You’re at a friend’s wedding and you finally meet someone who could be the one. They have all of the qualities you want in an ideal partner except Mr. or Mrs.
Wonderful live a plane ride away and is, therefore “geographically undesirable.” Or are they? More and more couples are living apart for days or weeks at a time and making it work.
Here are a few tips for navigating a successful long-distance relationship.
Do be open about your expectations
Communication is a top priority in a long-distance relationship. Let each other know the big and small expectations you have about dating.
Do you want to speak on the phone every night, or is a quick check-in via text OK? When you are together, will you go on dates alone or invite friends? Would one of you like to relocate to where the other lives at some point?
Do get creative
Intimacy needs to be tended to even more when your time together is less frequent. Send a Snapchat photo hinting at your next romantic rendezvous or surprise them with flowers sent to their place of work. Have dinner “together” over Skype.
Do focus on why this relationship is important to you
There are days where being apart will be hard, so make a list of all the reasons this relationship is important and worth the extra effort. Read through this list on the days you are feeling frustrated. Focus on the positive.
Do be flexible
Your relationship will be different than most, so the ability to be flexible will serve you well in a long distance relationship.
That could mean your date night needs to be rescheduled due to a flight delay or your regular check-in call gets missed because of a long work meeting. You also may have to postpone holidays like Valentine’s Day if they occur mid-week or better yet, create your own!
Do book a staycation
Maximize quality time together by being tourist in your home city. A couple’s massage at a local spa followed by dinner at a great restaurant and a stay at a hot new hotel makes for a great weekend without extra travel.
Shop the farmers market or visit a local landmark, things one or both of you might not do during a busy workweek.
Do not abandon your friends
Sometimes people dump their friends when they enter into a new relationship, and that is never a good idea.
While it is understandable that you would want to spend as much time as possible with the new love of your life, be sure to still make time for friends who have been there for you all along.
Do not think it will always be hard
Adjusting to being in a distance relationship takes some time before you figure out what works best for the two of you so don’t give up at the first sign up trouble.
Following these tips will help you both get into a rhythm that can ideally be quickly adjusted when challenges arise.
Do not give up your passions
Since you will have time apart, keep it filled doing things you enjoy so you aren’t focusing solely on the next time you’ll see each other. Volunteer for a cause that is important to you, meet your friends for happy hour or keep taking that yoga class you love.
Filling up your time with quality experiences will being that much more to your conversations when you are back together.
Do not keep quiet about frustrations
Resentment can build quickly so you need to address it when you feel it simmering. Remember to be open and communicate about what is working and especially what is not working.
As is often the case, your partner may have no clue you are upset, especially when they don’t see you face to face as often. Tone gets missed in text and email so be clear and direct with your concerns or disappointments.
Do not take your time together for granted
Put down your smartphone when you are together. You are finally reunited so make the most of that time.
Tell your partner you love them, hold their hand, live in the moment, and make plans for your future together.
More and more people are entering into distant relationships and making them work. Communication is key. Be honest, be creative, be flexible, and have fun!
Source: Megan Bearce, LMFT via expertbeacon.com
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