Life

3 Pieces Of Advice for Couples In Long Distance Relationships

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Young loving couple outdoors sitting on grass, hugging and looking away, future and relationships concept

Image: Stock-Asso/Shutterstock

When we meet someone with whom we feel a connection, we’re willing to do whatever it takes to continue the relationship, even though it may not be practical in geographical terms. That’s often how and why we get involved in a long distance relationship.

It’s true, a long distance relationship can be more challenging. Even if the long distance relationship is perfect for you, it will still require more creativity and work than a regular relationship. Here are some ways to keep a long distance relationship thriving.

Be Flexible

Just as you have a busy life filled with many things that don’t have to do with your long distance flame, your partner has a busy life, too. That doesn’t mean they’ll be up to no good since you won’t know the difference. It just means they lead an active life, which you should want for them if you really care about them. After all, you probably wouldn’t be interested in them as much if they were a homebody with no side interests or hobbies, right? You fell in love with a 3-dimensional person with friends and outside interests. Now that you’re in a relationship with them, don’t try to quash that side of your paramour.

Be flexible if your lover has to cancel or reschedule your telephone call or Skype session. Don’t try to fence in your long distance lover with a rigid schedule that ultimately will be impossible to keep. They don’t have 100% control over their schedule—just as you don’t over yours. Maybe their league soccer game ran late, or their boss made them stay late to finish a project. Maybe one of their friends had a tough day and needed a late night gab. Whatever the reason, just be flexible and go with the flow. They’ll appreciate your understanding and won’t get that terrible relationship-killing feeling where someone is trying to control them.

Don’t Live in Limbo

Long distance relationships can have a funny effect on people. Psychologically, we start to live from moment to moment, eagerly awaiting the next time we can see our lover, the next time we get to talk or text them live. The time in between starts to take on the feeling of being in a waiting room. We don’t look for anything to happen until the next moment when we can connect with our long distance lover. This is called living in limbo, and it isn’t healthy for either one of the people in a long distance relationship. It isn’t fair for you or him to put your life on hold while you wait for the next “moment.’’ First of all, life is too short to wait for things to happen. Second, the whole concept of living in limbo is founded on some unconscious notion that your individual life is less important than your future life in coupledom. That’s a dangerous way to think about the meaning of your existence.

Obviously, it’s tantalizing to look forward to the next time you get to connect with Dreamy Eyes, but don’t live in limbo in between those connections. Do your best to keep your own life on track in the meantime. Set goals for yourself, if you haven’t already, and go out of your way to reach those goals if you do have some. Some healthy goals include things like training and running in a local marathon, learning a new language, joining a tennis league, or getting that promotion at work you’ve had your eye on. When you focus on your own self-improvement instead of shadowing your Handsome Prince, you’ll reap the benefit of being a more confident, fulfilled woman who chooses relationships; not needs them. As an added bonus, you will become an even more interesting and exciting woman in the eyes of your long distance lover.

Go Old School

In this technological age we live in, it’s easier than ever to carry on a long distance affair. We don’t have to wait days or weeks for the afternoon post to hear from a loved one from afar. Skype and FaceTime are available at the tips of our fingers. We can connect with email, Snapchat, Facebook, texts and Twitter. But for all their convenience, there’s nothing remotely romantic about these methods, even if the message is rife with emojis. They don’t evoke feelings the way that older forms of communication did. The excitement of seeing a letter in the mail that isn’t a bill. The joy of handling a fine piece of linen stationery, or the warmth of reading the handwriting of someone close to our hearts. As you know yourself, when you open a personal note you can almost imagine the person writing it. How they stopped what they were doing to sit down and write a letter. How they handled the paper, carefully folded it, and tucked it neatly into an envelope. How the missive was meant for your eyes only. Private and intimate.

This is the way to keep your long distance love affair thriving. Taking the time to make a real statement that is personal and genuine. When you want to make a lasting impression on the one your heart longs for, take your communication back to the olden days. If you can’t think of the words to say, find a poem that does, and transcribe it in your own handwriting. Write it on exquisite stationery, and seal it with a kiss. Your words will carry so much more weight, and your meaning will be clear when you communicate in this way.

A long distance love affair can thrive if you care for it well. In healthy ways, you can let them know that you are with them though they are far away and that you look forward to the day when you can be together.