emotional connection between you alive. However, sending too many letters, emails, text messages, and even phoning all the time isn't healthy. You don't want your partner to be fed up of your constant contact with them. Little but often is the best approach to go for.

If you find that you are the one doing all the work by contacting your partner, then it could be time to talk to them and find out what is going on. Communication should not be one sided. You may need to face the reality of a failed relationship, often due to the breakdown of communication, resulting in you growing apart. It is important that you discuss the situation otherwise you risk waiting for a relationship that will never happen.

How to make a long distance relationship work

  • Talk about your future. Discussing your future together will help you get through being apart, especially if you know your long distance relationship is temporary.
  • Be honest about your feelings. There is no point in pretending you are okay with the situation; tell your partner exactly how you feel towards the long distance relationship.
  • Make sure you talk to your partner about any concerns. Ask as many questions as you need to, just to ensure you feel comfortable with being apart.
  • Communicate on a regular basis. Communication will help to keep your emotional connection alive. You can phone, text, email, write or send a gift to show your partner that you are thinking of them and miss them.
  • Trust plays a huge part in making a long distance relationship work; it plays a key role in any relationship. Without trust, you will never have a healthy happy relationship.
  • It is necessary to regularly reassure your partner that you are there for them and miss them. Reassurance is often all it takes to make someone feel better.
  • Try to look at the positive side of living far away from your partner and enjoy the time you have alone. Spending time on your own is healthy, not to mention peaceful, so make the most of it.
  • It can help if you both do something at the same time, so you can discuss it after. This can include watching the same programme on television or watching the same DVD, or even going to the cinema to watch the same film. It can be comforting knowing your partner is doing the exact same thing as you and at the same time.
  • It is important that you make every effort to meet up at every opportunity. It might not be that often, which is why it is important that you make the effort whenever you can. It will definitely give you something to look forward to and help you get through your time apart.
  • Keep your social life healthy and spend time with your family. Being away from your partner doesn't mean you have to sit at home pining for them. Make the most of your time and catch up with friends.
  • Be happy and stay positive about the long distance relationship. If you sound happy and positive, there is great chance that your partner will pick up on this and feel the same.

Things to avoid when in a long distance relationship

  • No matter how tempting it feels, don't constantly ring your partner. If you arrange to phone them every evening, or every other day, leave it to that. Constant phone calls could start to get annoying for them, especially if they are at work or have other plans.
  • Never be jealous and demand to know where they have been and who with. It is okay to be curious about their new life, but don't come across as being jealous. Jealousy is an ugly feature to have and can end a perfectly happy relationship.
  • Don't expect your partner to be able to read your mind and know how you feel about being apart. You need to be truthful and make them aware if you aren't happy.
  • Don't become infrequent with communication. This can actually be the start of a downward spiral towards a failed relationship. Whether intentional or not, becoming slack with communication can destroy the emotional connection with your partner. Don't assume your partner knows how much you miss them; unless you tell them they could be thinking anything.
  • It is unacceptable to think you have the right to cheat on your partner. Just because they aren't by your side doesn't mean you can look for a replacement. Cheating will certainly lead to heart ache for your partner, not to mention wasted time waiting for a relationship that isn't going to continue.
  • If you aren't happy in the long distance relationship, don't pretend you are and carry on as usual. You may want it to work out, but you need to be realistic. You need to talk to your partner and be prepared to walk away.

As with any relationship, you should always be honest and talk things through. Trust plays a major role and is vital for any relationship to survive. If you have doubts about a relationship before one of you moves away, then you need to be realistic and admit that you don't think it would work. If you meet someone who already lives far away, then you have to make the decision best for you and consider if you think you can handle a long distance relationship. Remember that it isn't the physical distance between two people that can make or break a relationship; it is the emotional distance between two people. If you are determined to make a relationship work, then it will.

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